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Every once in a while I’ll hear somebody make comments about how the essence of marketing is to “throw stuff out there and see what sticks.” Normally I don’t say much in response to this, but sometimes I just want to tell people “Um, that’s not correct.” This is very, very bad advice, and it’s not what marketing is.

Marketing is, in fact, very methodical and draws heavily on statistics, demographic research and analytical data. In English: we use numbers, not gut feelings. Good marketing is all about looking at the facts and figures, and then making a smart decision based what you can deduce has a reasonable chance of success. And it’s not just one step either; it’s a process. You do your homework first, then attempt to reach your target audience on a small scale. Then you measure the results.  If they’re positive (i.e. you actually make a return on your investment), you can say you’ve run a successful test. Knowing that, you can then deploy a whole campaign.

Anything other than this is just a waste of money. It doesn’t make business sense.