The Marketing Guy.
By: Craig Valine
For August 1998

The Amazing Power Of Testing
(Or, How NOT To Lose Thousands of Dollars Marketing Your Business)

Do you know what the three most important words in marketing are?

Test, Test, Test!!!!

I bet there are some of you out there who have put lots of money into an advertisement or direct mail piece only to find that it produced little or no results. Was it because advertising and direct mail "just don’t work?" Or, was it because maybe, just maybe, you bet everything that these were great promotional pieces and everybody should think so too?

I hear this all the time. Let me ask you these questions:

Would you go to Las Vegas and put $5,000 on the color red? Would you ask your Stockbroker to invest thousands of dollars in some company that no one’s ever heard of before? No, certainly not. Then, why would anyone put thousands of dollars into an ad or direct mail piece without testing whether anyone is interested in what they have to offer?

The purpose of testing is to develop maximum performance from every marketing effort you make. Yet, it’s amazing how many companies waste their marketing dollars and fail to compare their marketing to anything else. Business owners bet their destiny on arbitrary, subjective decisions and conjecture.

You do not have the right to predetermine what the marketplace wants and what the best price, package, or approach will be. Instead, you have the obligation (and power) to put every marketing question to a vote by the only people whose ballots count-your prospects and customers.

Your ads and direct mail pieces cost the same whether they produce 10, 20 or 100 responses. Why send out a 5,000-piece mailing or buy a full-page ad when you don’t know if anyone wants what you’re offering.

The concept of testing is simple: Simply conduct a smaller mailing or place a smaller ad and see if anyone is interested or responds to it. If people respond to it, GREAT! Test again and see how much better response you can get by testing different variables such as headlines, body copy, themes, basic propositions, offers and incentives,

It is very possible to gain 25% to 50% more profits from that same advertising dollar just by testing.

See how high is high. Test all the time until you’ve found your "control." There is always room for improvement. As I said before, "you owe it to yourself, your business and your customers to test to see what the marketplace wants. Unless you test, you’re just wasting your money.

Start testing now!

Craig Valine is a Marketing Consultant in Pasadena, California. His firm, Marketing-Squared Associates views marketing differently than most. He teaches his clients how to leverage their current marketing and create optimum results from the money they already spend to build their business.  His work is guaranteed.  For more information on a free marketing evaluation, please email him at

If you would like to know more about how to market your business effectively, e-mail the "Marketing Guy" at

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Copyright 1997 ~BizNet OnLine Magazine
Last modified: November 08, 2002