Yes Marketing Works

The other day, I received a comment from the CEO of an organization that basically said, “Hey, your marketing didn’t work”.

Marketing done properly provides statistically projectable outcomes that can be done with great precision. If variables are held constant, a mailing list or direct mail package that worked in the past will continue to perform more or less at a predictable level when you allow for some statistical flux.

For marketers, the challenge comes when you do not have a marketing history on which to build your projections. You do not know what lists, offers, messages, or timing are best for a given product or organization. It is like a doctor doing a diagnosis without any of the tools of modern medicine.

You need to set some goal or outline an expected return, so you use results gathered from similar organizations or experiences. You ground your projections with the best information that you have at the time.

But basing projections solely on other organizations and experiences is a very poor substitute for real response data. On any new product or client launch without historical data, you are jumping into the unknown. You are taking a risk. It usually is better to try something than to do nothing, but it is a risk.

You may hit a home run, but you also better be prepared to hear, “your marketing doesn’t work”.

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