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Assumption Based Marketing Vs. Fact Based Marketing

By Shawn Meldrum
Posted Thursday, January 20, 2005

One of the most common mistakes in marketing is making decisions based on assumptions rather than fact. You think of an idea for a marketing piece and believe that it is a great idea.

You start using the idea with no tracking mechanism that would allow you to measure the results of that piece. Then if business happens to come in you assume that it must be working and continue to spend time and money on a method that may or may not actually be working.

Frankly, I don't want to spend a dime (or a minute of my time) on marketing that I can't measure.

There are two reasons for this. The most obvious reason is - I want to know if I am wasting my efforts on something that doesn't work at all.

The second reason is - if the marketing piece is working I want to know how well. I want to be able to compare it to my other marketing efforts and determine where my resources are best spent. I also want to be able to test variations of the piece and see if I can improve the response rate. An improvement in response rate adds directly to the bottom line because it doesn't cost any extra.

In other words, if I have a choice between spending $300 on an ad and getting 10 responses or spending the same $300 and getting 20 responses I'd rather have the 20 every time. That's a no-brainer, right?

Yet so often I see marketers using unproven ads and neglecting to test and see if they can improve response rates.

That's one reason I like using free recorded message lines as a response mechanism so much. When the person calls to hear the recorded message they enter an ID number from the ad they read. Each ad or marketing piece can be assigned a unique ID number so that I can know exactly how many responses came as a direct result of that particular piece.

Knowing your numbers and tracking every single ad can save you time and money, and making decisions based on fact is much more profitable and enjoyable than making them based on assumptions.

About the Author
Shawn Meldrum has spent the last two decades marketing everything from almonds to landscape lighting. He currently specializes in marketing for mortgage brokers, loan officers and real estate agents. For free mortgage marketing articles and much more visit: (


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