A scientific approach to marketing

Ivan made such a terrific reply on the last blog entry that it’s worth a separate post. He expressed disappointment in my lack of a scientific methodology about sales and marketing.

Here’s how to turn your business into a scientific approach:

1. Everyone knows that there are certain tried and true marketing tactics: cold calling, direct mail, networking, referrals, etc. These work for some people, and not for others.

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2. Your job as a marketer is to test, test, test. Try a tactic, test it, and then compare your results to the results of a new test. Keep testing, keep improving, and soon you will have a scientific system no one else can match. Ford Harding notes in his books that every professional finds a system that works for them (and his books are based on research!).

3. Never forget that there is no formulaic approach to marketing that is guaranteed to work every time. If there were, everyone would do it and it would no longer work. However, see #4 to get points from experts….

4. Here are some books that take a scientific approach: SPIN selling ($1 mm investment in what works in sales); First Break all the Rules (Gallup Poll results of what separates good managers); Good to Great and Built to Last (how to build a leading company); and Ford Harding’s books on rainmaking (great research on how professionals generate revenues). Read those.

5. Business is still a certain percentage art. Personality comes into it. So does making decisions with incomplete, non-scientific information. You will never reduce the whole thing to a scientific methodology — and if that’s something you need, you may be in the wrong field.