Why Marketing Science is the New Marketing

Brink Insights was founded on the simple belief that marketing as usual is gone and that we’ve entered a totally new ball game — one with few rules, millions of players and the fans are calling the plays (..aaand that’s where the sports metaphor ends because #unqualified).

We've all seen the breakout successes of companies like, Drop Box, Twitter, Pinterest, Mail Chimp, etc. What is it about these companies that makes them grow so jaw-droppingly fast? Much of the success these companies realized had a lot to do with the product/market fit, but in each of these companies, they approached their go-to-market plans in an more experimental way. Asking questions and seeking answers to growth as opposed to planning a large-scale attack and executing.

We believe that in this world of new challenges and complexities, we must seek answers through a new lense — what we call “Marketing Science.”

Here’s our definition of Marketing Science:

“The use of sound marketing strategy to inform and build a system of rapid experimentation on the elements of the business problem, to find the best strategies to solve to the challenge or opportunity.”

In the same way a scientist builds experiments to validate or invalidate a set of assumptions, we build systems to test and refine marketing strategies. How? A simple, yet powerful habit of experimentation. This habit, when adopted by an organization and opportunities, produces valuable results that the business can use to make decisions about their positioning, product/market fit and user experiences, all while shortening the learning cycle. We wrote a previous post with a simple exercise about how to design experimentation into your marketing plans.

A Marketing Science Methodology allows us to explore our tough questions, like:

  • How do we keep our finger on the pulse of a moving target?
  • How can we better equip our company to compete in unknown territory?
  • How can we create a culture that is in tune with these challenges and readily aligns to rise to the challenge?
  • How do we find out what’s relevant to our customers so we don’t lag behind?
  • We know we need to innovate to deliver our brand promise in a new and impactful way, but how?
  • We understand risk and failure, but how do we mitigate both so we move the needle without betting the farm?

Let’s just say it out loud. These questions are big and have huge implications on our business' success! These are the questions that keep so many of us up at night for fear that we’ll be obsolete in the morning. This is also our new reality.

So how can we adopt Marketing Science into our current program?

Let’s say you’re a manufacturing company who’s feeling competitive pressure to deliver a better digital solution to your customers. You’ve brought your sales team, marketing team and chief executives to the table to brainstorm solutions — and you believe you’ve come up with some good ones. But which one do you build? Which one is the best solution for your customers? What are the tradeoffs and do you have a clear understanding of business-side impacts? This is where Marketing Science empowers organizations to embrace these questions, design experiments to quickly get some insights, and go confidently in the right direction — and not just right now with this one product, but with everything you take to market in the future.

Marketing Science in an investment in risk mitigation and a nice little insurance policy. It ensures you won’t run off down a trail and emerge 12 months and $200,000 later with a product no-one wanted in the first place…we cry a little thinking about all the money, time and products going to the digital landfill. I think I’ve read somewhere that 60% of the apps in the Apple App Store have never been downloaded, not even once. Ouch. Considering that the average cost to build an app ranges from around $50,000 to $500,000 (and that doesn’t include maintaining a product no one is using)…that’s a lot of wasted moola.

By applying a Marketing Science approach to these questions you are armed with more data to make better product and marketing decisions. 

Has your organization began viewing it's marketing or product operations like a laboratory? We'd love to hear about your learnings and successes in the comments below.