Test marketing is the process in which a company makes a service or product available to a small group of people to determine whether it will be successful when introduced to the masses. A company should perform test marketing regularly to remain competitive. The best tips for test marketing include establishing a strong objective, picking the right people to test, using accurate testing systems and knowing how to gauge the results attained.
Before performing a marketing test, a business must identify what its goal is. The company should decide on the number of marketing campaign responses that are needed for the test marketing to be deemed effective, for example. Figuring out how to determine the financial benefit of completing the test marketing also is important. Establishing a test marketing objective essentially ensures that the purpose of the test and the required breadth of the testing experience are understood.
Choosing a solid test sample is perhaps one of the most significant parts of the test marketing process, because the wrong sample will yield useless results. The goal is to obtain a random sample so that the responses collected are a suitable reflection of a larger group of people, or of public opinion. For instance, a business can choose a handful of e-mail recipients from a large list at random and then market a product or service to this handful of individuals. This small sampling should constitute no more than 5 percent or 10 percent of the entire group.
Having the right technology in place helps make choosing a test sample easier. A company can use a computer database to sort names or identification numbers of potential marketing respondents, for example. This type of automatic software program can make the random selection process quicker and more precise for capturing the best results. Using such programs to pick out people of varying races or geographic locations also is an important part of the random test sample development process before a product launch.
In addition to having a sample group, a business should have a control group. This group features the people who will not be recipients of a company's test marketing efforts. Having a control group allows the business to compare the habits of control group members with those of the test sample group to see whether the marketing efforts are actually productive.