Have you ever searched online for “Steve Jobs market research” or “Ricky Gervais focus groups?”
Neither was a fan.
Here, Gervais, the comedian and creator of The Office, says, “If you do what you do and you’re uncompromised, you don’t listen to focus groups.”
In this interview, Jobs said, “We do no market research.”
These two reached the pinnacle of their professions, but you’d be taking some career risks by trying emulate their disdain for the intersection of marketing’s art and science: market research. That’s because though it’s not without its flaws, we need the discipline more than ever.
Over the decades, the power within marketing has swung from creative directors to the data scientists, and for good reason. Data enables precise audience targeting and the ability to predict consumer behaviors based on past actions. Data also feels tangible compared to creative.
Still, without creative that engages, including visuals and copy, no amount of data can save a campaign from mediocrity. The best way to ensure that a campaign features creative that works: relentlessly testing it with target consumers.
Mobile marketers, many of whom entered the profession amid data’s ascension, need to be especially wary of the temptation to overly rely on data. Mobile banners, video, and in-feed ads all require a specialized creative talent to produce. As much as any other channel, mobile advertising needs testing.
In my experience, here are the five most common reasons marketers pass on testing their creative.
They don’t they have the time.
They can’t afford it.
They don’t believe it will result in significantly better outcomes.
They fall in love with their creative.
They convince themselves that because Steve Jobs didn’t do it, it must not be worth doing.