Choosing the test area

Area selection is influenced by most of the considerations discussed in Section 12.4.2. The area selected should be of sufficient size to achieve the test objectives and should be representative in appropriate ways. It is helpful if the test area is not too popular as a test market, since this can result in unrepresentative behaviour in the marketplace. In general, test areas must be selected in such a way as to give a reasonable representation of what might be expected of the product from a national launch.

If control areas are to be used, these should match the test areas as closely as possible. The same measurements are taken in both areas, and this makes it possible to isolate effects of the test from the general effect due to market change in both areas during the period of the test. Multi-area testing is more efficient than single-area testing in detecting change due to the experiment, but has the disadvantage of increasing cost.

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