Cost

In calculating the cost of marketing experiments an estimate must be made not only of the research costs involved but also of the costs of preparing appropriate product samples or samples of other test material. A possibly more important factor involved in calculating the cost of marketing experiments, and one that is often overlooked, is the opportunity cost of delay while the product or change is under test. The point of experimenting is to minimize losses if the experiment turns out to be a failure. The larger costs that would be incurred on a national scale are reduced. However, if the experiment turns out to be successful and the new product or product change is subsequently introduced to the market, there will be an opportunity cost in the sales that have been foregone on a national scale for the period for which the product has been under test. This opportunity cost may also be reflected in the fact that competitors may hear of the test and be in a good position to copy a successful product before its national launch.

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