Test conditions

One of the difficulties in marketing experimentation is being able to scale down all aspects of the marketing plan. There may be a particular problem in replicating the advertising support that a brand would receive on national launch, particularly if a mini-test procedure is being used. Some allowance therefore needs to be made for what difference this would make in acceptance of the product. When company, and particularly sales, personnel are involved in market tests there is sometimes a problem in persuading them of the need to conduct a test under normal conditions. There is a human tendency to give extra effort to support the product under test, particularly when it is known that the results of those efforts are being carefully monitored. There is also rarely such a thing as a 'fully representative test market'. To the extent that the test does not replicate the normal marketing conditions for the product, allowance must be made for differences between test performance and what would actually happen in the marketplace. This area of subjectivity in extrapolating potential market outcome from experimental procedures has led to a growth in smaller testing procedures, rather than the large-scale, expensive and often unreliable projectable test launches.

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