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What is Evidence Based Marketing?

It’s often been said that the modern ad man is no longer a “Mad Man” on New York’s glamorous Madison Ave., but rather “Math Men,” ad executives focused on metrics and not creativity. There is no denying that metrics are now at the core of every marketing/advertising campaign, but what strategies are actually deployed at advertising and marketing agencies to mathematically increase the bottom line?

The short answer, absolutely none. Sure, advertising executives flaunt their years of expertise, expert intuition and fabulous visions, but is their experience really enough of a reason to qualify them as Math Men? While experience in this industry is paramount to perfecting the pitch and being a visionary for excellent agency culture, some of us have always believed that more was needed to really bring marketing and advertising strategy into the 2010’s while utilizing the technology that is available.

And this is where evidence based marketing comes into play.

So what is evidence based marketing?

Evidence based marketing is the practice of incorporating psychological and sociological principal with data, research and business strategy to cultivate marketing 100% based in fact.

No hunches. No intuitions. No misguided visions.

Just facts.

Facts that guide both marketers and advertisers to develop campaigns that don’t just raise the bottom line, they are built by the bottom line.

While a traditional agency will almost always develop their ideas in a round table discussion based on the desires of the client, evidence based marketers create their pitch only after they truly understand their target markets habits down to what they are most likely to do first when they wake up in the morning.

We call this profiling John and Jane Doe.

Meet John Doe and his wife Jane.

John and Jane Doe serve as the cornerstone for development of evidence based marketing campaigns and create a realistic concept for the ideal customer. Profiling John and Jane Doe happens through psychological research that may differ from client to client. For example, XYZ Corp.’s iPad corporate accessory campaign may start with a focus group of ideal corporate iPad users while ABC Corp.’s new restaurant concept may begin with observational studies at competitors restaurants.

No matter where the research starts, it will always end with a completed profile of the target consumer with as much information as possible about their cultural habits, purchasing habits and behavioral habits. This research is paramount to the creation of accurate marketing and serves as the first portion of evidence in the marketing efforts.

It’s all about getting down to business.

Of course marketing and advertising isn’t all creativity and the psychology of the consumer. At the end of the day, it’s all about getting down to business and raising the bottom line. As such evidence based marketing efforts aren’t complete without the second portion of the evidence used to create the marketing campaign strategy, business objectives.

Business objectives are key because they define the metrics that are used to measure the results of the campaign.

Additionally the metrics almost always differ from campaign to campaign in order to meet the business’ objectives.

Through market research, competitive analysis and the goals of the business marketing to their consumers, objectives are then defined, developed and designed that will accurately measure the campaign.

The Three D’s Of Evidence

What are we talking about when we reference definition, development and design? We reference the three most important elements of the campaign.

Defining the campaign both in terms of the consumer and the metrics are obviously at the foundation of the campaign. It is this information that allows for the development of an effective strategy. A strategy that will then allow the agency to design an effective campaign for execution.

However, it is important to remember that the world changes by the second. As such remaining nimble and dynamic is key to effective marketing. Those executing the campaign should always be ready to tweak or recreate the design of the campaign in order to meet the business objectives in the developed strategy.

The advertising and marketing industries alike change daily with innovations in technology. Gone are the days of Madison Avenue’s glamorous mad men. Today the industries are fueled by coffee and numbers and thus math men truly are at the core of a great advertising and marketing campaign. This is Ralston & Anthony’s answer to scientific logistics behind a campaign. When you’re choosing your agency, don’t forget to ask about the science behind their campaigns.

Numbers are logical and scientific. Make sure that your agency understands the important business numbers behind the campaign. We promise, it will make all the difference.


Now that you know about evidence based marketing, in what ways would use it to meet your business objectives? Tell us in the comments!