Scientific terms and their application

There are many pseudo-scientific terms used in marketing, especially in market research and strategy. But lets look at what these terms actually means:

Hypothesis: A tentative explanation of observed facts.

Theory: A hypothesis tested by experiements and to which exceptions have been found.

Scientific Law: A theory that has been verified mathematically.

Model: A mathematical or visual picture (physical) of a particular set of phenomena. Models are never perfect and may be continually updated on the basis of new observations.

Postulate or axiom: A generally accepted principle or proposition.

Theorem: A statement of a mathematical truth together with any quantifing conditions.

System: A part of the material world selected for study and experiementation.

Anyone that tries to apply scientific rigour to the system of marketing and advertising process quickly realises that they are operating in the world of hypothesis and models. The lack of true and valid experimentation in this space means there are no theories, laws or theorems. At best it is observation and hypothesis.

No wonder Bill Bernbach said “I warn you against believing that advertising is a science. Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art”.

In developing models of structure, remuneration, process and benchmarking, P3 uses observation and forms hypothesis to develop models. The value in the process comes in the deversity and volume of these observations and hypothesis.

Author: Darren Woolley

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About Darren Woolley

Darren is considered a thought leader on all aspects of marketing management. A Problem Solver, Negotiator, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 - Marketing Management Consultants, founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum and Author. He is also a Past-Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute, Ex-Medical Scientist and Ex-Creative Director. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren's Bio Here Email: darren@trinityp3.com
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