Opinion Piece: Evidence should lie at the heart of decision-making

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Guest Blog

Cancer taught me an important truth about marketing…

I was the lucky recipient of a new chemotherapy regime. A huge international, double-blind trial over 5 years (against the control treatment) had shown a new combination of drugs to improve survival by 21%.

Only once he’d studied all the results, including the sub-sets based on tumour staging, was my Oncologist prepared to accept it.

Compared to the medical profession, we are dilettantes when it comes to evidence-based decision making. Incoming Marketing Directors ditch successful campaigns purely to make their mark (often believing they are a typical customer).

Agencies recommend fashionable techniques to impress, regardless of their relevance or efficacy. Vague measures such as ‘likes’ are promoted to demonstrate robust success.

Cod science (laughable attributions made for MRI scans), puerile philosophy (Sinek) and amateur psychology are employed to inject false depth. If we are a profession, we must be better than this.

Evidence should lie at the heart of decision-making. Test ideas first. Test the media. Test the creative. Understand sub-sets. Look at hard results above soft ones. Analyse past campaigns. It’s what I was taught and it’s never been more relevant. Because it works.