Is marketing solely a game of chance, or might there be a way to bring scientific methods to the table? Let’s draw a distinction between the micro and the macro. At the micro level, the various pieces of the marketing puzzle can be, and should be, optimized on an on-going basis. The overall positioning and strategy should be evaluated. Every ad and commercial should be tested for effectiveness. Products should be tested and optimized. Promotions should be tested. Package designs should be tested. Brand names should be evaluated.


These micro-level tests must be a constant and ongoing process of evaluation, tweaking, and reevaluation, to continuously improve the gears, bearings, and levers that make up the marketing engine. Optimizing these micro elements of marketing typically yields improvements in sales revenue and market share. But this is only the first step on the optimization stairway.

What happens when all of these elements are put together? How should the budget be allocated among the different marketing elements? How should the budget be allocated geographically? By different media? What is the optimal pricing strategy? What’s the optimal level and timing of media advertising? How much money should be spent on extra salespeople versus increasing media advertising? These are the macro types of questions. These questions cannot be answered by copy testing, product testing, or other micro-testing methods. The workhorse of macro optimization is marketing mix modeling.