Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger proposed a thought experiment in 1935 to discuss the paradox of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Any non-physicist fans of the TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory, are likely also familiar with paradox known as Schrodinger’s Cat. Schrodinger’s theoretical experiment places a living cat in a steel box with a radioactive trigger and a vial of poison. If the radioactive substance decays, the trigger will break the vial of poison killing the cat. If the radioactive substance does not decay, the cat remains alive. The paradox comes in the not knowing. Since there is a 50-50 chance of the trigger decaying, without opening the box, one will not know if the cat is dead or alive. Since we don’t know, and in fact cannot know the state of the cat without opening the box, the cat is said to be both alive and dead. In quantum mechanics, this state is called a superposition.
On the TV show, Sheldon suggests that Leonard and Penny’s proposed date is like Schrodinger’s Cat. Only by looking in the box, or in their case actually going on the date, will they know how the date will turn out and what affect if will have on their friendship.
Living in a space town like Huntsville, Alabama, with all its rocket scientists, we mere mortals often feel like Penny; it’s all just a bunch of “jibber jabber.” I know lots of real life Sheldon’s and Leonard’s, I think that’s why I like the show so much. I’m trying to get them to think about target markets, brand and marketing strategies and they can’t quit talking about delta Vs and burn rates.
So what do Schrodinger and Sheldon have to do with marketing?
After all the planning is done, and the strategy decided, and the budgets approved, someone has to open the box. That is, at some point you just have to launch the strategy and see if it succeeds or fails.
You can poke and prod and analyze a marketing strategy to death, but that doesn’t make the phone ring. Many small business owners struggle with the decision of when is the right time to open the box.
By not opening the box, your business can live and thrive gloriously in theoretical bliss.
Your marketing strategy can’t fail if you don’t open the box. On the other hand, you also can’t succeed if you don’t open the box. A paradox some small business owners find too daunting.
In Schrodinger’s subatomic world of quantum mechanics, single particles have been observed in two different states at the same time. That is, his cat is both alive and dead. That fact poses some difficult questions in the observable world of dates with Penny and marketing strategies.
At Ad4! we spend a good deal of time researching clients target market, industry and trends. We identify specific strategies that we feel will best promote the brand based on the objectives of the business and the budgets with which we have to work. And if we can toot our own horn just a little, we’re darn good at what we do. But at the end of the day, the only way to know if our strategy will be successful it to give it a try. We follow a simple set of rules for placing media advertising and marketing strategy:
1. Identify the Goals
2. Research the Market
3. Launch the Strategy
4. Measure Success
5. Adjust the Strategy & Repeat
We measure our success in order to make changes to the strategy based on the actual performance of the strategy. We want to make sure that we’re speaking directly to the target audience in a way that encourages them to take action. Sometimes, we have to tweak the strategy to get to the specific action we’re looking to encourage.
The biggest problem we have in all this is getting the clients to let us go. Especially businesses that haven’t done significant amounts of advertising in the past. They are fearful having no guarantee of success. We have a high degree of success when it comes to advertising and marketing strategies. And it’s because we do the research that most business owners do not think necessary. They already know the market. But having a general understanding of the market and really knowing the market are two different things. Generally, the difference is success or failure.
Being fearful of wasting money is sensible. But, once the research has been concluded and the strategy and goals defines, there’s only one way to know if it will work.
You have to open the box.
WANTED Image Courtsey of 6 Dollar Shirts
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