How does marketing compare to a game of pool? Sometimes you hit a good shot – 9 ball corner pocket – like when you've marketed a product and your customer purchases it. But sometimes your shot misses, and you knock in your opponent's ball. You could even knock your ball into the pocket, but mistakenly knock your opponent's ball into a different pocket at the same time.
Of course, you can't predict everything in a game of pool – or inmarketing. A campaign may reveal a weakness that sends customers scuttling to a competitor. A new product can cannibalize an existing product line. Customers could leave one of your legacy product lines to consume one of your newly launched products – perhaps causing you to lose some revenue. But unlike pool, it's hard to observe and measure with the naked eye what's happening in marketing. The way to improve your chances of success is to build a solid measurement plan that lets you define and measure diagnostic metrics.