The other day I was reading a press release. The company said it wrote articles on "proven tactics" that marketers could use. This got me thinking about whether you can prove anything works in marketing....

After all, you can't prove anything in science. What you can do is provide a growing number of studies that tend to support a theory. But as any scientist knows, a theory (or the eternal viability of any marketing tactic) can be "falsified" by one test that doesn't support the theory.
Since human behavior is certainly as difficult to understand as, say, chemical reactions and physical interactions, it seems quite silly to believe that anything related to customer reactions can be proven. In fact, in my other life as an academic, you won't find one piece of research that has been published that will use the word "proven."
So, while this looks good in a press release, I would caution people to be quite skeptical of this claim. In other words, while this might work to get people to read the articles that purport to show "proven tactics," I would look at them as entertainment and not something to be seriously believed.
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image of Allen Weiss

Allen Weiss is the CEO and founder of MarketingProfs. He's also a longtime marketing professor and mentor at the University of Southern California, where he leads Mindful USC, its mindfulness center.