I'd like to share a quick story from inside one of the biggest direct mail marketers in the free world.
It was an old American institution with an outstanding brand reputation and excellent employees. But because of the enormous mail volume, the marketing department was largely production driven.
The staff certainly knew how to run projectable direct mail tests. But only a fraction of the essential tests ever hit the streets.
Here's the comical part: This organization's untested approaches that failed in the marketplace were periodically ripped off by competitors.
The running joke inside the marketing group was, "The poor bastards thought we actually knew what we were doing."
Lesson: Don't count on other businesses to do your testing for you.