I met a great marketer last week and he shared with me a simple but brilliant observation about marketing. Quantitative marketing is for making small adjustments. Qualitative marketing drives order of magnitude improvements in growth.

All great marketers must start with qualitative marketing: understanding customer needs, product use cases (both anticipated and unexpected) and product strengths/weaknesses. From this qualitative research, a marketer then creates a plan that is the 4Ps (product, price, promotion, and place). For most internet businesses, place is irrelevant, but price and promotion are critical.

Price and promotion form the basis of quantitative marketing. By first understanding customer needs and the marketing message that will resonate (and convert!) best. Testing and tuning message and promotion is the basis for quantitative marketing.

Marketing can be amorphous and opaque. But the great marketing is the fuel a company needs between product release and hiring a sales team. It’s the process of learning how to bring a product to market. Hence the name.