Jo Jaffe points to a couple of interesting articles on experimentation;
Bottom line: Experimentation is not a fringe benefit, it's a core necessity nowadays. It's a critical cog in the mechanism that will allow us to evolve and maintain any semblance of closeness with the pace set by our frenzied consumers.
Randall Rothenberg writes a great piece in Ad Age;
My new year’s resolution consists of one word: Experiment.
2005 was the year even reactionary CMOs were forced to confront the fact that the old ways would no longer ignite growth. Mass has become micro. Push has transformed into pull. The middle of the road has evolved into “the long tail.” Those who laughed at Toffler, scorned Gilder, and ignored the mantra “TiVo is my friend” now understand that all those marketing megatrends were, yes, both mega and trends. But the good news is: Experimentation is easy and cheap. You can keep up with the Joneses -- and the bloggers, the podcasters, newsfeeders and viral marketers.
And if you don't believe one of the key figures in Booz Allen, how about this quote;
Mass marketing isn't dead by any means," Lafley told P&G staff, according to US magazine Advertising Age. "[It] still has an important role - and a central role in some developing parts of the world. But in markets like the US, Western Europe and Japan, we need to find models that initially co-exist with mass marketing and eventually succeed it.
My request - indeed, my expectation - is for all P&G businesses to begin testing alternatives now.
Yep - P&G again - this time the CEO Jim Lafley. And there is always McKinsey too
Experimentation is absolutely key for 2006 - it's now risky not to experiment!