Marketing Brain IQ Test – Answers

Last week we asked you 13 questions about sales and marketing that we pulled from the book Jump Start Your Marketing Brain Now that you’ve had a little bit of time to think over your responses, we’d like to provide you with some insight about the answers to those questions.


1. The smartest way to significantly grow sales is…

a.     Building loyalty
Finding new customers

Though building loyalty through quality and service is infinitely important for maintaining your business and may prove small growth, when looking to see a significant increase in sales, finding new customers is more important than loyalty.


2. To build greater annual loyalty, it’s smarter to…

a.     Increase dollars purchased per purchase occasion
b.     Increase frequency of purchase

A statistical model on 9,000 brands found that the amount purchased at each transaction is 3.5 times more important than how often a customer buys.


3. Most new products or services fail because of…

a.     Poor execution of sales and marketing
b.     Poor product or service performance
Not being a very good idea in the first place

You many not want to admit it but the original idea makes or breaks a product the majority of the time. Research found that the IDEA is 2.2 times more likely to be the source of failure than the marketing plan, and 1.5 times more likely than product performance.


4. When creating ideas for new products or services, the smartest strategy is…

a.     To create ideas based on listening to the “voice of the customer”
Create ideas that customers are not necessarily asking for

Customers don’t always know what they want. The market didn’t ask for an iPhone but look how it changed the market place. In-depth analysis of 120 businesses found that a future focus was 10 times more predictive of success than the voice of the customer approach.


5. When presenting data to a customer you will be most effective if…

a.     You provide a clear and simple chart
You explain the data in clear simple words

Most adults are scared of data and will pass over numbers, charts, and statistics. When you talk findings instead of displaying raw data, you dramatically increase your persuasiveness.


6. A customer letter or print ad has the best chances of success if…

a.     You respect their intelligence and write at a high-school level
You dumb it down and write so a ten-year -old can understand it

The marketing messages of 901 new brands that survived or failed five years after market introduction were analyzed. There was significantly higher probability for the brands to survive and thrive if their messaging was written with the clarity of a fifth-grade level or less.


7. Significant overall sales growth can be realized if…

a.     You cut your product line by as much as 50 percent
b.     You expand your product line to service all customers

The more options presented, the more uncertain customers become and the longer they delay buying. One study showed that when twentyfour flavor samples of jam were offered, only 2 percent of customers purchased. However, when six samples were offered, 12 percent of customers purchased.


8. When selling to a customer it is best to…

a.     Be blunt and direct about what you offer
b.     Use a softer, relationship-focused approach

A study of more than 10,000 concepts found that when you communicated an overt benefit, you were three times more likely to succeed.


9. Building customer credibility is most effective if you offer…

a.     A product demonstration
b.     Testimonials from satisfied customers

According to a study about the credibility strategy used on 900 new products, a product demonstration was 47 percent more effective than any other approach.


10. Forced to choose, buyers prefer sales people who are…

a.     Highly dependable
b.     Highly competent

Brilliance without dependability is meaningless. This comes from a study of industrial buyers that found that dependability was actually valued much more than competence or likability.


11.The smartest way to introduce a new consumer product or service is to…

a.     Introduce it at a lower price to generate trial
Keep your price at list price from the beginning

The problem with introducing a product or services at a reduced introductory price is that it lowers the perceived value of the product in the customer’s mind and once the price goes up to it’s regular level, the customer stops buying it or finds a cheaper alternative.


12. In industrial marketing it’s nine times more important to focus on…

a.     Price Advantages
Performance and quality advantages

The importance of communicating the quality of your product or service offering was confirmed in a study of 1,209 industrial goods manufacturers. The research found that even in industrial markets, known for their focus on price, product quality was 9.2 times more important than relative price.


13. With a major breakthrough product or service, you can usually tell…

a.     You have a winner within twelve months
It usually takes as much as six years before you can tell

The more genuinely unique your offering, the longer it may take to realize significant success. A long-term study of thirty-one major innovations like automobiles, color televisions, camcorders, etc., found that, no average, it took six years before sales “took off.”


How many did you get right?

11 to 13 Correct          You’re a sales and marketing superstar!

7 to 10 Correct            You’re significantly above average

3-6 Correct                 You’re average (four is average)

0 to 2 Correct             You should read the book we nabbed this survey from


All of this information was derived from Jump Start Your Marketing Brain. It’s a great, easy to read book with a lot of valuable insight. We highly suggest you check it out for more detailed information on all of the above topics and more.

What are some marketing or sales books that you have found to be helpful?