Product development stage where the product and its marketing plan are exposed to a carefully chosen sample of the population for deciding if to reject it before its full scale launch. Test marketing is an experiment conducted in a field laboratory (the test market) comprising of actual stores and real-life buying situations, without the buyers knowing they are participating in an evaluation exercise. It simulates the eventual market-mix to ascertain consumer reaction. Depending on the quality and quantity of sales data required for the final decision, test marketing may last from few weeks to several months. Due to its high cost, however, test marketing is more suitable for fast moving packaged goods than for consumer durables.
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