Clancy explained that the goal of his book is not to dismiss intuition entirely, but to address the benefits that can be gained by utilizing research as well. "We [Clancy and co-author Peter Krieg] don't reject the use of intuition, of judgment, of creativity, of experience, but we argue that they need to be balanced with rigorous analysis of unimpeachable data." Using data to make marketing decisions, Clancy argued, will increase the profitability of companies and lead to true growth. As an example of the current ineffectiveness of marketing he offered this statistic, "The largest study ever published on the ROI [Return on Investment] of today's advertising was in the Harvard Business Review two summers ago and the study revealed that the average ROI of consumer product advertising is negative 45%. For every $100,000 you invest, you get $55,000 back."
It is no wonder that Clancy is a proponent of research based marketing. He received his Ph.D. from New York University in Social Psychology with a specialization in Survey Research Methods and Statistics. For Clancy, employing research is not only the cornerstone of his educational background, from his viewpoint it is the only way companies will be able to successfully develop and implement transformational marketing programs. By transformational strategies, Clancy refers to strategies that change brand trajectories, and in certain instances may even change career paths, entire companies, and industries.
And this is a belief that Clancy applies to every aspect of his work. In addition to preaching the gospel of research marketing through his books, he also co-founded a marketing consulting firm based on it as well. The name of the firm itself, Copernicus, underlies the importance of science. The name comes from the 16th century astronomer and mathematician Nicholas Copernicus who fired the first shot in the scientific revolution by publishing his magnum opus in which he was able to prove that Earth is not the center of our universe. "Some people say, 'Oh my god Copernicus was a genius, what wonderful intuition.' And he was a genius, and he had great intuition, but at the same time he took 1,000 years of astronomical data and analyzed it with mathematical methods in order to advance this paradigm shifting perspective. And that's what I would like to see more people do in marketing," Clancy said.
If companies finally decide to use research to make crucial decisions they will be the ones who benefit, reaping the advantages of high returns and growth. If, on the other hand, they choose to continue down their current path they will have difficulty making a significant impact on the market. Clancy concluded, "If you're not practicing scientific marketing, the only way you're going to be successful is with luck or prayers; a combination of the two might be a really good thing."