Marketers often undertake experiments to gauge how the manipulation of one marketing variable affects another (i.e., causal research). The use of experiments has applications for many marketing decision areas including product testing, advertising design, setting price points and creating packaging. For example, a market researcher for a retail chain may want to study the effect on sales if a product display is moved to different locations in a store.
Unfortunately, performing highly controlled experiments can be quite costly. Some researchers have found the use of computer simulations can work nearly as well as experiments and may be less expensive, though the number of simulation applications for marketing decisions is still fairly limited.