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After all, the headline often determines whether the rest of your ad will get a reading at all. Before I answer this, let me switch gears for a second. Kahneman and another psychologist, Gary Klein, had very different attitudes about expert intuitions such as the ability of a top copywriter to pick a winning headline. Gary Klein was all for expert intuition. He studied decision making among firefighters, and he had many reports of how firefighters would make gut calls that turned out to be the right call.
In other words, once you hear what an expert stock broker advises, you should do the exact opposite. So Kahneman and Klein decided to collaborate and answer the following: When can you trust experts?
And how can you develop expert intuition that you can rely on? It turns out there are two conditions. First, the domain needs to be predictable enough. Emergency room cases are predictable — but the stock market is not.
Second, you need an opportunity to get feedback, and preferably a lot of feedback, relatively quickly. Looking at the two criteria above, you can see why even a top copywriter like Gary B. This way, you can get almost immediate feedback. You can learn which appeals work.
Plus you will start to develop a world-class copy intuition, which will soon outstrip even great copy masters from earlier generations. The C-level marketers that test 50 promos per year will beat the A-list marketers that test 5.
Over longer periods of time, as variability compounds, this will become even more pronounced.