According to Integrated Research Associates, a control test market is a tightly controlled marketing test that uses real-life scenarios and consumers to evaluate a product's potential. Test markets are smaller versions of a standard marketing test.
Control tests are carefully designed to provide useful marketing data to companies. A test may involve monitoring consumer reaction to a new product, or it may involve measuring consumer response to an advertisement.
Controlled tests are typically inexpensive and easier to set up than standard tests. For example, a mini test can be conducted inside a retail store in one or several locations. In this case, cooperation is obtained from the store.