ohn Wanamaker (1838-1922) was a very successful United States merchant, religious leader and political figure, considered by some to be a “pioneer in marketing”. He opened one of the first and most successful department stores in the United States, which grew to 16 stores and eventually became part of Macy’s.
He is credited with coining the phrase
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”
What John Wanamaker said a century ago probably still hold true for most advertisers and for most campaigns.
Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.
Indeed, most advertisers barely measure the real effects of their advertising campaigns. By real I mean the impact they have on their sales. More surprisingly, sometimes I talk to businesses and try to explain to them how they could easily measure the impact of their different advertising campaigns on very real things such as store visits and sales, I’m appalled at how little motivation their traditional advertising agency has for this approach. Regularly I get the feeling that someone is afraid to put real results next to the real spend.
While I totally agree with Albert Einstein that “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts“, it is crucial to create as much transparency as possible about the relation between advertising efforts and business results. Don’t you agree?