Quote me on this

This classic came up on my iGoogle home page today, where I have the Quote of the Day widget turned on:

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.
John Wanamaker
US department store merchant (1838 – 1922)”

Have we all gravitated toward the half of advertising that we can measure, thinking we have finally won the battle of not knowing what we are wasting? It certainly seems to be going that way. B2B and B2C certainly is gravitating to PPC advertising, tracking website traffic, calculating ROI.

Unfortunately, after a little pondering, I think we are still stuck with the same essential problem Mr. Wanamaker stated. The closer we get to thinking we’ve solved the problem, the more acutely aware we are that we have a long way to go. A corollary is in order:

“Half the money I spend on measured advertising is wasted, and is best spent elsewhere. I just don’t which half, dang-it!”
David Jung
www.b2blog.com (1967 – )”

What do you think? What corollary would you make?

6 Replies to “Quote me on this”

  1. With enough tracking information I think that the problem is a little different than what you stated and overall easier to swallow.If we’re able to measure how much website traffic is coming from where, and how many of a company’s “big customers” are provided by a certain marketing outlet, it turns into a question of if the money you spent is delivering the ROI to pay for itself and then some.If somebody has 4 different places in which they advertise on the internet, their web tracking should be able to tell them how many users they’re getting from each and who they are (at least some of them). The problem then becomes paranoia. “These marketing outlets are giving me a good ROI, but is there something out there that might be able to do it better or for less money?”-John

  2. With enough tracking information I think that the problem is a little different than what you stated and overall easier to swallow.If we’re able to measure how much website traffic is coming from where, and how many of a company’s “big customers” are provided by a certain marketing outlet, it turns into a question of if the money you spent is delivering the ROI to pay for itself and then some.If somebody has 4 different places in which they advertise on the internet, their web tracking should be able to tell them how many users they’re getting from each and who they are (at least some of them). The problem then becomes paranoia. “These marketing outlets are giving me a good ROI, but is there something out there that might be able to do it better or for less money?”-John

  3. John–Paranoia! I think you hit the nail on the head. Only those who astutely study their environment are aware of the potential for risk. Or spend so much time studying the risk that they can’t see how secure they really are. I guess it was that feeling that caused me to add a ‘dang-it’ to the end of my quotation. Thanks for chiming in.

  4. John–Paranoia! I think you hit the nail on the head. Only those who astutely study their environment are aware of the potential for risk. Or spend so much time studying the risk that they can’t see how secure they really are. I guess it was that feeling that caused me to add a ‘dang-it’ to the end of my quotation. Thanks for chiming in.

  5. With the move from cost-per-view to cost-per-click, the percentage waste could be reduced dramatically through clever keyword bidding. For example, one of our campaigns is on transformers, that is electric voltage transformers, not the robot toys. So we’re always careful to bid on ‘distribution transformers’.And with the tracking possibilities offered today, we have a further means to determine which half we don’t need.

  6. With the move from cost-per-view to cost-per-click, the percentage waste could be reduced dramatically through clever keyword bidding. For example, one of our campaigns is on transformers, that is electric voltage transformers, not the robot toys. So we’re always careful to bid on ‘distribution transformers’.And with the tracking possibilities offered today, we have a further means to determine which half we don’t need.

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