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August 08, 2006

Half of your advertising isn't wasted after all.

We've not read it yet, however, this new book looks interesting.   Entitled "What Sticks," the book is the result of five years of research into one billion's worth of campaigns from big, national marketers.

The book concludes that only 37% of advertising is wasted. Not, as John Wannamaker's famous quote suggests, 50%.

Anyone feel better? No?

It's reported that the book cites fear of failure on the part of marketers as the biggest obstacle to real change. If marketers can't allow, admit and analyze failure, there is little chance to learn what new avenues could be successful. Yep. No one ever got fired for putting TV on the plan.

It's time for CEOs and stockholders to give CMOs some room to maneuver and some permission to fail. We didn't get to the moon without some rockets blowing up. More ideas faster is how you stop making incremental changes and start making dramatic leaps. 37% lost in full experimentation is money spent infinitely better than 37% pissed away on old solutions which are losing potency.

Thanks to Ad Age.


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"More ideas faster is how you stop making incremental changes and start making dramatic leaps."

I dunno John. My gut tells me that 90% of all advertising created "ina jiffy" is falling into that 37%. Let's take our time and come up with good, fresh ideas and then I think we'll see that number go down. Less roundish peg in roudish hole and more breakthrough thinking. Yes?

Todd, I really meant "more marketing ideas faster" not crank out the advertising (if there even needs to be any) out faster.

I couldn't agree more, John... as long as that "permission to fail" is handled responsibly with careful test campaigns, rather than being taken as carte blanche to make big bets on unproven strategies. Just my $0.02.

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