“I know at least half of my advertising budget works…

…I just don’t know which half.”

Attributed to Henry Ford (and others)

Advertising Does Provide Measurable Results

The now cliched quote “I know at least half of my advertising budget works; I just don’t know which half.” has been attributed to Henry Ford, among others.

But it doesn’t mean that the effectiveness of advertising can’t be proven. It is because advertising campaigns have measurable results that companies spend large budgets on advertising.Of course, like meteorology, marketing can’t be flawlessly predictive. Still, it’s important to recognize that, regardless of the degree of exactitude and the margin of error that exists in all sciences, marketing should also be practiced as a science.

This advertisement generated a record-breaking $30 million for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The commercial became the most successful fund-raising effort for the ASPCA and created a buzz among animal rescue organizations. It also attracted nearly 200,000 new donors to the organization,prompting the SPCA to increase its grant program to smaller rescue groups by 900% (see my link below.)

…But Don’t Overestimate Adverting’s Effect

Seth Goden gives another reason that the expression half my advertising works; I just don’t know which half isn’t right. It overstates the expected results of advertising:

Actually, it’s closer to 1% of your advertising that works, at the most. Your billboard reaches 100,000 people and if you’re lucky, it gets you a hundred customers…

It is true that old advertising strategies are becoming less effective. This is because mass marketing models do not optimally address the new attitudes and behaviors of the socially connected consumer.

As shown in my article 3 traditional Marketing Strategies To Rethink, while TV drives awareness, it is increasingly true that the Internet that drives conversion.