Students of marketing theory and practice around the world are
familiar with the following quote: ‘Half the money I spend on
advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.’ This
was reported to have been said by the US retail and marketing guru
John Wanamaker, who pioneered the concept of the department store in
Philadelphia in 1874. As a pioneer of marketing, he doesn’t fill you with
confidence, does he?
Often the biggest sceptics of marketing are those who made their name
being the titans in our industry, which sounds strangely paradoxical but
The sole purpose of marketing is to get more people to buy more of
your product, more often, for more money. That’s the only reason to
spend a single nickel, pfennig, or peso. If your marketing isn’t delivering
consumers to the cash register with their wallets in their hands to buy
your product, don’t do it.
So said Sergio Zyman, who was the chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola
Worldwide and oversaw one of the biggest marketing budgets of all time,
including the staggering amounts of money spent in sponsoring the Olympic Games.
Perhaps it’s a bit unfair to label Sergio Zyman or even John Wanamaker
as ‘guru marketing sceptics’ as both of them raise an important point about
marketing. And it’s this: Great marketing isn’t just about marketing output: it’s about creating business outcomes.
Incremental profit achieved through marketing activities is a ‘golden goal’
and return on investment is the measure of whether that goal has been
Of course it can be a long journey to achieve a measurable shift in the
attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviours of desired customer and client
segments that results in sales. And sometimes this can’t be done in a single
fiscal quarter, however big the marketing budget may be.
But unlike John Wanamaker, who didn’t have access to the millions of
pieces of data we have on just about everything we could wish to measure,
marketers must work much harder to identify what part of the marketing
programme is working and what part isn’t and take appropriate action
rather than leave this to luck and happenstance.
To achieve high impact marketing that gets results, we must become
almost fanatical about walking in the footsteps of our customers and
clients. Follow the approach advocated in this book and you’ll be on your
way to creating more sales for your business through better marketing
of your business. And the guru won’t just be out of the bottle. The guru
will be you!