Recently I had the pleasure to speak with the chairman of a company that has actually some money to spend on advertising. He told me he could get rebates up to 40%. Newspapers called these offers ‘last minute specials’.
He also told me that he never had been able to measure the effects of his advertisements in the newspaper. The only thing he could conclude after examining his sales, was whether or not his marketingmix had been allright.
What did I learn from this single conversation?
- The newspaper was selling to him directly.
- No advertising agency was involved.
- Nor was a media buying company part of the deal.
- The argument of price has been the only argument used to sell.
- There is no way for him to tell what he got for his money.
If prices are down and the only sales argument to persuade potential customers is rebates, newpapers are in trouble. But if newspapers do not understand the one and only very simple reason for the enormous success of GOOG in advertising, they are in far more trouble than I thought.