A century ago, Philadelphia department store magnate John Wanamaker was once quoted saying: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
That occurred to me yesterday, when my blog post about distributing press releases was featured on WordPress.com’s “Freshly Pressed” site and as the featured post on WordPress.com’s Media site.
My trophy for the week: A featured post on the WordPress Media Tag site.
The fact is, despite all our modern audience targeting and measuring, Mr. Wanamaker still has a point. That blog post — the 30th on my blog — wasn’t discernibly different than my others, it just happened to grab the attention of the right people at the right time.
The same can go for an ad that finally strikes a chord with your target audience. Or a press story that finds a life of its own and spreads through media. Or an online video that’s so successful that it spurs dozens more from celebrities and the president.
To me, Wanamaker’s quote isn’t about luck or frustration. It’s about perseverance in marketing.
Marketing is about a dialogue with people. People — and the things that affect them — are unpredictable, so it’s up to marketing and PR people to learn, tweak and persevere.
Giving up or reducing efforts only ensures that both halves of your marketing efforts will be wasted.