Learn Advertising Guidelines (part 4)

The lack of those fundamentals has been the main trouble with advertising of the past. Each worker was a law to himself. All previous knowledge, all progress in the line, was a closed book to him. It was like a man trying to build a modern locomotive without first ascertaining what
others had done. It was like a Columbus starting out to find an undiscovered land.

Men were guided by whims and fancies – vagrant, changing breezes. They rarely arrived at their port. When they did – by accident – it was by a long roundabout course.

Each early mariner in this sea mapped his own separate course. There were no charts to guide him. Not a lighthouse marked a harbor, not a buoy showed a reef. The wrecks were unrecorded, so countless ventures came to grief on the same rocks and shoals.

Advertising was then a gamble – a speculation of the rashest sort. One man’s guess on the proper course was as likely to be as good as another’s. There were no safe pilots, because few sailed the same course twice.

The condition has been corrected. Now the only uncertainties pertain to people and to products, not to methods. It is hard to measure human idiosyncrasies, the preferences and prejudices, the likes and dislikes that exist. We cannot say that an article will be popular, but we know how to sell it in the most effective way.

Ventures may fail, but the failures are not disasters. Losses, when they occur, are but trifling. And the causes are factors which has nothing to do with the advertising.

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