Is Advertising Too Expensive? (part 1)

Many things are possible in advertising which are too costly to attempt. That is another reason why every project and method should be weighed and determined by a known scale of cost and result.

Changing peoples habits is very expensive. A project which involves that must be seriously considered. To sell shaving soap to the peasants of Russia one would first need to change their beard wearing habits. The cost would be excessive. Yet countless advertisers try to do things almost as impossible. Just because questions are not ably considered, and results are untraced and unknown.

For instance, the advertiser of a dentifrice may spend much space and money to educate people to brush their teeth. Tests which we know of have indicated that the cost of such converts may run from $20 to $25 each. Not only because of the difficulty, but because much of the advertising goes to people already converted.

Such a cost, of course, is unthinkable. One might not in a lifetime get it back in sales. The maker who learned these facts by tests make no attempt to educate people to the tooth brush habit. What cannot be done on a large scale profitably can not be done on a small scale. So not one line in any ad is devoted to this object. This maker, who is constantly guided in everything by keying every ad, has made remarkable success.

Another dentifrice maker spends much money to make converts to the tooth brush. The object is commendable, but altruistic. The new business he creates is shared by his rivals. He is wondering why his sales increase is in no way commensurate with his expenditure.

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