American marketing pioneer John Wanamaker once said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. I just don’t know which half.” Here’s another quote, this time courtesy of Henry Ford: “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” It is assumed that Ford used “man” to mean mankind or people. Then in 1917, Austrian-English author Norman Douglas wrote, “You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertising.” Finally, from an anonymous source we have: “Advertising is the soul of commerce.”
All of this, however, happened before advertisers began overemphasizing performance marketing, which nowadays means “counting clicks.”
In the not long ago “golden era” of advertising, the purpose of brand marketing was to give consumers a message about the high quality of the products featured in the ads. During the Internet era of advertising, the purpose is to obtain a high numbers of clicks.
However, lately, it looks like brands are becoming popular again, with college athletes signing more brand endorsement deals, and, according to The New York Times, big brands even trying to copy artworks by artists.
The Wall Street Journal even jumped on the bandwagon, pointing out that “Advertising May Be Overemphasizing Performance Marketing.”
In the article, Jim Stengel, a former Global Marketing officer at Procter & Gamble is quoted as saying: “We have this fallacy that digital marketing is more effective [than brand marketing].” Then the Journal quoted Cait Lamberton, a professor of Marketing at the Wharton School, who explained that brands are not dead and, as the market becomes more crowded, brands stand out. Products that are just after the clicks, “no matter how much exposure they get… don’t create that multidimensional trust. And trust is how a company survives.” She then added: “In times of chaos, people like safety. Brands provide safety; that’s a huge part of their value proposition.”
Finally, Stengel said that he’s “challenging the assumption that brand marketing cannot be measured.”