Advertising and marketing as we know it today started in 1904 when the famous meeting was held between two of the three people now considered the founders of modern advertising and marketing:
- Albert Lasker
- John E. Kennedy
The story goes that in May 1904, Albert Lasker was sat in the office of the boss of the biggest advertising agency in the world who happened to be his boss when a clerk came up with a note.
The note read:
“Dear Mr. Thomas, I am in the saloon downstairs and I can tell you what advertising is. I know that you don’t know. It will mean much to me to have you know what it is and it will mean much to you. If you wish to know what advertising is, send the word ‘yes’ down by the messenger” Signed – John E. Kennedy
Mr. Thomas was not so keen on meeting this person he considered a natcase intended on wasting his time. However, Albert Lasker naturally curious and a trained journalist, decided to meet with John E. Kennedy.
At the beginning of the meeting, John E. Kennedy asked Albert Lasker if he knew the definition of good advertising. Albert Lasker responded that he thought good advertising was news.
To his response, John E. Kennedy said no, good advertising was not news, new is only a technique of presentation. Good advertising he said is salesmanship in print. A definition that was later improved upon by Claude Hopkins who defined good advertising as multiplied salesmanship.
Albert Laskers’ major contribution to advertising and marketing is the concept of continuity. He rightly figured out that new customer acquisition was an expensive preposition. Therefore, they focused instead on customer retention as opposed to customer acquisition.
The majority of products Lord and Thomas advertising agency represented were consumer products. Products such as soap, detergent etc.
Lord and Thomas adverting agency also developed a strategy of growing small businesses into big ones. So instead of going after already successful businesses, they focused on small businesses that they help to grow into bigger businesses.
On many occasions, they created ads with their own resources to prove their concept to their clients before asking their clients to invest in their marketing.
Even though Albert Lasker is not up there with the greatest of marketing legends, he surely made an impact in the world of advertising.
Our post for tomorrow will focus on John E. Kennedy who in reality is the father of modern marketing and advertising.
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