My great-grandfather lived in, Kalmar, a small town in Sweden, back in the early 20th century. He was a painter and owned a small company doing different paint jobs. There are still some churches around Kalmar, where he did the paintwork with all the religious pictures.
But his core business was to do advertising paintings. Like ad’s on walls, billboards, posters, windows and even paint jobs on the first cars.
One of his key selling point, to stand out in the small business-to-business market in Kalmar, was to focus on ”advertising effectiveness”. His marketing communication was built on the terms ”Stylish and effective”. His advertising jobs should looks smart and stylish but also deliver a business value.
This is very interesting, from several perspectives. From a personal view it is special that I work with the same business objectives that my great grandfather, to help customers to increase the impact of their marketing efforts. But it is also very interesting from a historical and business perspective. Just to realize that the business challenges were the same for marketers a hundred years back.
To increase the impact of marketing activities. For more than hundred years this has been a business issue and also a business opportunity, to maximize the marketing effects.
Even though the advertising and business has been through several transformations since the early 20th century, the fundamental questions are the same. How to maximize the impact of my marketing spendings.
A hundred years back things were less complicated, there was not as many channels and the content production was not as complex. At that time there was no need for tools to drive the activity and resource planning. And from a budget perspective, my guess is that the local fishmonger and inn-keeper paid directly from the cash register.
It is obvious that we now need tools to support todays complex business and channel environment. But the fundamental need to understand the business outcome of the marketing activities is still very similar. Just like in the early 20th century, in small town in the Swedish countryside.