Research firm Blackfriars Communications estimates that
That’s more than two thousand bucks per every living man, woman and child in the U.S. going toward online and offline advertising, direct mail, telemarketing, spam, promotional events, Web sites, brochures and collateral, giveaways, tchotchkes, marketing PR and everything else.
Blackfriars points out that marketing could be considered the country’s ninth-largest industry – bigger than even the nation’s entire information and media business.
Wow. Given the inherent hit-and-miss nature of marketing communications, it’s staggering to think about how much money American companies spend to create absolutely nothing in return. Every one percent of the “marketing industry” that is ineffective represents more than six billion dollars poured down the drain.
Even if you were to assume that two-thirds of all marketing was successful – and that’s very generous – then you’re talking about $203 billion being wasted on useless overhead and clutter this year alone. That’s more than the combined annual revenues of the lighting equipment, household appliance and dairy products industries.
It’s enough to make you think back to the old Will Rogers joke.
“If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products as they do on advertising,” he said, “then they wouldn’t have to advertise them.”
Give or take a billion, maybe the guy was on to something.
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