In 2003,I returned to the advertising world after taking a couple years break.

My, how things have changed over the past 10 years!

And yet…

There are still several important principles that have not changed.

Let’s look at 3 of them:

1. People must be aware of your business before they will become your customers. This is why there is a need for advertising and marketing.  You must create a positive, top of mind awareness or they will never spend any money with you.  If you are number 3, number 4, number 5 on their list of potential places to spend their money, you are not top of mind.

2. You cannot accurately measure the Return On Investment of any piece of your advertising and marketing.  Even in this web world, that we live in, I’ve seen lot’s of discrepancies in tracking where customers are coming from with 100% accuracy. The company I work for is one of the top internet based retailers in our line of consumer products.  Every week, I look at numbers from Google Analytics and from our own internal tracking and the numbers usually don’t match.  But on a bigger scale, it is impossible to determine what combination of marketing and advertising along with word of mouth and social media conversations each of your customers has had that persuaded them to spend with you.  This was true before the web and is true today too.

3. Unhappy customers can be your worst nightmare or your best ambassador. Years ago the saying was that a happy customer would tell 2 people about your business while an unhappy customer will tell 7 or 8.  Now with the advent of social media, multiply that by 10, or a 100 or more.

You may wondering about the second part of principle 3.  How can an unhappy customer become your best ambassador?  Simple.  You fix the problem.  If a customer lets you know that they had a bad experience with your company or product and you take care of them and make it right, you are a rarity. You are going to get talked about with regards to how you took care of them and they will spread the word.

You noticed that these 3 principles are not dependent on any particular form of advertising or marketing.  They were true 100 years ago and they will be true in 100 years too.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.