CAMPAIGNS TO OBTAIN DISTRIBUTION 1. Four kinds of cain,paigns.—Thus far in our study of advertising campaigns we have considered the elements of the campaign and the uses to which different advertising mediums are put. Now we are to consider the various things the campaign may ac complish and the ways in which the advertiser adapts publicity methods to make them conform to his par ticular purposes.
In general, there are four distinct kinds of adver tising campaigns, apart from the campaigns of re tail stores: 1. Campaigns to obtain distribution 2. Campaigns to obtain dealer cooperation 3. Mail-order campaigns 4. Campaigns to influence public sentiment.
In the present chapter and in the three that fol low it, we are to study separately each of the four principal classes of advertising campaigns. We are concerned, first, with campaigns to obtain distribution.
2. Should advertising precede years advertisers have sought a universally applicable answer to the question, "Shall I advertise in order to obtain distribution, or shall I try to get distribution before I advertise?" The manufacturer who adver tises to consumers before he has general distribution of his product, believes that he cannot induce dealers to stock his goods until the dealers have seen his ef forts to create consumer demand or until consumers have proved that there is a demand by actually going into stores and asking for the advertised goods.
It is clear, however, that advertising preceding dis tribution is bound to result in much waste. If a con sumer has his interest and desire for a new product aroused, asks his dealer for it, and is told that the lat ter does not carry it, he may not be willing to wait un til the dealer can order it for him. The newly aroused interest is likely to be killed. Furthermore, most ad vertisers find that advertising in periodicals alone is often not enough to arouse interest in something new; it must be supplemented by store, signs and the active work of the dealer. For these reasons many manu facturers try to get general distribution for their goods before doing a great deal to bring people into stores to ask for them.
The problem of whether advertising or distribution should come first seems to be similar to the problem of the Irishman's boots; they were so tight he could not get them on until he had worn them a year. The
problem is not unsolvable, however. If it were, there would be no successful advertising campaigns. Ad vertisers now recognize that neither distribution nor advertising must necessarily come first; in many cases it is possible to get distribution and to arouse con sumer interest simultaneously. Mr. William H. In gersoll says, in Printers' Ink: Neither distribution nor demand can precede the other without loss. If we are going to wait for distribution, we shall wait forever, or nearly forever. On the other hand, if we are going to create a demand without distribution, with out advertising—then again we are going to delay the time that we reach the success to which we are entitled. In other words, the most economical, most efficient way, in my opin ion, of handling this subject of distribution and demand is to go ahead in a moderate way and advertise, take the sales methods that are at hand, and keep the demand going by getting all the distribution you can.
Dealers are influenced both by advertising that is being used and by advertising which the manufacturer convinces them he is about to use. Salesmen often carry portfolios of present or projected advertising, which they show to dealers as evidence of the part the manufacturer is willing to play in helping dealers to move goods from their shelves. These portfolios sometimes show not only the advertisements them selves, the list of mediums and the dates when the advertisements are to appear, but also the circulation of every medium in each dealer's own town.
3. Starting on a small scale.—It is not necessary for a manufacturer to begin his consumer campaign with national advertising. An article of universal consumption is seldom introduced in all parts of the country at the same time. Ordinarily a relatively small territory is selected as a "tryout market." In tensive sales effort is used there to interest dealers, and this is backed by various kinds of local adver tising. It is entirely possible to send a force of sales men to a certain city to work with the dealers, and to start a newspaper, street-car and poster campaign in the same city simultaneously with the arrival of the salesmen.