Mark Ritson: Revenue is a lousy measure of success for most ad campaigns

This year has begun pretty much the way 2018 ended, with a spate of big advertising campaigns that have divided the marketing community. Kaepernick for Nike. Elton John for John Lewis. Not to mention a certain razor commercial/public health broadcast for you know who.

Time and again the marketing community is split, apparently down the middle, about the commercial efficacy of the campaign in question. We discuss, we debate and then agree to wait until the sales figures are announced.

READ MORE: Mark Ritson: Gillette’s new ad will trash its sales and be the year’s worst marketing move

At face value, using the future fiscal performance of a brand as the ultimate measure for whether an ad is good or not does make sense. Aren’t we here, ultimately, to increase the revenues and profits of the brands we market? What better measure could there be than sales?

While it’s true that marketing’s mission should always ultimately be to find customers, increase revenue and generate more profit, there are some significant issues with using sales as a measure for advertising success.

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