ADS AND SALES
HERBERT N. CASSON
ADS AND SALES
OTHER BOOKS BY MR. CASSON
THE HISTORY OF THE TELEPHONE . . net $1.50
THE LIFE OF CYRUS HALL McCORMICK, ne< $1.50
THE ROMANCE OF STEEL $2.50
THE ROIN/IANCE OF THE REAPER . . . . $1.00
ADS AND SALES
A STUDY OF ADVERTISING AND SELLING FROM
THE STANDPOINT OF THE NEW PRINCIPLES
OF SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT
HERBERT N. CASSON
Author of "The History of the Telephone," etc.
A. C. McCLURG & CO.
A. C. McCLURG & CO.
PUBLISHED DECEMBER, 1911
THE -PLIMPTON -PRESS
THIS book is the first attempt, as far as I
know, to apply the principles of Scientific
Management to the problems of Sales and
It was begun as a series of addresses, delivered
to various Ad Clubs and Chambers of Commerce
in the Eastern States; and it is herewith developed
into book form at the request of several of these
This fact that it was prepared largely for
FRIENDS will account for the frank and personal
nature of the book.
The criticisms that are made here are made
good-humoredly, and with no purpose of belittling
what has already been accomplished.
Certainly I do not believe that Salesmen and
Ad Men are less efficient than bankers, lawyers,
doctors, professors, or any other species of pro-
fessional men; but within the last few years new
methods and higher standards have been brought
When we remember that the total advertising in
the United States amounts to TWO MILLION DOL-
LARS A DAY, and that the total sales, in the home
market alone, amount to ONE HUNDRED MILLIONS
A DAY, we can realize the tremendous importance
of efficiency in the selling and advertising of goods.
Too much of our work has fallen into ruts into
the easy ruts of habit and routine; and it is the
purpose of this book to point out that there is a
BETTER WAY to do what we are doing.
H. N. C.
PINE HILL, N. Y.
I. CAN THE PRINCIPLES OF EFFICIENCY BE APPLIED
TO SALES? 1
II. EFFICIENT SALESMANSHIP 13
III. A SALES CAMPAIGN HOW TO START IT. . . 22
IV. FACE TO FACE SALESMANSHIP ...... 35
^-V, THE EVOLUTION OF ADVERTISING 49
,', *-VI. THE WEAK SIDE OF ADVERTISING 61
VII. THE PRINCIPLES OF EFFICIENCY APPLIED TO
'' VIII. THE BUILDING OF AN ADVERTISEMENT ... 77
IX. AN ANALYSIS OF CURRENT ADVERTISING . . 90
X. THE FUTURE OF ADVERTISING 140
XL PUBLIC OPINION 150
XII. THE PROFESSIONAL OUTSIDER 160
ADS AND SALES
SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT CONSISTS IN CORRECT IN-
TERPRETATION OF PHENOMENA, IN EXACT KNOWLEDGE
OF LAWS, PRINCIPLES, AND THE INFLUENCE OF CON-
DITIONS UPON RESULTS; AND IN SKILLED USE OF
METHODS ADAPTED TO THE ALMOST INFINITELY
VARYING CIRCUMSTANCES OF INDIVIDUAL CASES
THE INDUSTRIAL STRUGGLE WHICH IS ABOUT TO BE
PRECIPITATED IN AMERICA WILL BE FOUGHT OUT ON
A BASIS OF EFFICIENCY, BETTER EFFICIENCY, STILL
BETTER EFFICIENCY, BUT UNIVERSALLY, EFFICIENCY
Robert Kennedy Duncan
ADS AND SALES
CAN THE PRINCIPLES OF EFFICIENCY BE
APPLIED TO SALES?
TH E principles of Efficiency were first applied
to war by Moltke. Result the conquest
of France in seven weeks.
Second, they were applied to manufacturing by
Taylor, Emerson, and others. Result lower
costs, higher profits, higher wages, and nearly
twice the output.
Third, they were applied to the Ordnance Depart-
ment of the U. S. Government. Result the
official approval of the Government. (See report
by Brigadier General William Crozier, Nov. 2, 191 1.)
It is therefore not at all a visionary proposition
to say that these principles can be applied to selling
and advertising. At the present time, I am well
aware, this seems impossible; but the doing of
impossibilities ought now to be recognized as a
part of our American day's work. As an unusually
bright professor recently said to one of his students,
4 ADS AND SALES
who had declared that a certain work was impos-
sible, "Of course it is impossible," he replied.
"But if you and I don't watch out, some damn fool
will come along and do it right before our eyes."
Efficiency, in its new and definite meaning, is
the doing with WORKERS what inventors have already
done with machinery. It is a new point of view in
the business world. It is as new as the theory of
evolution was in 1858, and it promises to be just as
revolutionary in its results.
It is not System, for the reason that the most
useless and wasteful actions can be done in the most
systematic way. There can easily be too much
System, but there can never be too much Efficiency.
It is not Expert Accounting, for the reason that
Accounting deals only with records and not with
methods of work. Accounting, carried too far,
means red tape and stagnation.
It is not Economy, for the reason that mere sav-
ing and penny-hunting is often the most suicidal of
all business policies.
It is not Energy, for the reason that Energy,
misdirected, is the most universal waste of industry.
And it is not Slave-Driving, for the reason that
it aims to make workers do more with less effort.
It is not frenzied production, as most trade-unionists
foolishly believe. It is a sincere effort to apply to
PRINCIPLES OF EFFICIENCY 5
Business those methods and principles that have
proved so productive in the scientific world.
What does the scientist do? He first studies his
subject until he gets an exact knowledge of it. He
analyzes it. He takes it to pieces. He makes
a careful record of everything he discovers. He
watches it under all sorts of conditions. He has
no theory about it, otherwise he is no scientist. He
comes to it with an open mind. He LEARNS. Then,
when he seems to have all the necessary facts, he
builds them up into a hypothesis. He does not call
this hypothesis the TRUTH, for if he discovers a new
set of facts, he may have to change it. But it is
true enough to depend upon. It is not a mere guess
or fancy, as most of our " truth" is. It has a solid
foundation of facts.
This scientific method has been the secret of
modern progress. It has created our new species
of civilization. It first revolutionized botany, geol-
ogy, astronomy, chemistry, physics, etc. Then
it was applied to living things and it revolutionized
biology, zoology, and our theories of the human
race. Since 1860 it has been applied to almost
every sort of manufacturing. It created the labora-
tory and the drafting-room. Pasteur applied it to
the prevention of disease. Burbank applied it to the
soil. Edison applied it to electrical appliances.
6 ADS AN SALES
One by one, almost eve activity of man is being
analyzed and organized 1 uplifted into a science.
We know to-day that i /e paper a wall with white
paper, we ret eighty pe cent of efficiency, in the
reflection c . light from : paper. If we use yel-
low paper, we get si: y per cent. If we use
emerald green, we get wenty per cent. If we
use dark brown, we ge nly ten per cent. There
is no longer any guess a at the efficiency of wall-
paper. We know the f
As to the efficiency < our own bodies, we know
that fifteen human orgar how signs of improvement,
seventeen show signs o* lecay, and more than one
hundred are of no prc it use to us. Upon this
fact-basis the greatest < icators of to-day are now
building up a new sci ce of education a new
method of scientific bo< -building and brain-build-
ing. This method, wl it is completely worked
out, will give us for th irst time a system of real
and efficient education.
Even philosophy, thl region of guesses and
dreams, is being taken i hand by the pioneers of
Efficiency. Wilhelm vald, the foremost chemist
in his line in Germany, as recently written a book
on "Natural Philosoph to show that philosophy,
as well as chemistry, ca have a foundation of facts.
And now the next gr< t step, in the general swing
PRINCIPLES OF EFFICIENCY 7
from metaphysics to science, is to apply the princi-
ples of Efficiency to the selling and advertising of
goods. What has worked so well in the acquisition
of knowledge and in the production of commodities
may work just as well in the distribution of those
As yet the efficiency of selling goods has not been
worked out. Most salesmen believe it cannot be
done. They claim that there are too many variables
in the problem. Perhaps there are, but nobody
knows until the experiment has been thoroughly
tried. In every case the victories of Efficiency have
been won in spite of the most stubborn opposition
from the men who were being helped. And one fact
is sure that the first Advertisers and Sales Mana-
gers who try out Efficiency and succeed will find
themselves in a gold mine. They will have found
a better way to enter a market that handles, in an
average year, thirty thousand million dollars worth
Just as an efficient foreman of a factory saves his
belts, stops air leaks, prevents bearings from run-
ning hot, or shaftings from being out of line, or poor
patterns from being used, so an efficient Sales Mana-
ger may discover cheaper methods of publicity and
a more effective way of presenting his goods.
Just as Gilbreth has shown that bricks may be
8 ADS AND SALES
laid with five motions per brick, instead of eighteen;
just as Taylor has shown that one laborer can handle
forty-seven tons of pig-iron in a day, instead of
thirteen; just as Emerson has shown that a loco-
motive plant may be geared up to build five loco-
motives in a week, instead of three, so some Sales
Manager will probably find, before the world is
many months older, that he can double the efficiency
of his salesmen and make every sixty cents worth
of advertising do the work of a dollar.
According to Taylor, the principles of Efficiency
(1) Science, not rule of thumb.
(2) Harmony, not discord.
(3) Cooperation, not competition.
(4) Maximum output, not restricted output.
(5) The development of each man to his
greatest efficiency and prosperity.
Emerson is more specific and gives twelve princi-
ples, as follows:
(1) Ideals. (7) Planning.
(2) Common Sense. (8) Standards.
(3) Competent Counsel. (9) Standard Conditions.
(4) Discipline. (10) Standard Operations.
(5) Fair Deal. (11) Written Instructions.
(6) Records. ( 1 2) Rewards.
These principles, like the notes of a piano, may
PRINCIPLES OF EFFICIENCY 9
be used in many various combinations. Some
might not be of any value in a sales campaign. No
salesman, for instance, is likely to try to restrict
his output, as a factory worker does. But when
they are focussed, as a whole, upon a sales problem,
they are certain to put that problem in a new and
To say that the public is an uncertain quantity
and cannot be measured is absurd. The insurance
actuary measures the public. He knows that eight
out of every hundred will die an accidental death.
He knows that there will be about eight thousand
suicides this year and an equal number of murders.
He knows how many will die of lung troubles and
how many of heart disease. He knows the length
of the average life. And his knowledge is so accurate
that hundreds of millions of dollars are staked upon
The experts of the telephone companies measure
the public. They construct maps and prepare
what are called "fundamental plans," showing the
present telephone needs of a city, and the changes
that are likely to take place in the next twenty
years. It is better, says J. J. Carty, our greatest
telephone engineer, to STUDY the future than to
guess at it.
Even Wall Street, with all its trickeries and hys-
10 ADS AND SALES
terics, is governed by larger laws than it understands.
Any chart of Wall Street's operations shows that
there are long swings up and long swings down.
The nation, as a whole, has its moods of cheerful-
ness or depression. And the brokers and gamblers
in the Stock Exchange are no more than the mercury
in the national thermometer. They do not represent
our wealth, as they often imagine. They represent
our frame of mind.
Railway and steamship companies measure the
public. They know how many are likely to travel.
They know how many will go first-class and how
many trunks they are likely to have. Any expe-
rienced passenger agent can astonish you by his
accurate knowledge of the public's travelling pro-
Newspapers measure the public best of all,
perhaps. The circulation manager of a daily paper
will tell you that the best help to circulation is a
Presidential election. The day after is the big day.
Next comes a prize fight between heavy-weights.
And third comes a murder mystery or a local disaster.
The relation between a good headline and sales is
well known by all efficient editors.
The magazines, too, measure the public. Their
very life depends upon these measurements. A
magazine is not sustained by local interests, as a
PRINCIPLES OF EFFICIENCYll
newspaper is. A magazine is wholly a creature of
public sentiment. It lives just as long as it pleases
a certain large number of people, and no longer.
It rises or falls every month in proportion to the
timeliness of its articles. Several years ago I made
an especial test of this, in "Munsey's Magazine."
The Jews of Russia, at the time, were being very
cruelly persecuted and a great deal of sympathy was
being aroused in all parts of the United States. To
catch this tide at the flood I rushed out an article
on "The Jews in America," telling the Big Facts
about that race, illustrated by twenty-five photo-
graphs. The result, as might have been easily
predicted, was a jump in circulation of forty thou-
sand copies. Had this article been delayed for a
year, it might not have created any unusual interest.
So, as we have seen, it is possible to measure the
public. Immense businesses are based upon the
fact that the activities of the nation as a whole can
be foreseen. Just as there are to-day actuaries who
predict the public health, so there may be actuaries
who will predict public opinion in its relation to the
sale of goods.
From the point of view of Efficiency, no Sales
Manager is properly equipped unless he has the
"fundamental plans" of the telephone companies,
the charts of Wall Street, the statistics of travel,
12 ADS AND SALES
the record of real estate movements, the latest farm
report, the bank statement of every large city, and
the annual reports of as many corporations as
possible. If he is ignorant of the movements out-
side of his own trade, how can he know when to
advertise or when to launch a new sales campaign?
The Sales Manager of the future will be much
more than a "gang boss." He will be a man of the
most comprehensive mind. He will probably be
a great citizen as well as a great salesman. He
will have the instincts of the statesman, not the
pedler. He will be the man in the tower, watching
national tendencies and studying every new sign of
the times. And most of all, he will be quick to
notice and to appropriate to his own use every
method that is proving successful in other lines of
NO AMERICAN can afford to treat sales-
manship as a small matter. Why? Be-
cause the United States had a salesmanship
basis because only thirteen States were gained
by war and all the others were gained by purchase
On five great historic occasions Uncle Sam went
out with his money in his hand and bought more
real estate. In 1803 he bought Louisiana from
Napoleon for $15,000,000. Thomas Jefferson drove
the bargain and actually picked up fourteen new
States at a price of two and a half cents an acre.
That was the greatest real estate transaction known
to history. It doubled the size of the United States
and gave us a territory which to-day contains twenty
In 1 822 James Monroe bought Florida from Spain
at a marked-down price of $5,000,000 less than
the value of Flagler's hotels. Then, just after the
Civil War and for no particular purpose, Uncle Sam
bought Alaska. He paid $7,200,000 and got plenty
14 ADS AND SALES
of blame for throwing away good money for snow-
drifts. For thirty years Alaska was generally
regarded as a bad bargain, and then some half
frozen trapper found the Klondike. To-day Alaska
pays for itself, in gold, about once in every four
Our fourth real estate purchase was the buying
of the Philippines. As to just why we did it no one
has ventured to tell, for we first thrashed Spain
and then to salve her injured feelings, we gave her
$20,000,000 for an archipelago off the coast of China.
This archipelago had not been advertised. It was
not up-to-date nor serviceable. There was no
demand for it. But, as almost all other nations own
a few antiques, we thought that we could afford a
private collection. So we are holding on to our
purchase, in the hope that some time even this
oriental archipelago may, like Alaska, give us a
pleasant surprise and prove to be worth the price.
Our last purchase the Panama Canal site
cost us $40,000,000; very nearly as much as all the
others combined. We paid a million dollars a mile
for a non-existent canal, which proves that Roose-
velt was at least not as clever a bargainer as Thomas
Jefferson. But we had to have it, and it will no
doubt be a source of national pride and satisfaction
for centuries after its excessive cost is forgotten.-
EFFICIENT SALESMANSHIP 15
So, it was buying and selling that gave us half
our territory; and it is also a fact, not usually
recognized, that salesmanship played an important
part in preserving the Union. While it was Lincoln
and Grant who put down the Rebellion, it was Jay
Cooke, the famous banker, who sold the bonds and
brought in the money.
Jay Cooke was unquestionably the first to launch
a national sales campaign. In 1864 he was ap-
pointed by Lincoln as Sales Manager of bonds, at
a time when the Federal Government was at its
wits' end for money. At once Cooke sent out more
than four thousand agents. He established a press
bureau the first in the world, maybe. And he
advertised the bonds in every worth-while paper in
the Northern States.
His fellow-bankers were shocked and astounded
at his methods, of course. They said he was no
financier, nothing but a pedler of patent medicine.
But Cooke only laughed at them and sent out
another flood of hand-bills. He had a flaring
advertisement hung in every Northern post-office.
Such was his energy that in a few months the
North went into a fit of bond-madness. After the
noise and the shouting were over it was found that
Cooke had sold bonds to the face value of $1,240,-
000,000. TWELVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS!
16 ADS AND SALES
Such was the result of the first national sales cam-
paign in the United States.
If ever there should be a Salesmen's Hall of
Fame, one of the first pedestals must be reserved
for Jay Cooke. There is no doubt that some of
the abundant glory that has gone to Grant and
Lincoln ought to have gone to this Philadelphia
banker-salesman. As one editor very fitly said:
"The nation owes a debt of gratitude to Jay Cooke
that it cannot discharge, for without his valuable
aid the wheels of government might have been
The truth is that salesmen have done more for
progress and civilization than anyone imagines.
They have done more than all the colleges to develop
the peasantry of Europe into enterprising American
citizens. They have transformed the "Man with
the Hoe" into the man with the self-binder. They
have given us the radiator for the fireplace, the piano
for the dulcimer, the automobile for the push-cart,
the typewriter for the quill pen. They have put
more comforts into the cottage than the king used
to have in his palace.
How quickly we forget the great Sales Battles
of our own day! Whenever a new commodity
appears, we ridicule it, and oppose it, and refuse to
buy it at any price. Then the Salesman trains his
EFFICIENT SALESMANSHIP 17
batteries on us. We fight for a while, and finally
we surrender. But we give no credit, or glory,
to the Salesman. We walk up to the counter and
buy the commodity, remarking to the clerk that
" It is just exactly what I have needed for the past
It is not true that new goods are manufactured
to supply the demand. There is no demand. Both
the demand and the goods have to be manufactured.
The public has always held fast to its old-fashioned
discomforts, until the salesman persuaded it to
There was no demand for the Railroad, and for
years many people believed that thirty miles an
hour would stop the circulation of the blood. There
was no demand for the Steamboat, and when Brunei
drove the first boat by steam on the Thames, he
became so unpopular that the London hotels refused
to give him a room. There was no demand for the
Sewing-machine, and the first machine that Howe
put on exhibition was smashed to pieces by a Boston
mob. There was no demand for the Telegraph,
and Morse had to plead and beg before ten Congresses
before he received any attention. There was no
demand for the Air-brake, and Westinghouse was
called a fool by every railroad expert, because he
asserted that he could stop a train with wind. There
18 ADS AND SALES
was no demand for Gas-light, and all the candle-
burners sneered at Murdoch for trying to have a
lamp without a wick. There was no demand for
the Reaper, and McCormick preached his gospel of
efficient harvesting for fourteen years before he sold
his first hundred machines.
No, it is not true, as learned theorists have said,
that every great invention springs into life because
it is demanded by the nation. It springs into life
and nobody wants it. It is the Ugly Duckling.
Everybody prefers ten cents to it, until a few Sales-
men take it in hand and explain it.
When Frederick E. Sickles first exhibited his
steam steering-gear, now used on all the seas of the
world, all the sailors looked upon it with contempt.
"Nobody seemed to take the slightest interest in
it," wrote Sickles. When Charles T. Porter first
showed his high-speed engine in England, it was
not taken seriously by anyone. "My engine," says
Porter, "was visited by every engineer in England
and by a multitude of engine-users; and yet in all
that six months not a builder ever said a word about
building it, nor a user said a word about using it.
I was stupefied with astonishment and distress."
When Bell first showed his telephone at the
Philadelphia Centennial, it was endorsed by the
greatest scientists of America and England. It
EFFICIENT SALESMANSHIP 19
was tested and proved. But the average man
called it a "scientific toy" and refused to either use
it or finance it. Bell preached telephony for a year
before the public paid in the first twenty-dollar
bill and that was only thirty-six years ago
and the telephone business of to-day represents
fifteen hundred millions of capital.
There are men now alive who can remember how
their mother sat down and cried when the first
cook-stove came into the house, displacing the
clumsy and wasteful fireplace. They can remember
their first store boots and store clothes. They can
remember the old battles between the teamsters
and the men who built the pipe-lines for petroleum,
between the puddlers and the experts who developed
the Bessemer process, and between the news agents
and the pioneers who established the first ten-cent
It is a fact of industrial history that the inventor,
by himself, seldom succeeds. His work has to be
supplemented (1) by the manufacturer and (2) by
the salesman. Invariably, an inventor is a man
of limited mind. He is self-centred. His mind is
interested only in its own creations. He is out of
touch with the public. His knack is not in selling
nor in making money, but in working out some
theory or idea of his own.
20 ADS AND SALES
When he has made a working model, his part of
the task is done. He must then turn this model over
to a manufacturer, who will grapple with the second
problem of producing it cheaply and in large quanti-
ties. Few inventors can do this, as they are seldom
efficient in any executive line. Many an inventor
has come to ruin because he did not and would
not recognize this fact of human nature that an
inventor is designed to do his work alone and not
in cooperation with a thousand other men.
And finally, when the new article has been per-
fected and cheaply produced, the manufacturer