Small Business Trends Radio

The Birth of Modern Advertising

Your Business Blogger was recently in the City of Brotherly Love for a trade show and to pester some clients. And for a business Hajj; traveling to the statue of John Wanamaker, patron saint of modern marketing.

Wanamaker, like good some marketers these days, was most concerned about the return on the investment of his marketing budget:

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.

Wanamaker opened his first store in Philadelphia in 1861 with the revolutionary guarantee, “One price and goods returnable.”


John Wanamaker
1838 — 1922

Saint John is credited with opening the first department store — John Wanamaker & Co. also known as “The Grand Depot.”

US President William Howard Taft must have seen the cross over applications of Wanamaker’s marketing genius to the, the …Post Office.

(This is America!)

In 1889 he was appointed United States Postmaster General by President Benjamin Harrison.Wanamaker is acknowledged with producing the first commemorative stamp. Where Marketing meets government.

He also was a Presbyterian who founded the Bethany Sunday School, and was active in his Masonic Lodge.

For more on how America merges business and governance see: Benjamin Franklin’s business model combining the Post Office and blogging newspapers.

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