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“Working” and “non-working” marketing spend are dangerous misnomers.

As H.L Mencken put it: “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” The widespread belief that “non-working” marketing expenditure should be sacrificed of the for good of “working” marketing expenditure is just such an answer, wrong. It perpetuates an elementary misunderstanding of how advertising works. Most importantly, I believe that this strategy often compromises advertising effectiveness. Let’s first define our terms first, and then I think we can redefine them more usefully: In current marketing and business parlance, “working” marketing budget means money that is invested in the exposure of a brand’s advertising message; for example, traditional me