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By Douglas Ward

Charles Coolidge Parlin was once thought of via many to be the founding father of industry study. operating for the dominant Curtis Publishing corporation, he revolutionized the by way of supplying additional worth to advertisers via information regarding the racial, ethnic, and local biases of readers and shoppers. through conserving touch with either companies and shoppers, Parlin and Curtis courses have been in a position to flip buyer desires into company earnings.     In a brand new model of commercial, Douglas Ward offers an exciting enterprise historical past that explains how and why Curtis built its marketplace study department. He finds the evolution and influence of Parlin’s paintings, which understood how readers and advertisers within the rising patron economic system checked out magazines and ads. Ward additionally examines the cultural and social purposes for the improvement and use of industry research—particularly in regard to Curtis’ readership of upper-income elites. the outcome weaves the tales of Parlin and Curtis into the adjustments occurring in American company and advertisements within the early 20th century.

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Additional info for A New Brand of Business: Charles Coolidge Parlin, Curtis Publishing Company, and the Origins of Market Research

Example text

Latshaw and other advertising representatives were already gathering information to help clients whenever they could. Cyrus Curtis himself took pride in investigating the marketplace before making decisions, and he admonished those who failed to do the same, especially when it came to promotion. Too many companies took no interest in their advertising, he told an interviewer in 1914. “They do not study it as they should and, what is just as bad, they do not permit any one else to study it for them.

10 That afternoon in July 1911, after Hazen’s visit to Boston, Latshaw helped Parlin get started by arranging a lunch appointment with Grant Wright, editor of the Eastern Dealer, an agricultural trade publication in Philadelphia. Parlin left town that night. As he stared into the darkness through the window of the southbound train, he later recalled, he felt like Sammy Weller, a young lad in one of his favorite books, Charles Dickens’s Pickwick Papers. Sammy’s father AN UNLIKELY LEADER 45 had thrown his son into the streets of London so that he would learn to take care of himself.

During summer breaks from teaching, he occasionally worked as a guide, leading tour groups through Europe. ” Parlin turned Latshaw’s offer down three times. Latshaw persisted, and after Parlin received a fourth offer, he accepted. It was late June 1911. 6 AN UNLIKELY LEADER 43 Making Sense of It All The new job proved even more frustrating than Parlin had imagined. He knew his task would be challenging. This was, after all, a new concept: a department, within a major business, devoted exclusively to analytical research.

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