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 through offering extra worth to advertisers via information regarding the racial, ethnic, and neighborhood biases of readers and shoppers. by means of conserving touch with either companies and clients, Parlin and Curtis courses have been in a position to flip buyer wishes into company earnings. In a brand new model of commercial, Douglas Ward offers an interesting enterprise historical past that explains how and why Curtis constructed its industry study department. He unearths the evolution and impression of Parlin’s paintings, which understood how readers and advertisers within the rising patron financial system checked out magazines and ads. Ward additionally examines the cultural and social purposes for the improvement and use of marketplace research—particularly in regard to Curtis’ readership of upper-income elites. the outcome weaves the tales of Parlin and Curtis into the alterations occurring in American enterprise and advertisements within the early 20th century.
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Extra info for A New Brand of Business: Charles Coolidge Parlin, Curtis Publishing Company, and the Origins of Market Research
Where you wish,” was Hazen’s matter-of-fact response. “I suppose they are manufactured around Chicago. ” “Until you get ready to make a report. ” Parlin pushed Hazen for a more definite assignment. ” he asked. 44 CHAPTER 2 Hazen replied brusquely: “You do not understand us. Your job is to study agricultural implements. ”8 The exchange between Parlin and Hazen contains important clues about the corporate culture in which Commercial Research developed. Parlin, at Latshaw’s insistence, had been made a manager.
28 Curtis took his belief in customer service so seriously that he had a standing policy of never scrimping on anything that would improve the worth of the company’s magazines to readers and advertisers. “To his editors he says: ‘Give the public the best. It knows. The cost is secondary,’” Bok wrote of Curtis. ’”29 The Broader Reach of Customer Service Curtis was one of many businesses that began to focus more on customers and customer service at the turn of the twentieth century. The idea of customer service gained widespread popularity in American business between about 1880 and 1915, giving rise to such things as new kinds of consumer credit, a work force to cater to patrons, and spaces in stores for customer pleasure.
But in doing so, he was also pushing Parlin away from the company’s star publications, the Journal and the Post, neither of which drew much, if any, agricultural advertising. Parlin’s study of farm implements would have been of minimal use to the staffs of those two magazines. And because he would have no contact with the company’ prime advertisers, he could do nothing to alienate them. Instead, he was sent off on a project related to Country Gentleman, which was then losing money and was widely expected to fail.
A New Brand of Business: Charles Coolidge Parlin, Curtis Publishing Company, and the Origins of Market Research by Douglas Ward