Whether you attribute the quote to John Wanamaker or Lord Leverhulme, the time-honored truth in marketing has been, “We know that half of advertising is wasted, but we just don’t know which half.”  And so tradition holds that we need men like Don Draper (the fictional protagonist in TV’s Mad Men) to convince nervous clients that this is the right ad and the right medium to sell their product.

Well, don’t tell Don, but times are changing quickly. The rapid rise of digital media and the “we trust in data, not people” culture of the industry have revolutionized advertising. In a world where we can easily track which ads lead to more online shopping visits and purchases, we can finally figure out the specific ads that are most effective. Data scientists are now gunning for Don’s job, using data analytics to persuade clients that their advertising dollars are bringing quantifiable ROI.

As rapidly as advertising has changed, there is still a long way to go. Many companies feel they are only beginning to scratch the surface in collecting—let alone fully leveraging—the vast amounts of advertising and consumer-response data available. Many look to the academic community for guidance in creating analytic methods to measure advertising effectiveness.

So  join us in  this conversation. The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI), led by Peter Fader, the Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Professor, and Eric Bradlow, the K.P. Chao Professor and vice dean/director of the Wharton Doctoral Programs, and the Future of Advertising Project, let by Lauder Professor Jerry Wind, felt the time was right to bring together a group of leading advertising professionals and analytics-oriented academics to discuss Innovative Approaches to Measuring Advertising Effectiveness.

During a fast-paced, one day program, participants will learn what academics are doing to advance capabilities in advertising measurement in areas such as: experimentation, attribution and marketing mix modeling, and new measurement techniques like eye tracking and emotional responses measurement. To encourage a lively discussion on what these cutting-edge findings mean for today’s marketing analytics professionals, the program will feature short research presentations combined with panel discussions.  The conference will be held on May 16 on the Wharton campus.

Editor’s note: View agenda and registration information at http://bit.ly/Xb70to. Please contact WCAI with any questions at wcai-events@wharton.upenn.edu.