When asking business owners who they've learned from or how they've acquired their marketing and advertising knowledge, there's a universal shrug, or... the mention of a few names of people they've read about or come across, but haven't dug deep enough to understand the instruction and learning from top to bottom.
Shocking really, when it's the advertising and marketing that are the key drivers to sales and long term profits.
Said differently - most business owners and entrepreneurs have little to no clue how they structure their ads, why they've created a campaign the way they have, the principles they've based their marketing and copywriting, on... they've little to zero clue why they do the things they do from a marketing and copywriting and marketing front and cannot articulate to you how it's all been thought of and assembled.
It's depressingly funny because almost all of us honestly think that there's nothing much to writing an ad or putting together a marketing campaign or launching a product or service - that there's no science or necessary learning that's involved. That anyone can do it right off the bat because there's nothing to really know. You just, do it.
BIG mistake.(I've personally invested over tens of thousands of my own money over a 15 year period in my own direct response marketing, copywriting, consulting education from real world practitioners, and I can categorically say it's far far apart from the learning I got from my Chartered Institute of Marketing Post Graduate qualification... far far apart)
I love the story Clayton Makepeace, one of the world's highest paid copywriters, tells of the time he fired the company he was working for because the new MBA wielding take-over owners of then profit making machine of a company, put marketing, copywriting and customers at the bottom of the list of the importance functions of the business. And what they did instead was they put themselves and their NEW PLANS and the role of meetings and restructuring the business from its current crackerjack profit status where marketing was king, where campaigns and offers were the drivers, where creating lifetime value customer relationships were driven through compelling messaging and irresistible ongoing offers... all of that got shunted to the sidelines as the new owners who hadn't an ounce of real world marketing knowledge between them, systematically drove the company that produced millions a year, deep into the dirt. They filed for bankruptcy within 90 days.
That's what happens to dumb companies who put preening, posturing and CEO importance at the top of the agenda at all times, and where marketing is relegated to the bottom of the importance file.And that's why I'd bank on getting all the marketing, advertising and copywriting wisdom you can from Ad Genius, David Ogilvy. If he was alive today, he'd be 107. And yet, if you want to get super hip at creating fantastic advertising that'll help you sell more of the products or services you have, you cannot go wrong getting deep into Ogilvy's timeless material. And when you get his books (Ogilvy on Advertising, Confessions of an Ad Man) you'll see (GASP!) there's zero winging it when it comes to creating advertising that sells.
In fact, no matter what size your business, what you sell, who you sell it to, see what you can gain below from the way Ogilvy treats the advertising and copywriting function - he co-founded and ran an ad agency Ogilvy & Mather - and hired copywriters to help his clients grow their businesses - (Thanks to Craig Simpson for the below)Creative brilliance: Copywriters needed to come up with brilliant concepts. They need to not only catch their readers’ attention, but sell them on the product. He was a proponent of what was called the “big idea,” one brilliant idea that would be central to each ad campaign.
Research: Ogilvy did not believe in “blowing smoke.” His copy was meticulously based in fact. He did the necessary research to uncover the one amazing fact around which he could build an entire ad campaign; this often served as the basis for his “big idea.” (His Ad for Rolls Royce was based on this BIG IDEA "At 60 Miles An Hour, The Loudest Noise In This New Rolls Royce Comes From The Electric Clock" ... and it came after 3 weeks of digging into the research he was doing for Rolls. And you can see that ad in the post directly before this one)
Actual Results: Ogilvy was a strong believer in judging the quality of an ad by its success at selling something. Always test the outcome of an ad, and if it isn’t selling, make whatever changes are necessary to make it work.
Professional Discipline: Advertising executives were not to be dabblers in the creative realm. They needed to hone their craft and develop programs to train the next generation of advertisers.If you've the time, discipline and desire to ramp up your advertising and copywriting with the kind of compelling irresistible intelligence no others in your marketplace are most likely doing, let alone heard of, then don't waste a second more -- get onto Amazon, order your Ogilvy books and start devouring them with the intention of applying what you learn, to your own products and services.
It may take you several weeks to a good few months to get a real grasp of everything but it'd be well worth your while from a profit based point of view to do that because once you have the copywriting fundamentals locked in, it'll be with you for life to use each time you want to create and send out a sales message.
Now if you can't wait for months and you want a faster, much quicker way to apply the principles Ogilvy espouses so you can start seeing results from your own advertising and marketing sooner, than later... then get in touch.
(And if you'd like, go back into this blog's archives and you can see how I've adopted and adapted Ogilvy's Rolls Royce Letter, to an ad for a Honda CRV)