David Ogilvy is among the most legendary heroes of traditional advertising. When he spoke, people listened. Even now, especially now, his words and advice can still guide people within the industry of inbound marketing.
Here are some of the best lessons we’ve learned from the famous words of marketing genius David Ogilvy.
1. “Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.”
What can you learn from this? Don’t speak above your audience. Knowing your audience is key to any form of communication. If you want to bring someone in to read your blog, to check out your business, don’t shower your content with jargon and overly flowery phrases. That will be the fastest way for a potential or current client to be turned off and click off of your site to your competitor. Unless your audience is highly technical, keep the content conversational and simple (KISS – Keep it simple, stupid!)
2. “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife.”
This plays into the first quote. It is a common fallacy by people in marketing that the consumers are a bunch of idiots that need to be told what they want. Treat your customers with respect. Keep the dialogue simple (as stated above) but do not talk down to them. Your customers will recognize condescension and stop being your customers.
3. “The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.”
Flashy pictures with minimal information may garner a double take by a potential consumer, but without information that backs up, that business will move on to the next site that offers more product details. Infographics are good for something like this, they have something visual to catch the consumers eye and data to keep the consumer on your site. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but information can be worth thousands of dollars. Proper inbound marketing can create the right mix of images and information.
4. “Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”
It is easy to stick with what works, but in the ever changing world of advertising, marketing, and consumer needs, you can’t stick with the same thing day in and day out. Your consumers needs change, and so does your advertising. Keep the focus groups and testing ongoing so you will be able to keep with up with the trends. The more you improve and the more you stay with the trends, you will not fall behind and will be a force in the marketplace.
5. “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”
This is big. A general who ignores information from his enemy will be soundly defeated on the battlefield. Keeping your business going takes proper marketing and advertising which comes from research. You need to know who your consumers are and what they want. If you ignore what your research is telling you, you are essentially ignoring your consumers. Not only will you alienate your current customers, you will alienate any future customers … effectively killing your business.
6. “You now have to decide what ‘image’ you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the market place.”
The same is true with inbound marketing. What is the image you want to portray? Does the image you pick really say what you want it to say? Test your image with your consumers and take the feedback to heart (see the previous quote – don’t be the general that ignores). Once you establish your brand, you will be a force to be reckoned with in the market place and in the inbound marketing blogosphere.
David Ogilvy got his start in advertising at an early age, long before blogs and computers and modern technology. However, consumers are still consumers. They still buy products based on advertising, whether that is from a blog, a paid ad in a magazine, or on the television. Use these quotes in your inbound marketing campaign and you will see positive results.