He dropped out of college. He had been a cook, a salesman, a diplomatist and a farmer. He knew nothing about marketing, had never written any copy. He was unemployed at 38 when he approached advertising agencies to hire him.
No American agency hired him, however a London agency did hired him. Three year later he became the most famous copywriter in the world, and in due course built the tenth biggest agency in the world.
David Ogilvy was a Legend, an inspiration to many copywriters, marketers and sales professionals.
Often called “The Father of Advertising” and “The King Of Madison Avenue”, Ogilvy was know largely to help clients understand consumer insights. Real advertising or copy works best when based on consumer insights and addresses a solution to their problem. Apart from building a multi billion dollar business, he helped create some of the most iconic brands such as Dove, Shell, Hathaway Shirts and Rolls-Royce.
In 1965, Fortune magazine asked “Is Ogilvy a Genius?” and in 1975, Time called him “the most sought-after wizard in the advertising industry”.
David Ogilvy’s work and books have been very inspiring to write better copy, I encourage you to read his books and watch some of his videos. He is a true testament of selling products through simple and insightful copy.
Below are some of David Ogilvy’s famous quotes and are very relevant to bloggers and marketers to sell their products in the online medium.
1 ) “I have a theory that the best ads come from personal experience. Some of the good ones I have done have really come out of the real experience of my life, and somehow this has come over as true and valid and persuasive.”
– I start off with the above quote as being my most favored one. The best of communication that hits well with your audience comes from true life experiences be it pain, fear, excitement or seriousness. As a blogger this hold very true, you need to tell a story, your success, your failure and let your own personal voice come out on our blog. You will only make an impact on your reader when you write copy and thought that come from within.
2) “A consumer is not a moron. She’s your wife. Don’t insult her intelligence, and don’t shock her.”
– The is one of the great Ogilvy quote, you’ll often hear this one with advertising and marketing experts. To me this holds good for bloggers and internet marketers too, if you are trying to sell a product online ensure that you don’t insult your audiences intelligence. Don’t try to hard sell or be over persuasive in your copy, let it flow naturally, be honest and highlight the benefits of your product.
Treat your readers with dignity, value them and their opinions and comments.
3) “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
– The magic of your communication is in your headline, if you get that right you’ll have more readers for your post. Spend time on crafting an effective headline, write a strong headline that gets the attention of your reader.
– Use effective titles in your headlines.
– Get the communication message of your post in a few words.
– Test and Measure your headline or copy.
“The headline is the ‘ticket on the meat.’ Use it to flag down readers who are prospects for the kind of product you are advertising.” – David Ogilvy
4) “The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be”
– The key to successful blogging is being unique and informative. Write informative content that help your readers. As a blogger you should know what works well with your audience and what needs to change. Focus your time and energy in creating great and valuable content. Remember content is king, if its informative and addresses a problem it will sell by itself.
5) “The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pretest your product with consumers, and pretest your advertising, you will do well in the marketplace.”
– The true value of selling a product starts with testing the same with your audience, get to know what your audience likes about your product, here you need to test not only the positives but also the negatives of the products. Remember that testing negatives will only make your products better. It’s the same when you test your landing pages or your PPC ads. Testing is the key to success of any product online or offline.
“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.” – David Ogilvy
6. “Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.”
– Often we see blogs starting off well but a few posts later the blogger loses interest, the posts are written just to keep up with the keep content fresh without adding any real value to the readers or doing justice to content.
When you start a blog be passionate about it and believe in it. Your self belief is critical to your success as a blogger. Make you blog a content powerhouse by being relevant to your audience.
7. “What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.”
– Content is the king, be relevant to your audience. It’s important to provide them with solutions to their problems and benefits about your product and services. Create content that provides information and solves their problems. Content can be in the form of tips, FAQs, tutorials, how to dos etc.
8. “Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.”
– Trust factor is very important in any form of communication or business, especially if you run a blog you need to truthful to your readers. Tell the truth and give you true opinions about products and services. If there is an issue with your product or service don’t try to cover up. The world of social media is very powerful, you will be exposed faster than you think.
There are lots more Ogilvy quotes and books that will help you understand marketing, advertising and copy writing with a lot of clarity and thought.
Do you have any personal favorite Ogilvy quote ?
Have a Happy Sunday and a Great Weekend Ahead 🙂
Image Credit: Ogilvy on Advertising