When I was in college, I bought a book that changed my life. It was called “Confessions of an Advertising Man” by David Ogilvy. It was $1.95. I believe I bought it in 1978, and I still reference it today.
One of Mr. O’s premises is that the goal of creating ads is not to show how witty or clever you are. “Your role is to sell, don’t let anything distract you from the sole purpose of advertising.” Advertising, marketing, fundraising are all sales jobs. In fact, most jobs are sales jobs. One of my questions to potential employees is “Do you like sales?” If you don’t, marketing, advertising, fundraising, graphic design, web design or digital advertising is the wrong business. We do work that is intended to move people, and that takes persuasion.
Good advertising sells the product without drawing attention to itself. Marketing is the connector between a product, service or idea and an audience. No matter how “creative” it is, if it didn’t sell, then it didn’t work.
Also, in 1963 Mr. Ogilvy wrote: “What really decides if consumers will buy or not buy is the content of your advertising, not your form.” He was a content marketer more than 55 years ago.
Happy National Salesperson Day. To all salespeople, I salute you.