Small Business Marketing Review – Confessions of an Advertising Man Lesson 2

Jack Prot

If you only read one page in Confessions of an Advertising Man then make sure it’s page 86; there you’ll find Ogilvy’s Rule 11 on being a good client: “Test Everthing”.

Of course, all of Chapter Four on “How to Be a Good Client” is written for the owner of a business that can afford an advertising agency. If you are a small business owner like most of us, you certainly can’t afford a big-time agency and probably can’t hire even a small one. However, you will routinely contract with vendors of all types; especially those that help market your small business. You may have to alter the nouns a bit to fit your situation as you read through Chapter Four, but you’ll soon see several key ideas that you can turn to your advantage as you market your small business.

Chapter Four contains two lists which are loosely titled;

  • Fifteen Rules to Obey in Dealing with an Agency
  • Ten Questions to ask Before you Fire your Agency

Chapter Five (“How to Build Great Campaigns”) and Six (“How to Write Potent Copy”) are particularly valuable. This section is really the marketing “meat” of the book, and here you will find lists of suggestions pertinent to each chapter’s title, backed up by real-life examples. On page 96 of Chapter Five you’ll find the famous: “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife” quote.

You should copy all the ten pages that are Chapter Six, highlight as suits your needs, and rearrange them into a little “copywriting bible” you can tote with you. Yes, Chapter Six is that important. It is also here in Chapter Six that you’ll find good relevant references to other copywriters and marketers Ogilvy admires such as Claude Hopkins and Rudolph Flesch.

Four decades after it was first published Confessions of an Advertising Man is still a classic for the small business owner and a resource that should definitely sit on your marketing shelf.

Remember: Brand (who you are) + Package (your Face to the Customer) + People (customers and employees) = Marketing Success.

© 2006 Marketing Hawks

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