David Ogilvy

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

Too many marketers fear failure instead of embracing it. They fear that reporting poor results will be viewed as poor management. Instead, they should be positioning their results as learnings. Knowing what doesn’t work is just as important as knowing what does; yet the fear of failure permeates many corporate cultures, discouraging risk-taking and encouraging the status quo.

Some recent and mildly frustrating interactions with young marketing colleagues started me wondering about the amazing mentors whose generosity and wisdom shaped my own career. What’s happened, I asked myself, to the time-honored practice of mentoring?

What's got me grossed out and ticked off this time? Ogilvy & Mather teaming up with food technologists at McCormick — the folks behind the Colonel's secret mix of spices and herbs — to create edible finger nail polish for KFC Hong Kong.

Since this is the Target Marketer of the Year issue, let’s reflect on the great marketers of all time. Here are the mentors I wish I had. To this day I continue to read their work and marvel how their marketing philosophy, smarts and rules of the road apply directly to the data-mania environment of today.

Ad agency presidents are dazzlers at selling. David Ogilvy, Lester Wunderman and Frank Vos would show up to deliver the pitch. Hire the agency and you are lucky to see these brilliant sweet-talkers once every six months.

More Blogs