The bad news: I hit age 80 in August. The good news: 80 is the new 79.
Since this is the Target Marketer of the Year issue, let’s reflect on the great marketers of all time. Luckily, I had some grand mentors who pounded the rules into my head and talked me back from the edge.
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.
Claude C. Hopkins (1866-1932)
Author of “Scientific Advertising” and “My Life in Advertising” (both free online), many of Hopkins’ words are hard-wired into my DNA. A sampling:
“The right offer should be so attractive only a lunatic would say no.”
“Cheapness is not a strong appeal. Americans are extravagant. They want bargains, but not cheapness. They want to feel that they can afford to eat and have and wear the best. Treat them as though they could not and they resent your attitude.”
John Caples (1900-1990)
Creative director of BBDO, author of “Making Ads Pay” and “Tested Advertising Methods,” and creator of the great “They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano” ad.
“What good is all the painstaking work on copy if the headline isn’t right? If the headline doesn’t stop people, the copy might as well be written in Greek.”
“Avoid ‘hard-to-grasp’ headlines that require thought and are not clear at first glance.”
“If you have news, such as a new product or a new use for an old product, be sure to get that news into your headline in a big way.”
Maxwell Sackheim (1890-1982)
Co-founder of Book-of-the-Month Club, author of “Billion Dollar Marketing: Concept and Applications” and wrote the most successful space ad in history: “Do You Make These Mistakes in English?”
“The most important order you get from a customer is the second order.”