The Most Important Ads You Will Ever Write
The Philadelphia publisher that recommended him to us did so with old-fashioned malice aforethought. Rather than go through the hassle of firing an addict, he foisted him off on us. I will never forgive the little bastard.
The Importance of Attracting Top People
One of the smartest people in direct marketing is Drayton Bird, an Englishman who, for many years, was associated with the legendary David Ogilvy. His book, Commonsense Direct Marketing, is a masterpiece. When I mentioned that I was doing a story on how to create successful help wanted classifieds, Bird e-mailed:
The preeminent international marketing organization is Procter and Gamble. The former Chairman and CEO, John G. Smale, was once asked the secret of P&G’s success. He said, “We have hundreds of factories and thousands of products—but if I lost them all, I could get them back in eight years as long as I could keep our people.”
Wise firms know the value of good people. But do they pay as much attention as they should to getting the right ones? And do they pay the right price for getting them? After all, they spend millions (and carefully scrutinize the ROI) on getting new customers.
One of the biggest wastes is on paying people immense sums to get new people. Would you run some of the crassly unimaginative ads they run?
And what would happen if you did it yourself?
What Is a Classified Help Wanted Ad?
Essentially, it is a lead generation effort. “The headline of the ad selects the reader,” said the great direct mail guru Axel Andersson. Having been a director of eight book clubs in my distant past, whenever I see an ad for a “Book Club Director,” (very, very rare in this brave new world of amazon.com), I always look at it.