Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Write Stronger Sales Messages

Book review of Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy (published 1983 by Vintage Books)

David Ogilvy is a legend in the advertising industry. Time Magazine called him the most sought-after wizard in the advertising business.

"Ogilvy on Advertising" teaches us how to write better advertising and sales messages. While Ogilvy wrote ads for direct-mail and magazines, all of us in the software development industry write ads for our websites, blogs, newsletters, and email sales letters.

"This is not a book for readers who think they already know all there is to be known about advertising. It is for young hopefuls - and veterans who are still in search of ways to improve their batting average at the cash register," Ogilvy tells us. Ogilvy started in the ad business in 1949. In 1963 he set up Ogilvy & Mather, and took it from a specialty advertising shop to the fourth-largest ad agency on the planet. At the time he wrote this book, the company had 140 offices in 40 nations.

Ogilvy believes that advertising is timeless, and that most trends should be ignored. In the software development industry, where new trends are announced on a weekly basis, Ogilvy's advice is timeless. "Consumers still buy products whose advertising promises them value for money, beauty, nutrition, relief from suffering, social status and so on," Ogilvy explains.

I believe that Ogilvy would be impressed by the way the Internet has evolved, just as he was impressed by the way that television revolutionized the advertising industry. But the age-old principles that he talks about in "Ogilvy on Advertising" are much more useful than the ideas that you'll find in the "Bill and Ted's Excellent Advertising Techniques" -type books that are written for today's audience.

Buy this book. It's a classic, and it will strengthen your software marketing.

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