Do You Know ‘To a Dollar’ How Much Your Marketing ROI is?

During a consultation with a private client this morning I was reminded of this David Ogilvy video, where he describes brand/vanity advertising versus direct response…

If you’ve not heard of him, David Ogilvy CBE was a British advertising tycoon, and co-founder of the famous advertising agency ‘Ogilvy & Mather’… which became (and still is) one of the biggest ad agencies in the world.

Even if you’ve not heard of David Ogilvy, you may be familiar with this advert, which was itself famously successful… because it was imbued with his “secret weapon. (I’ll explain more below.)

Here’s the ad –

Anyway, here is some rare footage of David revealing just how important Direct Response style advertising is.

Even if you’re not familiar with a lot of the terms in this video – you should be able to get the gist of what he’s saying.

(And it’s damn important for anyone who spends any money on advertising or marketing of any kind.)

Don’t let the poor picture and audio quality fool you.
The advice in this video is absolutely priceless….

I wonder what he would be doing differently in these days of the Internet?

Probably not much!

In fact I think he’d be having a riot with the immense power us marketers have at our fingertips.

The direct response principles that were his ‘first love and later became his secret weapon’— and which allowed him to grow his ad agency at record speed—translate directly to web sites.

In my first book, I explained how to utilise the principles of highly-effective direct response advertising—and how to change a website from being all about you and your company to instead be all about your visitor.

When you make this seemingly subtle change you can dramatically boost the number of enquiries, sales-leads, opportunity creation and sales and profit it generates for your company.

If you have a web site that focuses on your brand (you know, the kind that start with “Welcome to our website. We’ve been in business ‘x’ years and won all these awards”) maybe you should consider why the visitor has actually come to your website… probably to get information on — and the solution to — a pain, challenge, problem or opportunity they have. Not to learn about you and your business.


Revisit your website from the perspective of a new visitor – someone who is unfamiiar with your brand, but who has the problem that your product or service addresses.

Does your website immediately convey that it has the answers they’re seeking?

Do the same with your marketing too—does it scream “look how nice our company logo is”, or does it immediately tell the reader, listener or viewer that you can help them?

More importantly… is it Direct Response or Brand advertising?

Hopefully the former, otherwise I can virtually guarantee you’re wasting money!

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Ed Rivis