Marketing Lessons from the Greatest Salespeople of All Time — David Ogilvy

On your way to finding a great entry-level marketing job, there are going to be a lot of lessons to learn. And one of the best ways to become great in your field is to learn from those who have been successful before you.

David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy is known as the “Father of Advertising” because of his revolutionary work in a time when the industry of print advertising was becoming huge in America and the UK.

He was born in England in 1911, attended Oxford University, but dropped out because of poor performance. Instead, he began his career in an entry-level marketing job in Scotland, selling AGA cooking stoves. He sold the stoves door-to-door and was so successful that his employer asked him to write an instruction manual on the sales process for other AGA stove salespeople.

The instruction manual attracted the attention of advertising managers and led him to jobs in the advertising industry in London. He also worked for Gallup Research Institute in New Jersey, where he developed his philosophy of meticulous research and detailed knowledge of the consumer.

His best and most famous work came out of his advertising campaigns of the 1950’s and ‘60’s where he did work for Schweppes, Rolls-Royce, Tourism of Puerto Rico, Dove and Shell.

Ogilvy sold products through ads. The materials he used to bring in customers were words and pictures. Some important things we can learn from his sales tactics:

  1. Professional discipline. He once said, “I prefer the discipline of knowledge over the anarchy of ignorance.”
  2. Know your audience. Information about the consumer is really important to help a creative person stick to reality and produce results.
  3. Only results matter. Marketing creatives like to come up with lots of big ideas, but in the end, the numbers are what really count.

Apply these few things from Ogilvy, and you’re on your way to making waves in your entry-level marketing job.