Mar 25, 2010

The History of Digital Direct Marketing

What do you know about the history of advertising? Here's what little I know about the history of digital and direct marketing.

Who invented direct marketing
60 odd years ago, a man named Lester Wunderman created the term 'Direct Marketing.' Today Lester's foundation lives on as global Wunderman agency network grows. At the same time when the 'direct marketing' term was introduced also another pioneer was experimenting with it. That man was David Ogilvy, he introduced it under the name 'Direct-Response Advertising' during 1950's.

While Wunderman is a respectable agency, it was Ogilvy who applied those tested and proven lessons of direct marketing to general advertising most widest. But it wasn't Ogilvy who was the first to use direct marketer's secrets to mass media advertising.

The grand father of digital direct marketing
The real pioneer of advertising that sells is Claude C. Hopkins, who was paid an amazing one million dollar yearly salary in 1920's as a copywriter. Hopkins is the author of Scientific Advertising which is a bible to many advertising people around the world –including me. Drayton Bird notes that "It's the best book ever written" and Ogilvy said "Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until they have read this book seven times."

Scientific advertising
Hopkins learned from mail-order advertising which measures the success of its advertising based on sales. When some technique worked it was documented and used to again and again. Thanks to testing and following responses, the motives why people buy started to become more clear, and the principles of scientific triggers which make people act were discovered.

Many products launched by
Claude Hopkins are still famous today – almost 100 years later – such as Palmolive and Pepsodent. If you study ads made by him, you will see that most of his techniques still work today. What you will also learn how simple persuasion really is – and how very few people have actually studied it. And how an even smaller percentage have documented what works and how to make people buy.

What is the purpose of advertising
Most copywriters, designers, account executives and clients have never heard that advertising should to sell something – until now. Digital revolution has made everything measurable and accountable. You know by noon whether your online campaign works or not.
It's a dream come true for many of the early practitioners.

Your timing is perfect
When the whole world seems to be over-whelmed with the internet, there is a lesson to learn. The opportunity with the internet is greater than Ogilvy, Wunderman or Hopkins had in their time. If you are willing to test direct marketing principles, methods and techniques to your advertising, especially to online advertising, you will see that advertising is profitable, measurable and powerful weapon in right hands.

To learn more about internet marketing that works read my article Digital Direct Marketing


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