What David Ogilvy and Steve Jobs can teach you about Marketing and Sales

Steve Jobs and David Ogilvy image

Steve Jobs and David Ogilvy - The Masters in their Art

Many of us have weird definitions of Marketing and Sales with our own sweet little understanding. This post is not about what I think Marketing or a Sales process has to be. It is something beyond what we already assume.

Have you seen ads on TV? Dumb question. Which one of these ads is creative as per you? Think one or two of them which you can recall. Do you believe if a man in flesh and bones just like you makes this creative, he still might go wrong in understanding what the masses will feel about the creative? You bet.

Hence I tried getting a different take on this. A couple of years back I read the following quote by the Master David Ogilvy, the father of advertising,  regarding what is a creative –

If it doesn’t sell it isn’t creative

This kind of stuck in my head. So much of common sense yet known to the least. We have our definitions of what can be called creative but every creative has a purpose (doesn’t it?). Incase if it doesnt meet the purpose (of selling the products) will you even give a damn whether it is creative or not? So the litmus test of your definition as per David Ogilvy has to be – What purpose does it serve?

The same thought works for the purpose of Sales and Marketing. For us Sales (and unfortunately at times Marketing!) starts when the product is ready to be sold. You never thought who will shell money on your product while you were building it. You were just busy making a product which you thought an ‘ideal’ customer will buy. Ideal here, is actually your alter ego which assumes whatever you do is kickass. This is seldom true. That is not how sales or Marketing of a product is supposed to be.

Lets talk examples

Have you ever questioned what the mileage / fuel conomy of a Mercedes is? It just doesn’t matter.

Do you think iPhone has a feature that is nowhere replicated and people are dying without it? NO!

Still these products sell like hot cakes. As the nice tagline says –

If you don’t have an iPhone you just don’t have an iPhone!

In terms of language this sentence makes no sense to me. However from a Marketing point of view, this stuff is kickass. You product is not just a product. It’s a Brand. You become the benchmark people compare to. That is a marketer’s paradise

So what your Sales guy needs to do today

With the above background it is quite clear that Sales is not just about selling the product. Nor does it end once the sale is made. A sale is just a form of communication. Few lines that should stick in the customer’s mind. Every time you window shop mobiles you should say XYZ is a great phone but an iPhone is an iPhone.

Steve Jobs was a classic sales man I have seen. He always used the right adjectives, the right pauses and the right jabs. Made you think. Allowed the message to just sink in. It sounded as if – If you don’t buy his stuff you are really missing something. You buy and even though the money is gone out of the pocket, you still love the product. The pain of separation from your hard earned money becomes pride of owning an iPhone.

The Sales pitch remains in the mind. You believe you are having the most wonderful experience a device can give you. You OWN it! And then reach out to share a word about it.

You push more Sales for the company. You do their marketing – free of cost.

Re-craft your Sales and Marketing

Don’t you remember the chocolate candy advertisement where loads of chocolate syrup falls smoooooooothly like silk in a milk jar full of crunchy cashews. Every time you have a bite of the chocolate the picture is triggered in your mind. That’s the kind of magic the David’s of marketing create. The chocolate is tasty but the taste along with this picture in your mind makes it delicious. That is how marketing for epic products is done.

Don’t say your product belongs to a category. Proclaim a category of your own. Steve Jobs did the same with every single gadget he invented.

You make your chocolate taste good. Marketing and Sales make it delicious. Irresistible.

Your Sales pitch or your Marketing pitch or your brochure is not a tool to sell more products. It is a feature of your product. It augments the product, its perception and your brand.

Epic sales then are just a byproduct of this game.

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Pradeep November 28, 2011 at 10:58 am

Superb post once again. very rightly said its just another form of communication and sale is the byproduct that takes care of itself, if you communicate well.

ronak December 21, 2011 at 6:36 am

very well constructed and well communicated ! Thanks for sharing

hundred March 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Great man! Loved it! Do share more!

Himanshu Chanda March 6, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Thanks dear. Many more coming your way…

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