Would you prefer to “optimize” – or make a bloody great load of dosh?

30 odd years ago I was flattered when David Ogilvy asked for my comments on the script of a speech he was going to make in Paris.

His speech was about two different worlds.

He meant the people who measured – direct marketers; and the people who didn’t – general advertisers.

You can easily measure online, where everything is direct. But surprisingly little has changed in the minds of marketers.

There are still two different worlds. Those who judge everything by sales, and those who measure all the wrong things – likes, clicks, number of people reached and so on.

I think you will find that just as when David wrote his speech those who measure all the wrong things tend to be general advertisers and their agencies.

How they got screwed

This failure to measure intelligently is why they have all been ripped off big time by the people who sell on-line ads.

These suckers and their agencies saw all the fancy numbers of people who were supposed to see their oh-so-creative ads and believed them.

If they had been measuring results they wouldn’t have been so royally screwed – but it took years for some overpaid marketing “officer” to notice what was happening.

Serves the silly buggers right.

Those of us who have to sell or go broke still measure the right things

You can call these two groups realists and idiots.

Realists tend to talk about profits and making money whilst the other lot use fancy words like optimizing.

If you’re a realist I saw something yesterday that should interest you.

I was almost put off by the heading “Brand new research reveals fresh insights into the customer journey” because phrases like insights into the customer journey make me want to throw up.

But I read on to see that: “89% of online shoppers are regularly influenced by online reviews when shaping their purchasing decisions?”

I don’t know how your purchasing decisions are “shaped” – mine have often been spurred on by red wine –  but this piece in the gloriously named Digital Doughnut got my attention.

Why people buy

As far as I know the chief reason people buy something new is word of mouth.

Somebody they knew suggested it. 

When 30,000 people in 60 countries were asked what led them to buy something new my old client Nielsen learned this

  • 81% said recommendations from friends.
  • 58% said recommendations from people they didn’t know – reviews published on-line
  • 56% said TV ads – no longer the fashion, except among ordinary people
  • Only 34% said social media.

 If the 89% figure suggested in the said Doughnut is true then these online reviews are even more important than I thought 

Do you have a plan for word of mouth? For making sure you get the best possible comments and using them to get publicity and new business?

Hardly anyone does – but right now one of my clients is applying it, and so are we in my firm

Will it work for you? Will it work for us? Preliminary results suggest it will.

The chap who devised it quotes the most extraordinary figures.

For example, 58% response rate, and 100% conversion into sales.

I’ll keep you posted if you’re interested. Just drop me a line saying Word of Mouth (mail db@draytonbird.com).



About the Author


<p>In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.</p>
<p>He has worked in 55 countries with many of the world’s greatest brands. These include American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Columbia Business School, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever, Visa and Volkswagen.</p>
<p>Drayton has helped sell everything from Airbus planes to Peppa Pig. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. He has also run his own businesses in the U.K., Portugal and Malaysia.</p>
<p>He was a main board member of the Ogilvy Group, a founding member of the Superbrands Organisation, one of the first eight Honorary Fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing and one of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India. He has also been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.</p>

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