Anyone can learn how marketing works if they take the right classes and do their homework, but it takes a great mind to change it. Here are a few marketers our CEO, Lyle Stevens, admires (in no particular order) for what they have accomplished in the marketing world and how they have influenced what we know about marketing today:

David Ogilvy: Never stop testing

David Ogilvy was an advertising executive. He is considered the “Father of Advertising.” In 1962, Time called him “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry.” Packing out the grand opening of a hotel on a $500 budget was his first challenge. Ogilvy pulled it off with a direct postcard campaign and fell in love with the process. He was the master of the “split test,” where two versions of an ad were published at the same time, but “keyed” with a unique way for consumers to respond, so the winning ad could be identified, then rolled out nationally. His self-started agency, Ogilvy & Mather, was built on his principle: “the function of advertising is to sell and that successful advertising for any product is based on information about its consumer.” One of his most famous quotes is to “Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”



 Conrad Gessner: Word of mouth matters

Conrad Gessner was a Swiss naturalist, bibliographer, and the “inventor” of word-of-mouth marketing. More accurately, you don’t really invent word of mouth, but you can manipulate it, and that is exactly what Gessner did. By creating an easy to repeat poem about tulips, he was able to familiarize Europeans with a flower they had not heard of before. In the mid-1600s, his poem helped spawn “Tulipmania,” where people were paying up to $1 million (in today’s standards) for a single tulip bulb.


 Walt Disney: Have the people making it, use it

Walt Disney was an American business magnate, animator, producer, director, screenwriter, philanthropist, and voice actor. To create a truly remarkable Disney World that could literally market itself, Walt Disney had both corporate and park employees ride the rides before they opened to the public. In 1967, one employee rode The Pirates of The Caribbean and told Disney that something just wasn’t right. Disney had him ride the ride again and again and again until he could pinpoint the problem. The employee, who was from the south, pointed out that nights on a bayou were usually filled with fireflies. Walt added simulated fireflies to the attraction days before it opened. The ride continues to be one of the most popular rides in the park to this day.



Steve Jobs: Design Matters

Steve Jobs was an American entrepreneur, marketer, and inventor, who was the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. While Steve Jobs may not have been the first to merge design and technology, he brought it to levels of success never seen before. Customers don’t just want their technology to function. They want it to be cool too. Jobs taught us while design isn’t everything, it’s still pretty darn important. Just a few of his descriptions include: “legendary,” a “futurist”, a “visionary,” the “Father of the Digital Revolution,” a “master of innovation,” “the master evangelist of the digital age” and a “design perfectionist.”



Seth Godin: Be remarkable

Seth Godin is an American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker. He taught us that people are attracted to the remarkable. In order to appeal to the market, you’ve got to stand out to the market. You do that by being the best, being different, being unique, being cutting edge, being retro, being anything that’s not what the crowd is—in other words, being the purple cow in a field of black and white Jersey cattle. It’s not just enough to get someone’s attention; you can run naked down Main Street to get attention. Godin is remarkable enough to get—and keep—people’s attention.
Advertisements on television and radio are classified by Godin as “interruption marketing” which interrupt the customer while they are doing something of their preference. Godin promoted the concept of “permission marketing” where the business provides something “anticipated, personal, and relevant”.

Mary Kay Ash: Network marketing opens doors

Mary Kay Ash was an American businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc. She quit her job as a salesperson in Dallas when the man she trained was promoted above her for twice the pay. She became a pioneer of network marketing so women could have just as much success as men. She did this by tapping a great underutilized workforce: housewives who were sick of the June Cleaver act but didn’t want a 9 to 5 job. Her marketing innovations included: giving expensive gifts, offering incentives for recruiting others and an emphasis on direct sales through friends and family. Her most brilliant move: awarding top sellers pink Cadillacs, thereby transforming them into mobile advertisements for the company’s products.

Hopefully you’ve learned something new about a marketer you admire or discovered someone new to be inspired by. If you aspire to become admirable like one of these great marketers someday, check out our ebook, “A CPG Marketer’s Advanced Guide to Facebook” to master some effective Facebook marketing tactics.