Did you know James Bond was based on a real spy called William Stephenson?

He was Ian Fleming’s boss during WWII. Another one’s of Stephenson’s underlings was a young Scot called David Ogilvy.

Ogilvy went on to become the most famous ad man of his generation, writing some of the most famous ads of the 1950s and 1960s.

Perhaps the most famous had the headline, “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”

(You can see the ad here: http://www.conversioncopywriting.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/david-ogilvy-rolls-royce-ad.jpg)

That ad sold out Rolls-Royce’s entire U.S. inventory. Shortly after it ran – and it only ran in two newspapers and two magazines – the only way you could get a Rolls in America was to import one yourself.

And that brings us to today’s tip…

Prior to writing that ad, Ogilvy spent three weeks reading about the car. That’s because big ideas – the kind of ideas that produce blockbuster results – aren’t plucked out of the air, they’re the result of research.

What do you need to research? Three things:

  • Your product.
  • Your competitors.
  • Your prospect.

Because, if you know these things inside out, you can write an ad that does the most important thing in selling: which is to convince your prospect why your product can satisfy his needs better than your competitors’.

And, if you can do that, you’re on easy street.

Until tomorrow,

Steve Gibson

PS A corollary to this is that, if you choose to hire a copywriter, pay him enough to do a thorough job.

I’m not suggesting three weeks of research, but three days isn’t much too ask.

Chances are, the cost of that extra time will be a lot less than all the sales you would have lost if you’d gone with a superficially-written ad.