This is the third article in a series of the history of advertising and marketing. We pick up the story from when John E. Kennedy exited Lord and Thomas leaving Albert Lasker with the monumental task of replacing him.
1908 Kennedy must have been a hard act to follow.
But Lasker did replace him with a man who made an even greater overall contribution to the advertising world than Kennedy did.
Kennedys replacement was called Claude C. Hopkins.
And what a true pioneer he proved to be.
Hes the man who inaugurated free sampling, risk-free trials, money-back guarantees, market testing, and much more.
Hopkins agreed with Kennedy on the Salesmanship on Paper philosophy, but where Kennedy was a one idea man, Hopkins had many ideas.
Hopkins reckoned that just placing ads and seeing what happened was futile. Pure guesswork. He wanted to measure everything that he did.
And we should all be glad that he did.
Hopkins wrote only two books but both were classics. His first: Scientific Advertising written in 1923 contained manyof his secrets that he found with his testing techniques. These secrets are still as valid today.
His second book, written in 1927, was an autobiography called: My Life in Advertising. Many regard this as the best advertising book ever written.
All top marketers regard Hopkins first book as their copywriting how-to bible.
And the late advertising great, David Ogilvy, had this to say about Scientific Advertising: Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read Scientific Advertising seven times it completely changed my life.
Jay Abraham, known as Americas #1 marketing wizard, had this to say: Claude Hopkins is the master of them all. His influence has easily added over $6m to my personal income..and still counting.
Hopkins created ad campaigns for many major US companies that are still going strong today. Companies such as Palmolive, Pepsodent, and Quaker Oats.
One of his secret strategies for creating more turnover for his clients was that of pre-emptive strikes.
By this strategy, he used to tell a story of how things were done in an industry and thus educate the customers. Any competitor could have told the same story but didn’t. and whoever did so first, gained the edge.
Hopkins stated in his books that a large part of advertising done at the time was based on the concept of: “Buy My Product” or “Come into My Store.” Lots of advertisers today make this same mistake. Are you one of them?
Customers are not fooled by this. They want to know: “What’s in it for me?”
Hopkins knew this and used this psychology to grow Van Camp’s pork and bean business. After his research, Hopkins found that 94% of housewives were baking their own beans at home and only 6% were buying canned beans.
But Hopkins realized that everybody advertising canned beans merely stated: “Buy My Brand.” Nobody explained what the benefit of their product was.