In 1948, David Ogilvy decided to create an advertising agency. But not any old agency. He wanted to go big.
So he headed straight to Madison Avenue and set up his first office. If you want to grow the largest agency on the planet, think big from day one.
By 1989 he’d achieved it when his company, by then named the Ogilvy Group was bought by WPP for the highest amount ever paid for an advertising agency (even surpassing J. Walter Thompson).
Everything was achieved with words plus a few select images. Ogilvy had spent the previous 17 years before he set up his agency doing everything he could to earn a living – from door to door salesman to becoming a chef in Paris.
Prior to that, he’d flunked university so had none of the kudos that brings either. All he had was himself and a desire to succeed.
But he knew one thing that most of us don’t know, and that is the subject of part 1 of this new series on creating a copywriting agency.
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Back to the story.
The only way anyone makes money is through customers. That is, someone, somewhere, pays you or your business money (if you’re currently an employee, your boss is your customer).
Customers come in two flavours:
1) We can choose to work with individuals
2) We can choose to work with companies
If our goal is to maximise revenue (and later on, profits), then it makes sense to choose the customers with the most potential. We do that by asking one question: who has the most money?
That’s the first card Ogilvy played. To go big, choose only the biggest players.
Your first task then is to think carefully about who you want to play with. Do this before you do anything else.