Posts Tagged ‘Claude Hopkins’

Claude Hopkins, Part 3: Offer Service

August 29, 2018

Claude-Hopkins-picture2-194x300In this short chapter, Claude Hopkins talks to service as a viable advertising strategy. He argues that they should, in today’s terms, provide value. He references that they should provide information, that they should educate, that they should cite advantages to the user, and that they should do what they can to eliminate risk on the part of the consumer. Does this sound familiar to us? I would think that it should.

He provides several examples in this short chapter about how a salesperson might act in the situation. As you will remember, Hopkins considered advertising to be salesman in print. He had little or no use for advertising that did not advance the sales process, or as we would say today, the customer journey. He was concerned that advertising people sought to advance their own agenda and “spoke to their own interests” rather than to those of their customers.

Today we speak of choosing a target audience and speaking to that audience in a manner they can relate to. This would make sense to Hopkins.

That said, there is a great deal of discussion around how targeting and personalization are defined. The reality is that in most instances, we do not have enough accurate information around any given consumer to completely personalize. But we can base our communications on what we do know about that person. It often starts with demographics, and then proceeds onto to behavioral and psychographic data, depending on how much information the consumer is willing to volunteer. Using our own data and experience with a person is often a better point for starting a dialog than buying targeted profiles, although we may need to do this to get started and to expand our audience.

And this would also have appealed to Hopkins.  He felt that “people can be coaxed but not driven.” A face-to-face sales encounter would have followed a pattern but would also have varied person to person that the salesperson encountered. Again…not all that dissimilar to what we are trying to do today.


Claude Hopkins on Salesmanship and Relationship Building in Advertising

July 18, 2018


When we last visited Claude Hopkins, I indicated we would pick up with his second chapter of his book “Scientific Advertising”, which is based on salesmanship. In this chapter he also speaks to an extent to understanding and building a relationship with the customer.

While the language is somewhat out of date, I do think the thinking behind the language fits in well with our current digital world thinking on relationship building, personalization and getting to know the customer.

Initially he indicates that advertising is salesmanship, and that the “only purpose of advertising is to make sales”. He further argues “that it is not to keep your name in front of people” There are some other thoughts that he expresses, but it is obvious that he is a direct marketer and did not think much of institutional advertising.

I agree with this. But he also goes on to talk about the way that that is accomplished: through thinking of customers as people and taking their perspective, not your own. In his own words: “Don’t think of people in mass…think of the typical individual that you would want to sell” and “The advertising man (or woman) studies the consumer. He tries to place himself in the place of the buyer.” He felt that ads were often written more to please the seller than the buyer. Claude always believed the buyer (or the customer) should come first.

This is very much in keeping with what we try to accomplish today with much better tools than Claude ever had. According to emarsys,  “There are 3 strategic objectives that digital marketers need to set and measure in order to generate revenue.

The 3 strategic objectives are:

  1. Convert leads into buying customers
  2. Increase the LTV (Life time Value) of your customers
  3. Win-back inactive and lost customers“ (emarsys, n.d.)

They argue that everything we do should be oriented to one or more of these objectives. As we work through Claude, we will see that he would appreciate this thinking. All three objectives align with points that he makes related to direct marketing. Advertising should be convincing and that the appropriate points must be made at the appropriate point in the sales cycle.

Next time we will look at Claude’s views on service…

Emarsys (n.d.) 3 Strategic Goals Of Digital Marketing. Retrieved from:

Freedom to be wrong…what a concept

October 13, 2013

“Search marketing, and most Internet marketing in fact, can be very threatening because there are no rules. There’s no safe haven. To do it right, you need to be willing to be wrong. But search marketing done right is all about being wrong. Experimentation is the only way. No one really knows whether that page will rank #1 in Google; no one really knows which paid search copy will get the highest click rate. Even experts can’t tell you which content will attract the most links. You just have to try it and see.” Mike Moran, IBM

Claude Hopkins

Claude Hopkins

If Claude Hopkins had had the internet 100 years ago, he could have told you this….

(Thanks to Dan Perry for posting the quote at )