David Ogilvy is widely regarded as a renaissance adman. He appreciated strategy, understood the power of creativity and never lost sight of advertising’s responsibility to sell. I personally spent several years at his namesake firm in the 90s and was impressed on how his worldview and approach lived on in the work created there at that time.

But times have drastically changed. Advertising renaissance men are more of a nostalgic curiosity than true social and business thought-leaders.  Changes in technology has led to changes in how people consume and share information, which in turn has led to changes in how we do marketing. But David Ogilvy was no slouch. My sense is that he would, in his own pointed and insightful way, very quickly pick up on what it takes to be a staunch marketer in this day and age.

Check out 5 traits of a 21st century David Ogilvy –

(1) Appreciate the Empowerment of the Connected Consumer

David Ogilvy famously said, “The consumer isn’t a moron, she is your wife.” Given that today consumers hold more leverage over sellers and marketers than ever before, this quote has never been more relevant. Mr. Ogilvy would no doubt respect the potency and relevance of people connecting through blogs, social media and the ability to share their own POVs with the world.

(2) Strive to Engage the Right Communities

Another favorite David Ogilvy quote of mine is “Don’t count the people you reach, reach the people who count.” In an age where marketing to connected communities is critical, knowing what groups of people our hold influence over potential customers and having a clear plan to engage them is no doubt something Mr. Ogilvy would certainly practice.

(3) Value the ‘Unsexy’ Interactions

David Ogilvy’s reverence for direct marketing is well documented. He appreciated its persuasiveness, efficiency, ability to track results and constantly improve. By the same token, I imagine Mr.Ogilvy today would appreciate the importance of every social media post, keyword and display ad to contribute towards successful marketing. Doing lots of little things well will make for big results.

(4) Create Marketing Content that People Love

The power of creativity was something David Ogilvy never underestimated. He also saw right through gimmicks and trends and believed creativity’s power came from fresh, insightful ideas. This thinking is just as valid today as it was half a century ago.

(5) Practice Inbound Marketing

One core tenet of David Ogilvy’s was that direct marketing should work hand-in-hand with mass media advertising. After all, responsibly effective marketing should give people the ability to follow through on what interests them. The 21st century manifestation of that thinking is Inbound Marketing. Using social media, landing pages, blogs, video, ebooks,  online events and optimization tactics to empower and incentivise potential customers to seek out your business.

If you are interested in learning more about how to be a 21st century David Ogilvy, check out our Guide to Creating Killer Marketing Content –