Drayton Bird co founded a marketing agency in 1977 that became the U.K.’s largest direct marketing agency before it was bought by Ogilvy & Mather in 1984. He ran the worlds largest direct marketing agency for David Ogilvy.
The late advertising great, David Ogilvy, said that Drayton “knows more about direct marketing than anyone else in the world”.
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In addition to starting the U.K.’s largest direct marketing agency that was bought by Ogilvy & Mather, Drayton Bird has worked with many of the world’s leading brands. The brands included American Express, Ford, Microsoft, and many more. He has helped sell everything from Airbus planes and Bentley Cars to models of London buses
He’s written several books. First a novel called Some Rats Run Faster – 50 years ago this year.
He wrote Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing in 1982 which is in 17 languages. The new version is called Commonsense Marketing.
He also wrote a book called How to Write a Sales Letter that sells.
He has received numerous awards including the lifetime achievement award from Caples Awards. The Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton as one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.
What will you learn in this interview?
– What motivates Drayton to push past his low points?
– Has he ever wanted to give up?
– What happened in France while trying to sell swimming pool franchises?
– What does he think of the term C-Suite?
Business Mentors, Tools, Books mentioned:
– “Commonsense Direct and Interactive Marketing” by Drayton Bird
– “How to Write Sales Letters That Sell!” by Drayton Bird
– “Commonsense Marketing” by Drayton Bird
– David Ogilvy – Widely hailed as “The Father of Advertising”
– John E. Kennedy – L&T’s former chief copywriter
– Eugene Schwartz – Author of “Breakthrough Advertising”
– “The Art of Selfishness” by David Seabury
– Joe Karbo – Author of “The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches”
– Martin Sorrell – English businessman and the chief executive officer of WPP Group
– Joseph Segel – founder of over 20 American companies, most notably QVC, an American television network, and the Franklin Mint
– Jamie Bill – Publishing director at Conde Nast
A little background about Drayton Bird:
Drayton Bird has worked with many of the world’s leading brands, including American Express, British Airways, Deutsche Post, Ford, Microsoft, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Philips, The Royal Mail, Unilever and Visa. He has also worked with major advertising agency groups, including Y & R, JWT, FCB and Leo Burnett.
Business schools, universities and management consultants he has worked with include Columbia University Business School, New York, INSEAD, The London Business School, ESIC (Madrid), IPADE (Mexico City), IPADE (Lima), Cap Gemini, McKinsey and A. T. Kearney.
In 1977, with two partners, he set up Trenear-Harvey, Bird & Watson, which became the UK’s largest DM agency and which he sold in 1984 to Ogilvy and Mather. As international Vice-Chairman and Creative Director, he helped O & M Direct become the world’s largest direct marketing agency network, and was elected to the worldwide Ogilvy Group board.
He now runs Drayton Bird Associates, and works on direct marketing and other marketing matters. He has interests in five other firms in the UK and Asia.
David Ogilvy, who he worked with while at O&M Direct said of him, “Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing than anyone else in the world.”
In November 2003 the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton Bird one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.
Advertising legend David Ogilvy said he “knows more about direct marketing than anyone in the world. His book about it is pure gold. His speeches are not only informative, but hilariously funny.”
Campaign Magazine named him one of the 50 most important individuals in UK advertising during the previous 25 years UK magazine Direct Response said his impact on UK direct marketing was “unlikely to be matched by any other individual” In 1994 he was named one of the first six Fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing. In 1997 he was voted Educator of the Year. In May 2001 the British Direct Marketing Association placed him on their Roll of Honour. In December 2003, most of the readers of Precision Marketing magazine voted him leading direct marketing personality in the last 15 years.
His book, “Commonsense Direct and Interactive Marketing” (1982) is in its fifth edition. Published by Kogan Page in 13 languages, it is the best-selling British work on the subject.
He has also written “How to Write Sales Letters That Sell!” also published by Kogan Page in 1994, reprinted 4 times.
“Marketing Insights and Outrages” is a collection of columns from “Marketing Magazine” a UK publication.
He has written over 1,000 columns for magazines in Europe, Australia, India, the UK and Malaysia.
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