Who Says Your First True Love Can’t be Your Last?
I recently noticed one of those presumptuous Tiffany ads, “When Love is True”, telling the soon to be betrothed that if their love is genuine then they’d better have a Tiffany ring to prove it. Part of me finds this brilliant; part of me gets a little queasy.
It got me thinking about true love. (No, not the scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral, “Love, true love.”) During the past few years I have contemplated many roads. It was time to go it on my own, so what should I do? What could I succeed at? What would I be good at? What would excite me? What would I still love doing every day twenty years from now?
I filled page after page with a few good and some not-so-good business ideas, but everything kept pointing back to marketing, my first true love. I fell in love with marketing while working as an interviewer at Utah Market Research. I was 18 or 19. More specifically, I fell in love with advertising. My job was interviewing customers of all ages and types. It was a blast. I interviewed kids watching toy commercials or tasting the new Tang. Moms trying frosted pop tarts and men who used the latest Schick razor. I even tested that infamous slogan, “Pork, the other white meat.” Nobody believed it.
I clearly remember reading the book Ogilvy on Advertising while on break. I already knew I loved research and advertising, but what he said turned on the light. David Ogilvy spoke of respect for the customer and the importance of research. He worked as an interviewer, aka “man on the street”, for Gallup. He argued for knowing the customer and using that knowledge to “make the cash register ring”. David Ogilvy said not to use research “as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, but rather to illuminate.” He said a lot of other inspiring things. I was all in, hopelessly in love.
Today, I’ve re-dedicated myself to the art and science of marketing. I’m all in for the long haul. My first true love is my last. Marketing.