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Offline Gurus - Claude Hopkins

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Claude Hopkins has an eventful childhood that adequately pruned him for developing masterly advertising techniques. His main purpose was to use advertising to sell a commodity and he made extensive use of different advertising methods to achieve the goal. Known as the father of modern advertising, Claude started making advances in advertising at quite an early age.

His father was involved in running a newspaper along with printing advertiser’s bills. Claude was quite industrious from a very early age and thus he solicited the advertisers about delivering the bills to houses. He guaranteed that the bills will be distributed to even faraway houses but in turn, charged more for his service. The promise was not false and soon the advertisers could see its result. Thus, soon he had a monopoly in the market.

At the age of ten, he explored the proposition of door-to-door selling when he demonstrated his product in front of people and gave way to the method of sampling. Further, he studied the street fakers and deduced that most advertisers lack the advertising knowledge that they possess. He could well analyze the way that turned on the common people when they make a purchase.

Later Hopkins enrolled himself in a business school in Michigan. Further, he took up the job of a bookkeeper and later joined Bissell Carpet Sweeper Company. There an advertising opportunity made him prove his advertising acumen and gave his life a new turn. The next in line was Swift & Company where he got the advertising assignment for Cotosuet (an inexpensive lard and butter substitute).  He prompted the bakers to use Cotosuet in cake rather than butter to make his point clear that a product better than butter will certainly have no comparison to lard. Thus, even though the competition was stiff Cotosuet could well establish its own identity.

He produced an instructive guide to advertising in 1923 titled as Scientific Advertising. Concerning with what Hopkins coins as advertising “laws”, it is not very scientific in nature. It relates more to the world of social sciences. It talks about the different aspects relating to consideration and comprehension of customer psyche. For Hopkins, "Advertising is Salesmanship”. According to Hopkins, a salesperson should know his work properly. While many may think that impressive orators can make an efficient sales representative, it is essentially not so. For Hopkins, a sales copy written in reason-why structure is of the right kind and features such as copy testing, free sampling, a  coupon system, etc. help to boost the products sale that no other method can do.

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