Timeless advice for business-people: 10 principles of a successful advertisement from 1921


Literature about success principles was being published as long as 100 years ago. For example in Germany, a school of success was established in 1921 by a businessman and a propagator of positive thinking Oscar Schellbach. Based on the principles taught in this school, there was a publication released showcasing the knowledge of that time, especially from the fields of sales psychology, time management, sales and marketing known as:  My road to success. It is interesting being able to compare the principles that used to be enforced 100 years ago with today’s principles and realize how timeless they really are.For your interest we chose 10 principles which the author recommends to every business person trying for a successful ad:

  1. Realize that with your advertisement you are trying to win over your customer and not yourself. That is why you need to really try to empathize with the position your customers are currently in. It is not your opinion that is important, but the one of your customers.  And to get to know them, you must research their conditions and listen to their opinions.
  2. Never advertise low quality product. Hold onto the belief that you would be wasting your time and money. The product is good not because you consider it a good product, but because your customer needs it and considers it a good product himself. If in doubt, make an appointment with your customer, and ask them for their opinion on your product.
  3. If you are confident that an advertising product is good enough, you cannot advertise it enough. In relation to the advertising investment, you will also increase your turnover.
  4. For your advertisement to bring you the best possible results, advertise in the right places. The right place is always where most of your customers are. If you are not following this rule, you are wasting your money. Only advertisement in the right place is successful.
  5. Make sure you have a strict control on the effectivity of your advertisement. Ask your customers where did they find out about you. Write notes and keep them on file. Also the ones from your customers. The right effect of your advertisement will show if in comparison with the turnover the advertisement is always cheaper and cheaper.
  6. Always be honest with offering and praising your products. Always remember that you want to gain a customer, not a one off buyer.
  7. Always persuade only with a positive and truthful advertisement. Don’t forget that a crowd judges by a cover.
  8. Never replicate an advertisement of your competitors. The only thing you’d show by this would be your intellectual emptiness and you’d make enemies.
  9. Never mention your competitors in your advertisement, neither directly, nor indirectly. Do not show that it is worse, even if it was to be the truth.
  10. Be careful so that your customer does not notice that you are praising your product. The customer should not be realizing the purpose of your advertising, but rather the quality and value of your product.


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