5 Marketing Lessons from Terry O’Reilly

January 14, 2019


Our Director of Marketing shares her notes on O’Reilly’s newest book, This I Know

Written by Elizabeth Cron, Director of Marketing at The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce

I picked up Terry O’Reilly’s newest book, This I Know, to prepare for our luncheon and workshop with the ad man himself.

So what exactly does he know? Well, a lot.

His knowledge comes from 30+ years in the advertising business and he’s made a career in sharing what he knows on his radio show Under the Influence. To make it easy, he packaged his favourite marketing lessons and gifted it to us through the very captivating and humorous read, This I Know.

And this is what I know, every entrepreneur and marketer needs to read this book.

Until you do so, here are my top 5 marketing lessons from This I Know:

1. Figure out what business you’re really in

Nike doesn’t sell shoes. Molson doesn’t sell beer. Heck, Apple definitely doesn’t sell smart phones, computers, or even tablets.

They’re actually all in the business of making you feel something.

Early in the book, O’Reilly emphasizes people don’t buy products or services. People buy feelings.
Nike is in the business of motivation with their slogan ‘Just Do It’. Molson sells you a good time with an ice cold brew and Apple is empowering you with leading innovation.

2. Pay attention to what others are doing

This I Know, is a collection of our time’s best marketing campaigns and what we can learn from them. O’Reilly has made a career of observing, analyzing and picking apart marketing campaigns that is responsible for some of the biggest brands today.

As a business owner and marketer, observe, analyze and pick apart some of your favourite brands. Pay attention to their social media, what they’re saying to you via email and most importantly, how they make you feel.

3. Tell me a story

Above anything, O’Reilly is a master storyteller. In his book, he draws on numerous stories and builds a compelling case to why businesses need to differentiate themselves from others.

The emotion from effective storytelling is the differentiator.

To hear O’Reilly talk in-depth about how you can become a better storyteller, get your tickets to our event Effective Modern Marketing on Jan. 25.

4. Think shish kebab

O’Reilly often refers to good marketing strategy as a shish kebab – different elements skewed together with a consistent message and tone.

He encourages businesses to lock down their strategy early and always refer back to it when spending marketing dollars.

He makes the argument, everyone knows Crest products are known to whiten our teeth and we know Buckley’s taste awful but it’s an effective cold medicine. Now, do we remember a single advertisement from Crest or Buckley’s? Probably not. That’s some really good strategy.

​5. Say one thing loudly

Out of 3,000+ marketing messages we’re hit with a day, we notice six of them. Out of those six, our brains only retain two.

And the fact is, small businesses can’t compete with big businesses with large marketing dollars. So O’Reilly’s solution? Instead of saying 50 different things quietly, say one thing loudly.

He encourages small businesses to find ONE simple clear and concise marketing message…and go to town.

Don’t miss Terry O’Reilly in Winnipeg
Friday, January 25
​​11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
RBC Convention Centre

Member Rate:
1 table of 10 – $650 +GST | 1 seat – $65 +GST

Future Member Rate:
1 table of 10 – $1300 +GST | 1 seat – $130 +GST
Friday, January 25
​​1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
RBC Convention Centre

Podcasting 101 Workshop (members only):
ONLY 1 seat – $35 +GST *limited seats*

Workshop + Luncheon Package:
$100 +GST (members only)