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Never Surrender (Drayton Bird)

  • Episode #32

Drayton Bird is the founder of Drayton Bird Associates, a London-based consultant group that focuses on direct marketing. Despite dropping out of university and having no formal training in marketing and advertising, he is considered by many to be the most influential pioneer of direct marketing in the world.

In this episode of Making It, Drayton takes us on a decades-long journey of determination and motivation that will ignite both laughter and admiration. His story is an inspiring example of the power of perseverance and never being afraid to ask for what you want.

“After I went broke, I went through what was the most painful but also the most valuable experience of my life.” ”

“You have to have a sense of proportion…understand what matters and what doesn’t matter.”

Drayton Bird

Drayton Bird is a British marketing expert and public speaker. He has worked with advertising agencies including Y & R, JWT, FCB and Leo Burnett and was a founding member of the Superbrands Council. Starting as a journalist, he became a copywriter, and after becoming creative director of a London advertising agency, he quit to go into business on his own.

With two partners he set up what became Britain’s largest direct marketing agency, which he later sold to Ogilvy and Mather, where he became vice chairman and worldwide creative director of what is now OgilvyOne.

His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. He has written 4 other marketing books, including How to Write a Sales Letter That Sells, now in its 3rd edition, and well over 1,000 columns for publications around the world. In 2007 he founded the European Academy of Direct and Interactive Marketing.

Drayton is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, was one of the first eight honorary fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing and one of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India.

He has been given lifetime achievement awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.

Resources or websites mentioned in this episode:

Drayton’s website
Drayton’s LinkedIn


Guest – Drayton Bird
Associate producer – Danny Bermant
Producer – Cynthia Lamb
Executive producer – Danny Iny
Assembled by – Geoff Govertsen
Audio Post Supervisor: Evan Miles, Christopher Martin
Audio Post Production by Post Office Sound
Music soundscape: Chad Michael Snavely

Music and SFX credits: 

Track Title: The Sunniest Kids
Artist Name(s): Rhythm Scott
Writer Name: Scott Roush

Track Title: Sweet Loving Waltz
Artist Name(s): Sounds Like Sander
Writer Name: S.L.J. Kalmeijer

Track Title: Lough Leane
Artist Name(s): Alsever Lake
Writer Name: Adrian Dominic Walther

Track Title: Manolo Jazz
Artist Name(s): Syncro
Writer Name: Fabio Poian


Making It

If you’re an online entrepreneur, Making It was made for you. In each episode, real-world entrepreneurs tell their stories in their own words. They define what “making it” means in the busy space of online business. And they reveal what they’ve learned in their journey toward making it… lessons you can use in your own business.