Alex DiSebastianDon Draper Doesn’t Know the Internet, but His Principles Apply to Internet Marketing

The Similarities in MadMen and PaperStreet Marketing

The Analogy: Internet marketing principles are the same as the principles shown on the hit television series MadMen.

Ask any designer, marketer, or advertiser what their favorite television drama is and MadMen almost certainly makes the list. For seven seasons, the show enlightened us to advertising gold over and over again as we were introduced to characters who continuously faced equal challenges in and outside of work.

In the office, the creative challenge was always the same: driving sales through the use of mainly print advertisements with slogans and artwork.

Internet marketing didn’t exist in the MadMen era, yet modern advertising experts can watch and appreciate how the cast reveals that the most basic advertising principles have not changed much at all.

Your internet marketing campaign is just like a new project for Don Draper:

  • You want to increase your exposure, beat your competitors, and improve sales
  • The agency is going to ask key questions like, “who is your target audience.”
  • The agency will present you with options to create an effective campaign

Fifty plus years later, the basic principles have not changed either:

  • Determine the target audience
  • Determine the best way to reach that audience
  • Make a lasting impression in less than 3 seconds

In the 60’s, clients desired the advertising slot on page one in a top magazine or in one of the first pages of a newspaper. Today, clients fight to be on page one in the top internet search engine.

The Creative Process

In order to create a website and marketing campaigns to meet your business goals, your marketing agency needs to ask the right questions. No one knows your business like you do, but we gather information from key decision makers to learn more about your goals, vision and history as a company. The same way Draper probes at his clients during awkward presentation meetings. We are much more polite and tactful in our approach.

PaperStreet gathers this information from clients via the Project Brief, a 10 page document that outlines critical questions for the web design, content and SEO process.

We ask questions like:

  • What benefit do you provide to clients?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What problem does your business solve?

With important information in hand, it is the time to kick-start the campaign. In MadMen, this is the part where a group of creatives sit around eating, smoking and drawing with colored pencils. It works the same here (minus the smoking and colored pencils, of course).

Making an Effective Campaign (Then & Now)

The ‘60s MadMen Era The Internet Marketing Era The Result
Advertising in the correct magazine Honing in on the correct keywords The correct target audience
Fighting for first page ad space or page one advertising slot Getting top organic rankings Reaching the audience
“3 seconds” to display a simplistic visual ad that connects and stays with viewer “3 seconds” to display a simplistic visual website that allows a viewer to easily contact the firm Capturing a lead

While the tools (and our clothing choices) have changed, our job is the same job of the MadMen characters: drive sales through the use of media.


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