If you are in advertising or marketing and have ever watched the show Mad Men, then you surely love Don Draper. Even if you are not in the industry, you probably like the character anyways. But people who loved the show wonder at times if the fictional advertising executive could teach an actually valuable lesson to modern advertising executives, or perhaps their fancy but old ways are outdated for today’s world.
It is true that in 1960 they didn’t have the technologies we enjoy today, for example they weren’t able to measure, track and monitor every single cent spent and every single click and impression, as well as tweak the ad copy to optimise for conversions. In today’s reality marketers and advertisers don’t play so much of a guessing game, but a new game of data-driven marketing led by analysts.
While all this is true, and modern advertising and marketing agencies function in a completely different manner, there are still lessons we can learn from these charismatic characters. So cutting to the chase, what can we really learn?
Understand the end customer
Advertising agencies need to understand the brands they are representing. The brand’s target audience, and how this brand can appeal to its audience. This is key for creating the right campaign and the right message. Don Draper always managed to accurately capture and tap into the right emotions, adapting each campaign to its audience. He was always able to tap into what audiences really wanted, as opposed to what they actually needed. He was able to craft messages around emotions versus needs, and this is what ultimately made a campaign successful.
The most important step in a great advertising campaign is to understand your customer. What does this customer really want, what does he/she feel and think? What is their deepest desire? These are the emotions you need to tap into as an advertiser. Which brings us to the next lesson…
Appeal to the emotions of your customers
This is strongly related to the previous point. Don understands that you need to put the client first and keep the customers’ happiness above everything else. Which means that above trying to sell your product, you should be thinking in terms of a deeper need that your customers may be looking for and then show how the product can meet that deeper need. Most of his campaigns appeal to emotions to make a sale.