What marketers and entrepreneurs can learn from watching Mad Men

3 min read

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There’s a reason why Mad Men managed to become one of the most popular and beloved serious on television. The series was filled with intense atmosphere and contained some amazing writing, leading the show to gain a massive following since its premiere in 2007. 

Maybe you’re looking for a good business show to binge this weekend or maybe you just want to watch a show that will teach you a thing or two about marketing and business…

Well this is the show to binge!

Every character in this series manage to have their own depths, but none of them held a candle to the main lead character Don Draper.

Draper was everything that made the rapid and cutthroat world of New York marketing agencies during the 1960s, making the character feel authentic that can rarely be seen on the small screen.

With the series ending back in 2015, Mad Men manage to become carefully viewed under a microscope as people analyzed each character even more. 

One amazing thing about this show that shouldn’t be ignored is just how much Don Draper has to teach about marketing. The show may have been set during the 1960s, but every lesson Draper had to offer still holds in today’s business world.

For those who are interested in climbing their way to the top, studying Don Draper can be quite beneficial for you to do.


mad men for marketers

During Season one there was an episode in which Draper used a slideshow as a marketing technique for Kodak. Draper wasn’t actually selling the camera itself but instead making a connection with the hearts and minds of the audience by providing them with a sense of nostalgia. 

For some psychological reason, nostalgia holds a strong emotional effect on human beings, perhaps because some things from the past can never be experienced again.

In today’s marketing world, we can see nostalgia being used in all sorts of commercials from big companies. The lesson behind this story is that nostalgia can be weaponized and properly used for marketing purposes. 


Concentrate on the “need behind the need.”

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There’s always a reason why a new client may decide to approach you and your company. It may be because they need help with branding, or even creating a new logo for their business. Regardless of their reason, what gets overlooked most of the time, is the importance of looking past what a client is requesting for and assess the “need behind the need.” 

Why is this client in need of branding?

Maybe they’ve been having a difficult time launching their business off the ground or their reputation suffered in the past.

Becoming aware of the true source of a client’s needs is the only way to truly provide them with the service or product that is best for them, not to mention the fact it lets them know that you’re adept at what you do. 


Don’t be afraid of change

If there’s one part of life that everyone can pretty much agree on, is that change is inevitable. It’s a constant part of our lives, in business and in every other part of life. Trying to fight the oncoming storm of change is a losing battle.

At times, change can be a positive thing, while at other times they can become disastrous.

The most important thing is to remember about change is that it’s neither a positive or negative thing, it just “is”. 

Traversing through life can be grueling enough as it is, but you’ll have a much more difficult time if you don’t learn to deal with them. No matter what changes may happen, humans are highly adaptable creatures. Keep this in mind the next time you’ve managed to end up in a bad spot


Changes things up a bit if they’re not working. 

It can be difficult to sell a product or service, especially those which may not be known by many people. Sometimes it can take years of trial and error to figure out what’s not working for you, which will make you feel like you wasted time.

Although, you should consider this a blessing instead, as this realization is the first step towards success. 

If you get that feeling like you’ve been struggling against the tide trying to market a product or service, chances are it’s time to change strategies.

A simple change in a new direction can make a world of difference, and the witness this in action, you’ll quickly discover that flexibility is the key to success for any marketer. 


Think like your consumers

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Plenty of people in the business think that the main path to success for a marketing campaign is to prove to consumers they need a product or service in their life. While there is something behind this strategy, it doesn’t even nearly capture the entire picture. 

One of Draper’s most critical styles of work is that he understands the importance of thinking like his consumers. Placing yourself into the shoes of your customer base will directly influence how you create a campaign, thus affecting whether or not it will become successful. 

As yourself this, “If I was a customer, why would I want to purchase this?”

This can lead to even more questions being asked, but this is how a benchmark campaign is developed. 

Final thoughts

If you haven’t watched Mad Men yet, consider doing so.

The series has its entire season up on Netflix to watch the moment. While it may take a few episodes to get hooked, you won’t regret the ride it takes you on. For the time being, start putting these lessons to good use, it’ll be only a matter of time before you become successful. 

Looking for a team of content marketers that goes above and beyond to help you double your traffic and leads through content marketing? Get in touch with us! 🙂

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