Post: It’s A Mad World

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It’s A Mad World

Mad Men Marketing at the end of its Run

The critically acclaimed television show Mad Men ended its run recently.

If you didn’t watch, it’s set in the sixties – in particular, an advertising firm in the sixties. The main character, Don Draper, is a creative genius. Often times he’ll almost single-handedly design and present original and effective ad campaigns. Typically, these campaigns save his firm, induce record sales for the client or both.

Easy Marketing Campaigns in the 60’s

Maybe creating a marketing campaign was that easy in the sixties. Maybe you could come up with one clever message or slogan, purchase some ad space in newspapers and spots on radio and television and have an effective marketing campaign. After all, times were simpler. There were just three networks on TV, a handful of AM radio stations (and one classical FM station) and about one newspaper in each town. After you came up with an effective message that would entice customers, deciding what vehicle to use to deliver that message to the public was a fairly straightforward process – there simply weren’t that many options to choose from and most of those options reached a large swath of people.

Effective Marketing Campaigns of Present Day

But it’s certainly not that easy to construct an effective marketing campaign in 2015. In fact, coming up with a great catchphrase, artwork or catchy jingle like Don Draper does on the show is now probably the easiest part of the planning process.

In the present day, the difficulty or challenge comes in how best to deliver that well-crafted message. There are now countless methods and vehicles to shill your product. Along with traditional media and sponsorships, there is the vast gray and mysterious world of digital marketing (banner ads, site retargeting, email blasts, SEO, Google Adwords, online video advertising and digital radio just to name a few “digital” marketing options).

Yes, it’s a much bigger world and finding the right audience or people who actually might want to listen to your message while still getting a return on your marketing investment, isn’t easy. Blasting a message out to the public without knowing who is receiving it is financially foolish. But the good news is that, if you are strategic about it, it’s unnecessary.

Know your Customers

The trick, in simplest terms, is to understand the demographics of the customers most likely to want your product and match those up with the marketing vehicles that match those demographics. With the advent of technology, this has become easier to do.

Get Targeted

In general, it’s not general. Picking an advertising medium like a newspaper, radio or TV station usually doesn’t make sense anymore. Newspapers, for example, are not just hurting because of a decline in print readership. More importantly to their bottom line, newspapers can’t offer a targeted or finite audience like many modern marketing vehicles can and advertisers are turning away.

Newspapers can’t define their reader much beyond the fact that they are older and educated. In contrast, niche print products like magazines or professional publications allow advertisers to hone in on particular professions or interests. Radio, television, and billboards have much the same problem. Broad audiences mean broad demographics, making it harder to determine if purchasing advertising space makes sense.

Digital Marketing make it Easier

Most credible advertising mediums now offer some fairly deep data on who they reach. Digital marketing, in particular, can offer very targeted demographics- allowing the right message to get to the right people. Want to reach female cycling enthusiasts above the age of 35 within a 5-mile radius of your bike shop? There are a number of online vehicles that would allow you target these individuals at a relatively cheap rate in comparison to traditional broader reaching forms of media.

So when reviewing your current marketing efforts, question what audience you’re reaching and why. Question the forms of marketing you’ve used for years. They might not be reaching the demographic you need any more. Or maybe there are better, more targeted ways to get a better return on your marketing investment.


If you have any questions or need help evaluating your website, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help you find a solution to fit your digital needs.

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