Inbound Marketing and Lessons from Mad Men

mad-menMad Men offers a fascinating look into the golden era of Advertising in the 1960s.  In this period, smoking at your desk and enjoying a morning cocktail before your first client meeting was deemed normal practice.  This fictional agency is led by the leading man, mysterious and suave,  Don Draper, “Draper? Who knows anything about that guy? No one’s ever lifted that rock. He could be Batman for all we know.” states his office peer, Harry Crane.  So why talk about Don?  The goal of the blog is not to justify the advent of tobacco and alcohol vices back in the workplace, but how we are helping companies make stronger connections between their  products and target customers.  The Mad Men show makes for great fun and entertainment and has inspired to me compare lessons from this show to today’s inbound marketing strategy.

Lesson 1  “The day you sign a client is the day you start losing them

In 13 words, Don Draper summed up the failed model of agency/client relationships.  Clients are investing into agencies to drive sales, agencies efforts are focused on maintaining perceived value.  The result is a fragmentation of activities, departments, and agencies doing different things at different times….social media, SEO, PPC, design, direct mail, etc.

At Hidden Peak we believe this to be a valuable lesson.  Our relationship is far from a typical client/agency model, we are partners.  All agencies say they are partners – I get it.  In more than mere words, we are aligned to your sales goals and we are performance based.  If you don’t make your numbers, why should we be rewarded? And when we are rewarded, everyone at Hidden Peak, from management down to its team members, share in that reward.  So what agency relationship do you seek?  We believe you want a business partner that wins when you win!

Lesson 2  “Being with a client is like being in a marriage. Sometimes you get into it for the wrong reasons, and eventually they hit you in the face.” 

We HAVE to comfortable in saying NO!  Some clients will just not work with our Inbound Marketing model.  As we begin our discussions with you, we are also interviewing you to ensure that you are for fit for our innovative marketing approach that changes the game and bends the rules.  This approach takes into account your company size, vertical, and your company’s culture receptiveness to innovate.  So if we don’t partner the first time, that’s OK.  The last thing we want to do is promise something that we cannot deliver and we want you to be happy you have selected us.

Lesson 3 “If you don’t like what is being said, change the conversation.” 

Human beings are generally complacent by nature, we seek to find the easiest path and we are wrought with a desire for stability.  We do things differently, here.  Transparency is one of our core vales at Hidden Peak.  We do things in the open and are motivated by different factors.  As a trusted adviser, we have no problem helping a client by referring them to another company when their services request is outside our core expertise.  However, if we don’t do it, then we are also probably telling you should not do it either.   To earn your trust, we must be comfortable with saying no to new ideas and capitalize on trends when appropriate.  We love ‘changing the conversation'; especially when you come to us because the same things you are doing over and over again are NOT working.

photo credit: AMC Mad Men


About Michael Senger

Michael Senger is an energetic, results-oriented Senior Marketing Professional with almost 15 years experience in strategic online marketing. Before joining Hidden Peak Interactive, Michael successfully led the launch of StoneMass, a web marketing agency. Michael also spent 8 years at Symantec, directing their Global Online Marketing initiatives leading a diverse global team of matrixed team leaders and digital/online agencies leading to successful global results.

Michael has a MBA in Marketing Information Technology from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

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