This little excerpt from the very famous series “Mad Men” reveals something that is still very much a part of today’s business world, needing to convince people that connecting with the ‘target market’ is extremely effective!
The era of Madison Avenue advertising approaches is definitely over, but the psychology and creative ideas which were derived from being thoughtful about specific aspects of culture are still very relevant.
The central character of Don Draper was often in the position of explaining the mechanics of his company’s approach to promoting products. This is a familiar position to all people who understand the power and effectiveness of today’s digital media, but find themselves having to spell out the benefits to potential customers.
What we are seeing today is a big transition away from the single-direction advert, Don Draper would be lost in the world of the WWW, Ad-blockers and ‘Content Marketing’.
We are seeing lots of different approaches being presented these days, ‘Direct Mail’ is making a come back because so many grass roots business people are having major problems understanding digital culture, and how to promote themselves using WWW methods.
Direct mail is a gimmick, it might be effective for single products, for a short while; one thing is certain, building a credible presence with digital media is a huge benefit.
One of the really big errors many people make is to transfer their broadcast media approaches and paste them on social media, and using their brand website like an electronic bill-board.
There are a lot of agencies out there who claim to be digital savvy, they wax lyrical quoting all kinds of metrics and ROI on their social media campaigns, their website based strategies. Many of these agencies were scoffing at Digital only a few short years ago.
Vanity metrics, such as numbers of likes, and followers are not of interest to the genuine digital publisher.
Specific campaigns and custom tailored content projects are where the true value lies. Building a conversation is of course useful, but executing on bespoke audience creation is the dynamic side of social media promotions.
Setting up very specific landing pages, populated by agile content choices enables us to tailor a promotional project, taking advantage of email automation, and response ‘AI’ also allows us to be highly flexible.
Flexibility and the capacity to adjust to highly individual requirements gives us a marketing firepower that was just not possible with unidirectional broadcast media.
The choices we can make with our long term branding efforts, combined with the sheer agility and potential to respond to our analysis of the various segments of our target audiences gives us an overall fire power that Don Draper would have been gob smacked with.
The variables in all of this, however, are dependent on our own clarity of vision, our own skills and creative scope; this is where the novice falls short in the digital equation, this is where the generic wiseguys are inadequate to the task.
The agency all too often offers you the cookie cutter solution, the ‘me too’ thinking; avoid the generic, avoid the quasi-science and the tech speak smart ass.
We need to appreciate the details, the ability to gain focus on the fractal details as the perspective gets closer, this is what I am interested with, and what excites me about the potential of digital media for building powerful communication and highly specific, tailored connections to quality and boutique audiences.
Madison Avenue influenced us all, the Don Draper geniuses gave us an appreciation for the creative, the specific, with digital we can take this very much further and we can deliver it without the media middle men charging us their millions, the internet is the middleman media; but you need people like me to make it all work properly, and dream up the mechanics.
I am a maverick player, I admit it, I am very impatient with the cookie cutter agencies, the commercial approaches to the web in general; I don’t think I am alone with this sentiment, by any means!
WebStruct is not about ‘Marketing’ in the usual sense, it is about re-defining communication and crafting very specific modalities of language to suit highly specific contexts. I am more interested with what we as creative, intelligent people can achieve with the vast power on-tap with the World Wide Web.
I can see that we are amidst a genuine struggle between libertarian, and conservative groups and the authoritarian groups in our society who recognize they are being challenged. We can present very agile responses to their deep pockets, and ownership of the legacy media empires; we have something they failed to account for, and still underestimate. We have the World Wide Web.
If Don Draper represented the creative maverick, able to escape his humble beginnings by the sheer craft of his insights, and beat the elite at their own game, the Web offers today’s Don Draper an even greater range of fire power.
The ‘Interesting Times’ we live in today are set to become ever more ‘interesting’ as time advances, people such as myself, and legions of other unique individuals are understanding the opportunity of the Web more clearly, this clarity contains the means to overcome the tyrannies of the previous order, watch this space.