With season six airing of the show Mad Men, it sparked my curiosity of how an agency like Sterling Cooper would manage in today’s world. Is there a difference between 1960s agencies compared to an agency such as Mad Men Marketing?
One of my favorite aspects of the television show, is how they nail the creative process. The research, development, execution, and pitch. Sometimes no matter how hard you want to magically have a great idea, it just won’t come to mind. Other times you can think your idea is ground-breaking, but the client isn’t onboard with your direction. As far as the business world of a career in the creative industry, Mad Men is spot on.
Always watching their back from their coworkers, the cast of Mad Men are consistently out for themselves. Everyone is trying to get ahead, and willing to go to extreme lengths to be at the top. Today, this would be the perfect set up for a failing business. Burning bridges won’t get you far as an agency, as well as taking the time to lend a hand. A successful agency is sustained by good relationships, not only with clients but also with the entire team. Going the extra mile rather than cutting corners is what makes a great agency stand out from a good agency.
The Power of Advertising
In my opinion, this is the biggest change to advertising due to technology. In the 50s and 60s, the media had a certain control that it no longer has. With so many product options, advertising clutter and noise, ways to order, and convenience of the internet consumers’ brand loyalty is nowhere near where it was in the past. Being able to search for the best prices around allows consumers to be fickle with their purchasing decisions.
The power today is in the hands of the consumer. Rather than creating a marketing plan that you think is effective, it is important to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. Would I benefit from paying attention from this ad, or is it just feature dumping like the other 3,000 advertisements that I see on a daily basis?
So, would an agency like Sterling Cooper be a top agency on Madison Ave. in 2013? No, just as the world evolves over time, so must agencies. Technology has pushed agencies to become more consumer-driven in their strategies. While Sterling Cooper would wine-and-dine their clients into their ideas, it was mainly their way or the highway. Today a lot more listening needs to be done rather than talking.
As Don would say “If you don’t like what people are saying, change the conversation.” However Don never had to deal with Yelp reviews. Sorry Don, your persuasive words might not make the cut in modern advertising. Time to work on your people skills!