Marketing Tips from the Show Mad Men

27 July 2018

Hanafi Mohd Sam
I’m not sure if any of you watched “Mad Men” but the Television show has impacted their audience positively in the advertising and marketing business sector.

Advertising is based on the virtue of happiness and involves convincing customers that the product will improve their happiness, or you know, make their lives better.

It is about the perceived value. It is through this that marketers can boost their sales significantly.

Watching the show, there are some marketing tips which you can get from Don Draper and his associates.


Don’t just strike a conversation for the sake of it. Create an emotional bond with the customer. The nature of the relationship between an individual and the customer determines the potential for retention and this promotes proper marketing. Connecting deeply with customers on a personal level is therefore recommended for marketers.


Using advertisements to tell the story of the brand is another tip which can be used by marketers. By sharing the brand’s story with customers, it is possible to develop a deeper emotional connection. As customers feel more like a part of the franchise, so does their loyalty to the brand increase. And, like I’ve shared before, they might even create their own tribe.


Being open to changes works magic for marketers. Throughout the TV show, Peggy, the protégé demonstrates business acumen with a predisposition to change. This, of course, increases the risk factor although there are gains to be had.

The lesson here is: You should not be afraid to take bold actions whenever the need arises.


Whenever speech does not go as planned, the marketer should be able to steer the conversation in a different direction. For instance, instead of focusing on the negative effects of a product, try placing emphasis on its benefits. This will result in the product achieving a more favourable rating with audiences,


Emphasis should not be placed on writing – instead of seeking to address the concerns of the customer is a good idea too. Looking to meet the expectations of clients as opposed to writing down their requests shows them personal concern. Marketers should acknowledge their expertise and provide alternatives to the requests made.


Differentiation is another way of marketing goods within a competitive environment. The similarity which commodities bear nowadays mean that strategy is required for one product to excel. By differentiating, similar product lines can be brought to the attention of customers in greater detail thereby increasing probabilities for sale.


Naming a product appropriately is another marketing tip which can be obtained from this show. Names typically bear emotional content and recognising the emotions associated with a product can help in naming it suitably. It is required that the name resonates and relates with the purpose for which the product was made.


Finally, positioning is another important aspect of marketing. That’s why we even have it on our Neu Entity Brand Experience (NBX Model) as well. It has to do with tailoring a product/brand such that the customers perceive it in a certain way. By carving its own niche among competing brands, properly positioned products are able to achieve the commercial objectives of marketers more quickly compared to the opposite scenario.

And don’t just stop there. Continuous improvement should be the target for all marketers. Don Draper’s quote “… even though success is a reality, its effects are temporary…” evidences this.

Assuming a comfort zone may result in the marketer not holding themselves to the highest standards. This could actually be the beginning of failure, especially within this profession. So keep on keeping on and have fun!

The author, Hanafi Mohd Sam, also blogs at
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