At HigherClick.com, we certainly don’t dress like the guys at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce…
Our office looks a lot different as well…
The award-winning television drama Mad Men has been one of my favorite shows for quite some time now. The show, set in the 1960s, gives us a glimpse into what life was like at a big time ad agency in New York. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to sip some bourbon at three in the afternoon in the office with the founding partners of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. One thing is for sure – advertising has certainly changed and, while it’s sad for me to say, one this is for certain: For better or for worse, the days of the Madison Avenue Ad Men are over and today, Don Draper would be out of a job!
“Old marketing” or traditional forms of advertising was the life blood of the early ad agencies. Communication to consumers was a one-way street, with companies in control of the message and information the consumers were to receive. Communication to consumers was broadcasted via print ads, radio, TV, banner advertising, and cold calls. The goal behind traditional marketing was to promote or push products and services on consumers but it did so in a way that forced companies to buy, beg, and bug their prospective customers. What’s more is that old marketing has been viewed by consumers as being increasingly intrusive or disruptive and has therefore become less effective at communicating the advertisers message.
Well, the decline of old marketing is best explained by a fundamental shift in the behavior of consumers. Now, more than ever, people are in control of the type of information they receive and how they wish to receive it. Hundreds of millions of Americans have added their names and numbers to government sponsored “Do Not Call” lists to ward off unwanted telemarketing calls. The majority of email users have setup some type of spam filtering or have unsubscribed to unwanted emails. The vast majority of television viewers are now skipping TV ads. Young web users are more more likely than not to leave a website due to intrusive or irrelevant advertising. Like I said, the days of Don Draper are over…
As consumers continue to head to the internet, “new marketing” or inbound marketing continues to rise. New marketing is basically any type of marketing that involves earning peoples interest instead of buying it. The major difference between new marketing and old marketing is that, with new marketing, communication is an interactive two-way street between the consumer and the company. Consumers are already online searching and talking about brands. It’s now up to the companies to not only join the conversation but to influence what is being said about their brands. With new marketing, customers approach companies via search engines, social media, and referrals. Today, marketers are tasked with not only providing value to consumers before a sale but also educating and even entertaining them.
What does this all mean?
Basically search engine optimization experts, social media consultants, and internet marketers are the “new mad men!” They’re tasked with helping companies get found online and building up brands through interactive marketing. By far the most effective way this is done is through content marketing coupled with social participation.
Content marketing involves the creation of useful content that will then be promoted to consumers (most often for free). Great examples of content marketing include white papers, ebooks, ecourses, podcasts, infographics, pillar blog content, educational videos, webinars, newsletters and more. When interesting, useful, and educational content is combined with a strong content promotion strategy, (i.e. facebook, twitter, news aggregation sites, social bookmarking sites and others) the reach of the content can grow virally which leads to a substantial increase in visibility.
As content is picked up and makes its way around the internet, many back-links are picked up along the way, adding even more value to the content. These links will help improve a sites overall visibility in search engines. In addition to increased search rankings, content marketing can create buzz, consistent referral traffic as well as new sales and leads for a business.
Here is a great example of content marketing: It’s a blog post from OKCupid, a dating site that has rapidly grown in popularity thanks to their content marketing strategy. The post is titled “10 Charts About Sex.”
If you take a look at the social shares on the SEOmoz tool OpenSiteExplorer, you see the article received a ton of social shares and picked up a bunch of back links in the process.
More and more businesses have noticed the trend towards inbound marketing and have focused their attention accordingly. Smart businesses and marketers are starting to invest in their search and social strategies. Today, corporate spending on social media, search marketing, and blogging is larger than its ever before.
One of the major reasons for growth of inbound marketing is the ROI it provides. On average, inbound marketing costs less than half of what traditional marketing leads would cost. Leads from facebook, twitter, linkedin, and corporate blogs are known to convert better than outbound leads as well.
Blogs, SEO, PPC, and social media cost a lot less on average than attending trade shows, telemarketing, and direct mailers.
No one can deny that marketing has changed at the very core. The internet has revolutionized the way we find, buy, sell, and interact with brands and their products and services. Intrusive advertising and traditional marketing is a thing of the past. The days of new marketing are here and now the focus is on providing as much value as possible to consumers while doing everything possible to earn their trust and loyalty.
So while we may not dress as well as Don Draper, or hold our scotch whiskey as well, we’re pretty confident we can outperform him and deliver better results for our clients in the internet age! Game on Don!