It’s Not Called the Wheel. It’s Called the Carousel.

In the season one finale of Mad Men, Don Draper teaches us how to move the consumer from a rational purchase decision to an emotional one by creating a sentimental bond with the product.

Time travel is a powerful product feature but not exactly the feature that Don Draper’s client, Kodak, initially tasked the agency in selling. Simply required to work “the wheel” into the campaign, Draper eloquently delivers a campaign that speaks of something more. More than the technology. More than something new.

Draper speaks of nostalgia, tapping into the emotional reasoning that a consumer would exhibit before making the decision to purchase “the wheel” from Kodak. By branding the technology as “the carousel” Draper creates an experience and develops a sentimental bond with the product; first by doing it himself, then by doing it for his clients and ultimately for the consumer.

Good Luck at Your Next Meeting.

Sticking with the same episode of Mad Men, Draper gives what may be the best client presentation I’ve ever seen. And to deliver such a powerful presentation, you must know what your are presenting inside and out. You should also do your homework, understanding the product and the client.

In this case Draper clearly understands the challenge that Kodak has presented to the fictional agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. But Draper clearly transcends the assignment by creating a sentimental bond with the product. Through the struggles of his personal life he is able to see the product as the consumer would.

Draper delivers a concept that is brilliant and would likely win the agency the work, but his presentation has likely secured even more. Delivering the presentation on a Kodak slide projector is a wonderful technique itself and sharing his own personal story connects with everyone in the room. It immediately establishes him as both an inspiring creative director and a potential consumer demonstrating that he knows Kodak’s business better than they do.

In doing so Draper has not simply taken a meeting to learn more about Kodak’s business and shown one ad, he has learned their business and shown how he can help or improve it with a campaign.

Change the Conversation.

In season three of Mad Men, Don Draper advises his client about the negative conversations surrounding the plan to demolish Penn Station and replace it with Madison Square Garden.

Draper suggests “if you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” Simple enough, right? In the age of social media and public relations one can learn a lot from that statement, it’s called reputation management.

And by being proactive, instead of reactive, one can work on managing the message with the audience. In this day and age it may require a lot of touch points with people and interactions in a variety of channels, but reputation management has become an essential marketing tool.

By monitoring conversations about your brand in social media you are able to address these situations quickly and address the audience with messages that resonate with them, while essentially creating a more positive conversation.

Product Differentiation.

There is something to be said about being first to market. But what if you aren’t? What if there is no differentiation between your product and that of your competition? One of the more interesting lessons delivered by Don Draper asks his client Lucky Strike “how are cigarettes made?”

The client responds by saying “we start with insect resistant seed, and we grow the tobacco in the North Carolina sunshine, then we cut it, cure it, toast it.” Draper proceeds to write on a chalkboard “it’s toasted” when the senior executive responds that “everybody’s is toasted.”

“No,” says Draper. “Everybody else’s is poison. Yours is toasted.” While Draper goes on to talk about happiness and the need for a person to justify what they are doing – more on that shortly – he makes an interesting point of inventing differentiation.

Once a product owns a specific trait or position it’s hard for the competition to market against that. While you can certainly same the same thing to minimize the effects it also looks like you are simply copying the successful marketing of your competition. Consumers want to connect to a brand or product thats stands out from the rest. They want an experience that is unique or special.

In this case, Draper gives Lucky Strike and their consumers exactly what they are looking for. The “toasted” properties of Lucky Strike stand out from the other marketing of cigarettes and adds a positive to trait to a clearly harmful product.

Advertising Happiness.

Continuing with the previous example, Draper delivers one of his strongest tenets in season one of Mad Men. In saying “advertising is based on one thing: happiness” he captures the experience every consumer would like to have. Every form of marketing should follow this one simple rule, a guideline above all others.

In today’s world two of the most important ways this can be addressed is through social media and user-experience. With social media happiness can be achieved by having a one-to-one conversation with your customer. To make that consumer feel welcomed, understood and serving their specific needs with create happiness which in turn should generate business and positive word of mouth.

With user-experience, you are developing a list of use cases and rules to develop a positive online experience for a consumer. No one wants to get lost in a world of links to find the information they need at the moment, nor do they want an e-commerce experience that frustrates them. By creating a pleasurable experience online you create a positive brand experience that keeps a consumer happy.