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Marketing Lessons Professional Services Firms Can Learn From Mad Men – “Tea Leaves”

As the season of Mad Men progresses, Michael Bond will be providing a short summary of the marketing lessons professional services firms can learn from the advertising drama.

Last week’s episode seemed like it was setting up a number of events for the future. Betty –Don’s ex-wife – made her seasonal debut and had a brief cancer scare, Pete continued to play with Roger’s mind and a bit of tension is starting to develop between Don and his new bride, Megan. This was all great stuff, but hardly very relevant to professional services firms.

An interesting event that does seem relevant is the H.J. Heinz Company executive asking Don to convince the Rolling Stones to record a jingle for them that changes the lyrics to the song “Time is on my Side” to “Heinz, Heinz, Heinz is on my side” for a commercial.

Don and Harry (the agency’s “new media” guru) trek off to see the band only for Harry to be fooled into signing an unknown band called the “Tradewinds.” Hardly what the Heinz executive wanted.

The lesson in this is that it is important to know your limitations. It is important to understand what you are trying to promote or market and have realistic expectations about how the campaign will unfold.

It is paramount that you undertake a thought-leadership or marketing campaign with both aspirations (such as being quoted in high-profile, national publication) and more readily-achievable goals (such as being quoted in a regional publication or authoring a byline article in a trade publication). The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, we have found that the later set of frequently makes it easier to achieve the former.

–          Michael Bond

By the Way –– Just for fun, here is the Kellogg’s Rice Krispies ad that Don references:

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