SEM Advice from Mad Men’s Don Draper

Over the last few years, the advertising landscape has been completely turned upside down by the emergence of digital advertising. The days of relying solely on TV, radio and print advertising are long gone. To be successful in today’s competitive atmosphere, you must incorporate social media, PPC and display banners ads along with traditional methods which all encompass one cohesive and clear message. While the platforms of advertising have changed over the years, the basic principles and concepts that applied in early advertising still ring true today.

Here are five quotes from Mad Men’s advertising genius Don Draper, and how they can be applied in Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

sem advice from don draper

1. “People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.”

In a perfect world, customers would act exactly how we want them to act. We create
ads that we would want to see if we were the customer. It can be hard to separate between what we want the customer to want and what the customer actually wants, but ultimately the customer decides if they click on that ad or not. Fortunately, in today’s connected world you can uncover so much about your customers (demographics, interests, behaviors) and use that information to target them online. Customers are willing to tell you almost everything about themselves, you just have to be willing to listen and give them what they want. Only then, will they do what you want them to do.

2. “Success comes from standing out, not fitting in.”

I am sure you have seen this many times while searching on Google, ads that all look the same with the same generic copy. While creating a “one size fits all” ad format is time saving, it also causes you to blend in with all the other mediocre ads on the web. Customers want to see ads that seem to be specific to them and to whatever it is they are looking for. Taking the time to write creative ad copy, even in PPC ads, will allow you to stand out from competitors and tell your customers you have exactly what it is they are looking for.

3. “People want to be told what to do so badly that they’ll listen to anyone.”

Here Don is obviously talking about a call to action. Adding a simple “Shop Now!” or “Call Us Today!” to the end of your PPC ad will tell your customers exactly what they need to do to get what they are searching for. It gives people a sense of urgency and tells them the next step to take. A call to action can increase your click-through-rate and conversions by making people aware of what to do next and provide a clear path to purchase.

4. “Change is neither good nor bad. It simply is.”

In a world where technology seems the change every day, it is important to embrace change and try to remain a step ahead of the competition at all times. You should always be searching for the next big thing, and never be afraid to try something new. Advertising platforms change, your customers’ behaviors change, even the way people shop online changes. When a new opportunity presents itself, leap towards it, keep changing and the competition will always be one step behind you.

5. “Sometimes when people get what they want, they realize how limited their goals were.”

When creating goals for your campaigns, don’t set something that you know is achievable. Set goals that you are not sure if you can achieve. This will make you work that much harder, and make success feel that much sweeter. Challenge yourself to do better than your best work. Once a goal is achieved it is common for people to stop where they are and feel good that they achieved it. When you set goals that you may not reach, it will force you to continue putting forward more effort and you will reach placing you didn’t think were possibly when you set out.

 

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