The Don Draper Guide to Internet Marketing

November 3rd, 2010 by Search Influence University

Don Draper is the suave, womanizing Creative Director of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce on AMC’s Emmy Award-winning Mad Men. He’s intelligent, handsome, and has a Superman chest for crying out loud, but he is also the epitome of a tragic hero. Despite his best efforts, he just can’t seem to get a grip on his personal life and constantly falls into the trap of his compulsive infidelity and lies. Yet, many fans of the show covet his life even though he barely wants it himself. I chalk this up to two things: fantastic writing and the character’s genius and success in his work. When it comes to the world of 60s advertising, his wisdom is unparalleled, and most of it can be applied to modern-era marketing as well. So before I digress into a raving fanboy over my love for this show, I present to you a few tips from the “Don Draper Guide to Internet Marketing.”

“Give me more ideas to reject.”

SEO is a game of trial and error. Sure, there is a playbook of rules to follow to ensure some success, but these are constantly changing and you need ideas on how to overcome the challenges you’ll face when they do. It doesn’t matter how many bad ideas you come up with as long as one of them is a winner.  Not everything you try is going to work. The only thing that matters is the one that does. That’s the one people will copy and that’s the one they’ll remember.

“You manage people’s expectations.”

As a member of the account management team at Search Influence, one of the main things I do is manage accounts (obviously); however, almost just as importantly, I manage the expectations of my clients as well. I can get any one of them to rank higher organically in Google, but this doesn’t mean they’ll see more sales simply because they’re listed above their competition. If their site is hideous and hard to navigate and they don’t want to put in the money necessary to fix it up, I can’t guarantee that our efforts will amount to more money for them. Don’t make promises just to make the client happy, unless you know for a fact that you can keep it.

“Just so you know, the people who talk that way think that monkeys can do this. They take all this monkey crap and stick it in a briefcase, completely unaware that their success depends on something more than shoeshine.”

Like I said previously, I can get someone higher Google rankings. That’s formulaic. It’s easy. The hard part is delivering an ROI to the client. That’s the service for which they are paying. They want to make much more money than they’re spending on me, and I’d better deliver. Ranking higher on Google is a simple shoeshine. Getting them more business is like giving them a new wardrobe. That’s what they want. It’s what they need. Otherwise they wouldn’t need me.

I really want to end this blog post with a profound, Don Draper-esque quote, but I’m not that suave. Instead, I’ll let the real Don Draper close us out: “Yeah, I eat a lot of apples.” OK, maybe that wasn’t so profound. What do you want from me? I’m no Don Draper. I’m more of a Pete Campbell…