Mad Men vs Math Men – Is relying on Don putting your marketing in free-fall?

mad men

How to drive superior ROI and better connections with customers

Smart suits, fast cars and long lunches are many people’s view of marketing thanks to AMC’s Mad Men. While we would all like to have Don Draper’s charisma, Peggy Olson’s flare for copy, and let’s face it, Roger Sterling’s money – things have changed.

For a campaign to thrive in the modern marketplace, today’s marketing professionals often have to use a blend of creativity, science, technology and innovative channels to reach an audience. It’s no longer good enough to simply focus on picking the right communication channel or developing the perfect target list – success now hinges on factors such as access to real-time data and the innovative tools to deliver a message to an audience at the perfect time.

Traditionally marketers had small silos of data to work with. Today that has all changed. As of this week, there are currently over 3.2 billion people online (that’s over 40% of the world’s population) researching their next purchase and sharing views on their likes or dislikes.* Now thanks to a range of new innovative tools and techniques, marketers can analyse and process this trail of digital DNA, providing a level of insight never available before.

This data driven insight combined with the latest innovative techniques such as: omni-channel retail services, big data analytics, social media, customer journey management, and a range of mobile technologies (to name just a few), now enable the right message to be delivered at the right time to the right audience. This not only delivers greater ROI and revenues for campaigns but also a superior understanding of the target audience and how they interact with brands.

Enter the Math Men
This is all great but how do you chose which tools to use and what data is useful? New Math Men tactics effectively translate huge volumes of data into actionable information, enabling marketers to optimise media spend and engage users at the optimum point while reducing budget waste.

Department store owner John Wanamaker declared over a century ago: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Math Men tactics like programmatic buying enable organisations to address issues like these head on.

You may say that marketers for years have been serving digital ads depending on our online interests, which is true. What Math Men tactics such as programmatic buying are doing is providing marketing with the ability to match particular adverts with specific users at critical times (e.g. when they are most likely to purchase).

Raising a glass to data: Kronenbourg Beer
One example of this is French brewer Kronenbourg. The 350-year-old brewer knew that its customers preferred to drink its beer in warm weather. So they embraced Math Men tactics such as using real-time temperature data to target people most likely to benefit from a cold beer.
Data analytics showed that different parts of the country actually had different thresholds. Using this insight, an algorithm could be created that allowed the organisation to deliver adverts to internet users who were in the right location, at the right temperature and at the right time of day for a cool beer.
Cutting advertising waste and driving demand for the product.**

The new face of content delivery: Plan UK
Another good example of Math Men tactics entering our lives is how content is now served to us. For example, a screen appeared on a bus shelter along London’s Oxford Street two for weeks last year. The screen used facial recognition technology to determine if a woman or man stood in front of it. Different 40-second ads then played depending on the gender of the person, allowing a higher engagement rate. ***

Time to move over Don
The Aberdeen Group recently concluded that, organisations using both Mad and Math Men tactics enjoy on average a 54% increase in ROI and increased revenues from customer referrals of more than 300%. ****

To secure this level of payback, marketing must manage the complexity of continuously evolving customer environments, coordinate channels and develop strategies based on real-time data. They then need to be able to interact with a chosen audience at the key time, rather than simply relying on gut feelings, small data sets and traditional tactics (sorry Don). Rather than being a threat to creative departments or in house creative teams, Math Men tactics actually provide the perfect platform for great ideas to flourish across a range of innovative channels.

Maybe there is a place for Don in the modern world, he might just have to learn a few more skills to keep himself in the latest designer suits. For the rest of us it’s probably the most exciting time to be in marketing and for our client’s, the most innovative.


* Internet live stats, 2015
**Financial Times, 2015
***Advertising Age, 2013
****Aberdeen Group, 2015
Lead image courtesy of AMC

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