Mad Men’s Old School vs. New School Power Scene

I’ve been thinking all week about a scene in Mad Men’s last episode: at the end, hip-chick copywriter Peggy goes out into the lobby to meet her hipster pals who have come to take her to lunch. Peter, Roger, Don et al are in the lobby, ready to wheel and deal with some clients from Vicks. The hipsters are just outside the glass lobby wall; the old school is inside. I reserve the phrase “breathtaking” for Bruce Springsteen concerts, but this was a breathtaking moment in TV. It was Show, Don’t Tell at its finest. The hipsters, or the new school (for that time) were at the gates, and they were on the brink of invading, as the old school, as they are apt to do, didn’t notice.

It reminds me of an elderly executive I worked with a few years ago, who told me that Web 2.0 was over-rated, and that social media would be a passing fad. He was laid off about a two years ago, and has been unable to find a job since. His skills are of the Mad Men variety, and no doubt, in his hey day, he was a bright shining star. Unfortunately, he didn’t grow and adapt his skills to the market, and worse, he was obstinate about any new marketing change, preferring instead, to strictly adhering to the basic 4Ps of marketing–which have grown to 7ps to include People, Process and Physical Evidence.

People refers to, in a vague way, the social networks. Marketing used to be about you and your customer, but now it’s about you, your employees, the media, the customers–and a whole myriad of people. The opportunity is that you have forums to provide rich messages that delivers more value to your customers.

Process is really all about relationship building. It’s the added value–the experience. Think about your day spa. They probably offer you cool water with lemon slices or mint in a beautiful glass. Somehow the water at my spa is just better than when I try to do the same cocktail at home. When I make an appointment at the spa, I look forward to going, for little reasons just like that. It’s part of the process.

Physical Evidence refers to what a customer sees and knows about your brand before they are ever a customer. I have never owned a Rolls Royce. I’d like to own one, because it’s a big, lumbering, fancy car with nice-smelling leather. Call that my physical evidence of the brand. If I go to a Rolls Royce dealer with a wad of cash to buy the car, they will treat me like I’m the Queen of England. That will be my new physical Evidence of the brand.

Like any respectable Mad Men crazed fan, I love Don Draper. It’s interesting to see the barbarians approaching the gate, though, and the ways they are going to rock his world. I think often about the senior executive I once knew, and how I’d like to connect with him and talk about the show, to see what he thinks. Hmmm, if only he were on Facebook or Twitter. . .

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