Social Media Mad Men

With another season of the acclaimed AMC TV series Mad Men coming to a close last week, we were left thinking about how the Toronto business marketing world has changed. The show takes place in the mid-60s in New York City and revolves around the advertising firms located on Madison Ave. It manages to do a spectacular job of illustrating how those men turned the marketing world on its head 50 years ago and practically invented the basis of the industry we work in today.

On the other hand, the version of business marketing in Toronto that we practice on a daily basis couldn’t be further than what those men were doing down on Madison Avenue half a century ago. If they were here to see what we were doing today, they wouldn’t believe it.

The Mad Men saw marketing as essentially a one way street, namely: the marketer sending a message directly to the consumer.  However, in today’s marketing world the top way to reach the consumer is through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media is a whole new animal, as you all know, and the old Mad Men style of marketing by putting a campaign out there and leaving it alone does not stand up to the test of time when applied to the modern world.

Arguably the biggest change between then and now is the fact that Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms do not act like ‘one way streets’ flowing directly from the marketer to the consumer as the magazine, radio and television ads of that era once did. Social media is more like an interchange where several highways come together compared to the simplicity of those days, and needs to be treated as such if your Toronto business marketing plan is going to be successful. To be successful, social media discussions must be allowed to constantly flow back and forth between the business and consumer and from consumer to consumer.