7 Social Media Marketing Tips from the Dead

Listen to Late Great Mad Men on Social Media Marketing

Bill Bernbach, one of the great mad men, once famously said of his profession, “Our job is to bring the dead facts to life.”

In honor of the Day of the Dead, here are quotes from seven famous marketers and businessmen that still resonate today. To show respect for the timeless nature of their work, here’s how these sayings still hold true for social media marketing.


  • Advertising ought to work by telling you what it is you want to tell, you should understand what you want us to do, what you want us to think, where you want us to shop.

    — Jay Chiat

    Before rushing to implement social media marketing, develop a social media marketing plan and related strategies to ensure each step brings the prospect closer to buying. Remember, social media without goals, a plan and related metrics won’t achieve your business objectives.


    The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.

    — Peter F. Drucker

    Start by understanding your target audience and your product. To this end, develop a set of marketing personas to provide a more well-rounded view of your customer, particularly in terms of their demographics, psychographics and past actions. As a result, you’ll be able to see the benefits your products and services have for these shoppers. This helps you develop effective content to distribute on social media networks.


    [Brands] establish contact with the subconscious of the consumer below the word level. They do this with visual symbols instead of words … They communicate faster. They are more direct. There is no work, no mental effort. Their sole purpose is to create images and moods.

    — Rosser Reeves

    Use brands on social media platforms to engage prospects and customers because there’s an established association. Go beyond a logo and appropriate colors. Think more broadly in terms of how you connect with your audience on social media to include your brand’s face (video and photographs), your brand’s voice (sounds and text), your brand’s visuals (colors and graphics),  and your brand’s other less tangible elements.


    The headline is the ‘ticket on the meat.’ Use it to flag down readers who are prospects for the kind of product you are advertising.

    — David Ogilvy

    Advertising giant David Ogilvy understood the importance of getting your audience’s attention in a cluttered media field and social media is no different. To this end, use magnetic headlines to draw readers in and make them want to keep reading. The better the headline, the more likely they are to read and share your social media content. Also, use images including photos, graphics and videos to draw readers in on social media platforms.


    Just be sure your advertising is saying something with substance, something that will inform and serve the consumer, and be sure you’re saying it like it’s never been said before.

    — William Bernbach

    While consumers may no longer trust advertising, Bill Bernbach, founder of DDB, knew that to attract and engage buyers, it was critical to provide useful information that customers wanted and needed in an eye-catching way. When creating social media content, the same holds true. You must offer content that shoppers need at every point in the purchase process regardless of where they are physically or when they need it. This includes everything from customer reviews and product information to timely coupons to post-purchase instructions and support.


    Good advertising does not just circulate information. It penetrates the public mind with desires and belief.

    — Leo Burnett

    Leo Burnett, best known for building iconic brands, believed consumers needed more than unemotional information. To engage your prospect on social media platforms, build a rapport with her and appeal to her desires. Use a human voice and brand to break through the social media noise. Draw from your understanding of your customer that Peter Drucker underscored and establish a multi-dimensional brand Rosser Reeves described.


    Any seeming deception in a statement is costly, not only in the expense of the advertising but in the detrimental effect produced upon the customer, who believes she has been misled.

    — John Wanamaker

    It’s surprising how contemporary this quote from merchant John Wanamaker sounds. On social media platforms, it’s critical for businesses to be transparent in their transactions to win consumers’ trust and loyalty. This translates to being open in your business practices and pricing regardless of platform and treating your employees well.

As echoed in the words of these late mad men, the one thing that’s been consistent over time and still holds true for social media marketing is that marketers must provide valuable information to their customers, regardless of platform. To this end, brands help you to develop an emotional tie with your audience. Above all, regardless of the platform you use, be honest with your shoppers.

Do you have any other quotes from late mad men that have influenced your social media marketing? If so, please share them with us.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carmichaellibrary/4078939648/


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