Mad Men Marketing Quotes: How To Improve Your Results

David Ogilvy with pipeYou can learn a lot by paying attention to the Mad Men marketing quotes.

For example, Bill Bernbach famously said of our marketing profession:

“Our job is to bring the dead facts to life.”

So let’s examine some famous Mad Men Marketing Quotes.

To see how these legends can continue to inspire us to create better marketing!

Mad Men Marketing Quotes: How To Improve Your Results

Each of these 7 Mad Men Marketing quotes teaches a key marketing lesson.

Use them to improve your marketing, especially your social media and content.

Because these words remain relevant today!

Mad Men Marketing Quote: Peter F. Drucker

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Peter F. DruckerClick To Tweet


Actionable Mad Men Marketing Quote Lessons:

  • Understand your target audience’s wants and needs. This means actually talking to your customers, employees and others interested in your brand. Then you can figure out how your brand’s unique talents can meet them via a contextually relevant device and content format. This is particularly important for social media.
  • Develop a set of marketing personas. Help your employees and agencies to better understand your customer and the people involved in and influencing the purchase process. As a result, your content marketing is more effective and can be distribute on social media networks.

Mad Men Marketing Quote: Jay Chiat

“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

Actionable Mad Men Marketing Quote Lessons:

  • Develop a social media marketing strategy and related plans. Before rushing to implement your marketing including social media, start by understanding how each step brings the prospect closer to buying. Here’s a one page strategy with works
  • Set and document your marketing goals and related metrics. Why? To make sure you reach your objectives. This means aligning your social media marketing strategy with your overall strategy.

Mad Men Marketing Quote: Leo Burnett

“Good advertising does not just circulate information. It penetrates the public mind with desires and belief.” Leo BurnettClick To Tweet
Leo BurnettKnown for building iconic brands Burnett believed consumers needed more than unemotional information.

Actionable Mad Men Marketing Quote Lessons:

  • Engage with your audience on social media platforms and in real life. So you can build a rapport with her and appeal to her desires.
  • Use a human voice to help your brand to break through. Based on knowing your audience, determine how your brand can uniquely help them.

Mad Men Marketing Quote: Rosser Reeves

“[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

Brands reduce friction for your audience. So it’s easier remember your business and how it meets your needs.

Actionable Mad Men Marketing Quote Lessons:

  • Extend your brand across all elements of human senses to build associations over time. As a result, it contributes to your business’s balance sheet value.
  • Make your brand contextually relevant across social media platforms and devices. So you can engage prospects and customers due to your established association. Go beyond a logo and appropriate colors. Include your brand’s face (video and photographs), voice (sounds and text), visuals (colors and graphics), and other less tangible elements.

Mad Men Marketing Quote: Bill Bernbach

bill bernbach - mad manJust 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. Bill Bernbach

Founder of DDB, Bill Bernbach knew that to attract and engage buyers, it was critical for marketers to provide useful information that customers ACTUALLY wanted and needed in an eye-catching way. This is at the heart of content marketing!

Further, Bernbach understood that:
Your brand had to provide unique, quality content your audience could use.

Actionable Mad Men Marketing Quote Lesson:

  • Offer buyers content they need at every point in the purchase process. Make this information contextually relevant in the format as well as on the platform and device of their choice. Also on their timetable not yours.

Mad Men Marketing Quote: David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy“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.

Actionable Mad Men Marketing Quote Lessons:

  • Use magnetic headlines to draw readers in and make them want to keep reading. This applies across platforms including social media.
  • Add other forms of visual content to attract and hold reader attention. Use photos and videos on social media.

Mad Men Marketing Quote: John Wanamaker

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 merchant John Wanamaker sounds, especially based on Edelman’s Trust Research.

Ethical Drivers 3X More Important

Societal Leaders not trusted to address challenges

Actionable Mad Men Marketing Quote Lesson:

  • Be ethical and fair to build audience trust over time. Further be inclusive and serve a higher community purpose.


Mad Men Marketing Quotes Conclusion

As echoed in the words of these late mad men

The one thing that’s been consistent over time and still holds true for marketing:
Marketers must provide valuable information to their customers, regardless of format, platform, and device.

BUT, remember that you need more than a list of Mad Men Marketing Quotes to improve your marketing.

“Practical knowledge is not about what you do, but how you do it.” according to David Brooks of the New York Times in April 2013Click To Tweet

More students and professionals should heed David Brooks‘s advice.

Because to master marketing and other professional skills is about more than acquiring knowledge, it’s about learning and evolving from doing marketing work over time. As a result, you develop a unique voice and skills. (Hat tip: Douglas Davis)

So help your brand to develop an emotional connection with your audience. Above all, regardless of platform or device, be honest with your audience. And protect their privacy and data.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 1, 2011. It has been updated with additional information on February 13, 2023 and  November 1, 2020.

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