Digitalisation in marketing is changing the game

Author: Andrew McAfee, James Kirk (

Categories: Digital Economy
Tags: Andrew McAfee, Don Draper, Mad Men

There is just as much digitalisation in marketing as all other industries. Campaigns are being tested on the consumer before they are put into action. Andrew McAfee discusses:

Digitalisation in marketing means Don Draper should be looking over his shoulder

I really have trouble finding parts of the business world, industries, companies, jobs, tasks, that are immune from this computerisation, from the digitalisation going on, the closest I come are more features of the parts of the company that are closer to innovation and creativity and taste and aesthetics, but even there let’s not be too careful.

Mad Men is an incredibly popular television show in the United States and I believe in the UK as well and this Don Draper school of how you come up with the next ad campaign is a thing of the past.  Because what Don Draper does is he understands the mind of the consumer and the mind of the market, he’s going to listen a little bit but he’s going to go away and have his insight, and then he’s going to come back and by virtue of his brilliant pitch to the management of the company, he’s going to convince that customer what to go spend their next advertising dollars on.

This is ludicrous, this is not the right way to go about it.  There are a bunch of problems there, first of all how does he know the mind of the consumer, how do we know he’s correct and why are we basing our decisions on the persuasiveness of one testing pitch in one meeting, this doesn’t make any sense.

So when we look at the worlds of advertising and marketing in these more creative functions, we see technology coming in very quickly, we see ideas being tested, we see the experimentation happening and we see this move away from just blindly trusting the gurus, the pundits, the Don Drapers of the world, and maybe we do rely on them to come up with a new idea, but then instead of taking their word that it is the perfect idea and the best idea, let’s go subject that to some rigorous testing and experimentation and figure out how good an idea it is, before we have to commit heavily to it.

For more videos about digitalisation in marketing and the rest of the digital economy go to Inside Finance.

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