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Why Your Digital Marketing Agency Shouldn’t Remind You of Sterling Cooper

Why Your Digital Marketing Agency Shouldn’t Remind You of Sterling Cooper

Occasionally, we are asked by friends and new clients whether working at a digital marketing agency is anything like the fictional meeting rooms of Mad Men’s Sterling Cooper. As entertaining as it would be to share tales of drinking scotch before noon, the reality of working at an established marketing firm is that life is virtually nothing like it is on the hit TV show… nor should it be.

If you can get past the glamour and personal drama, there are a number of reasons why you wouldn’t want to work with a company like that, either. In fact, if your web design and digital marketing agency reminds you of Sterling Cooper, it might be time to take your business elsewhere.

To show you why, here are four characteristics of the fictional TV agency you should never see in your real-life design and marketing partner:

They Never Seem to Be Working

Sterling Cooper’s creatives and directors have one thing in common: They spend more time drinking and hanging out than they do actually finishing projects. If your marketing team can’t seem to get things finished, then that’s a sign they are either taking on too many jobs or, worse, just too lazy to be punctual. Neither is a good sign for your future sales.

You Get Lots of Ideas and Creativity… But Not Much Conviction

Have you ever noticed the way Sterling Cooper’s designers and copywriters are ready to change direction at the drop of a hat, or the first sign of a client’s question? Ultimately, clients make the final call on creative decisions at our company, as well, but we are willing to fight for them because we know how much time, effort, and research went into the concepts we present. A lack of conviction shows the opposite.

The Agency (and Its Principles) Seem to Be Changing All the Time

In a television show, casting decisions can lead to unexpected changes. But when a design or marketing firm seems to have a revolving door for its staff, it typically indicates that working conditions are poor and there isn’t much chance to be creative. It also increases the likelihood that you’ll be shuffled to one creative director or account manager after another, which makes it hard to build relationships and improve on marketing results over time.

You Constantly Find Yourself Looking for a Better Option

On Mad Men, it takes little more than a bad martini for a client to take its business elsewhere. That doesn’t exactly scream satisfaction with the work, does it? If you constantly find yourself looking for a better option, ask yourself why. Could it be that the results haven’t been there, and you just aren’t getting value for your budget?

As it draws toward the finale, it’s good to remember that Mad Men can be wildly entertaining as television, but sets a really bad example of the design and marketing process. If you’re getting all of the drama but your bottom-line results aren’t following the script, it might be time to make a cancellation of your own.

Need a better website, or an improved digital marketing plan? Contact our team today to request a free consultation.