Last week, I wrote a post about an Ivory Soap case study that proved to be very popular with readers of the 60 Second Marketer blog. The post outlined how my father, who worked on Madison Avenue during the 1960s, developed a strategy for Ivory Soap that thwarted a competitive intrusion from another soap manufacturer.
Today, I came across a blog post we uploaded a few years ago. It was called 7 Lessons Learned from an Original Mad Man and I thought I’d share it with the 60 Second Marketer community in case you missed it the first time around.
Mad Men, the award-winning AMC television series, is about the men (and women) employed on Madison Avenue in advertising during the 1960s. My father, Mike Turner, was a Mad Man. He worked side-by-side with David Ogilvy during Ogilvy & Mather’s years as the best advertising agency on the planet.
I learned extremely valuable lessons from my Dad, and share seven tips with the hope that you can apply them to your businesses.
1. Be relentless in pursuit of your goals. My father had an amazing sense of when it was appropriate to turn on the after-burners at work. He wasn’t always that way; you can’t be running at 110% all the time. Yet, when he made a decision to pursue something, there was nothing that stopped him.
2. If you’re not 100% passionate about what you do, change jobs. I once asked my father what drove him to work so hard. He said, “I never viewed it as work. It was always fun. Just about every day I went to work, I looked forward to the new problems I was going to solve that day.”
3. Nurture your curiosity. Part of what made my father so passionate about his work was that he was always learning something new. He’s retired now at 83 and I asked him if he was ever bored. “Never,” he said. “If you’re curious, retirement is a blast.”
4. Be inquisitive about your employees. This is a lesson my father learned from David Ogilvy. He said there was nothing more thrilling than having David lean over your shoulder and ask you about what you were working on. He shared that Mr. Ogilvy was always fascinated by the brilliant marketing techniques his top-of-class employees developed. Imagine how inspiring it must have been to have David Ogilvy be inspired by you!
5. You get back what you give out. My father taught me that you attract into your life what you send out. If you send out positive, decent, honest energy, you’ll attract employees who are positive, decent and honest.
6. Be kind to everyone, especially people you don’t know. My father would be the first to say that you shouldn’t expect anything in return for being kind. But once, he played in a highly competitive tennis tournament with several players who were rude to one of the women in the match. In response, he went out of his way to be especially kind to her. It turns out, she ran the U.S. Air account, one of the largest pieces of business in the region at the time. His kindness prompted her to invite him to pitch the business, which his agency eventually won.
7. Use your positive energy to influence others. Interesting story: When we first moved South in 1971, my father got a call from a real estate broker who was selling resort property. My father is the least racist person I’ve ever known and decided to have some fun with the agent. “Can I ask a question?” my father asked the broker. “Sure,” he responded. “Do you sell property to African Americans?” The broker replied, “Well, sir, we do our best not to.” My father’s response was, “Well, I wouldn’t be interested.” There was silence on the phone before the real estate broker eventually hung up, embarrassed and, hopefully, having learned his lesson. Good people send out good energy and snuff out the negative spread by the less enlightened.
Here’s to sending out positive energy. And, here’s to all the Mad Men of Madison Avenue who are rounding third and heading toward home.
Posted by Jamie Turner, Founder of the 60 Second Marketer and co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile.” He is also a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.