Sorry, Don Draper: Why “Barge, Brag, and Bully” Went Bust

Aug 2016

Sorry, Don Draper: Why “Barge, Brag, and Bully” Went Bust


Enjoy this excerpt from The Content Marketing Coach: Everything You Need to Get in the Game … and WIN, now available for pre-order!

What does all this mean for the tried-and-true Mad Men approach to marketing—Barge, Brag, and Bully—that dominated for so many years?

Barge Tactics Today

So, how is interruption-based marketing faring with folks in today’s environment?

Do you remember when DVRs first came out? They had a lot of “nice to have” features, like the ability to record shows for later viewing (which my VCR also did quite well, thank you), but wait … what’s that … I can skip over commercials? Sign me up! Hell, gimme two!

We are living in an environment where consumers will gladly shell out their hard-earned dollars to be free from advertising. How many online services offer a “premium” subscription option that features an ad-free experience? Let’s see: Pandora, Spotify, Hulu, YouTube, just about any app on your smartphone …

Let’s face it. Interruption-based marketing has become the 21st-century version of crabgrass: consumers will actually pay to have it not come anywhere near them.

Brag Tactics Today

If you think today’s consumers are going to shell out any kind of coin en masse based on what they see in your TV commercials or read on your glitzy website, you’re sadly mistaken.

Would the people in your audience expect you to use anything but the most glowing language about your product or service? They wouldn’t expect to see any cons alongside those pros any more than we’d expect to see a dating site profile that talks about the hairy mole on your back.

So brag as much as you like about your shiny products and services. People might even listen to you … and then they’ll go to Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yelp!, Angie’s List, Citysearch, TripAdvisor, or Urban Spoon to get the real scoop.

In other words, you can play Great and Powerful Oz all you want. Just remember that today’s consumers already have a hand on the curtain.

Bully Tactics Today

Ah yes, the high-pressure sales pitches from days of old still echo in our heads: “Gotta buy!” “Gotta buy now!” “Don’t go another day without having one!” “Have you bought one yet? Why not?”

The thing is, when marketers turn on the pressure, today’s consumers can simply turn off the lines of communication.

Pestering prospects with salesy emails? Say hello to the black hole known as the spam folder.

Maybe you’ll get them on the phone, huh? Oh, yeah, caller ID. Welcome to Voice Mail Jail.

Direct mail? If your message even gets there (that is, if they’re not on the Do Not Mail list), most folks open their snail mail over the garbage can. Say hello to the Rubbermaid Trashmaster.

To illustrate how very passé high-pressure tactics are, take a look at Google’s Parisian Love ad, one of the most successful ads of all time. Look it up on YouTube and watch it. It’s okay, I’ll wait.

Nice, isn’t it? No call to action. No barrage of features and benefits. Just a series of screencaps and a little audio showing that Google helps make life happen. That’s where we are today, folks.

Okay, so the Internet and Gen X have completely spoiled the Mad Men party. What’s a marketer to do? Let’s find out … 

Remember, if you pre-order The Content Marketing Coach by August 31, you’ll get our exclusive MVP bonuses:

  • Bonus #1: Exclusive on-demand webinar, Taming the Monkeys: 8 Time Management Hacks for the Busy Content Marketer
  • Bonus #2: Complimentary phone consultation to discuss your biggest content marketing challenges and discuss some winning strategies.
  • Bonus #3: Free copy of The Content Marketing Coach Playbook, a treasure trove of platform-specific tips for amping up engagement on your blog, on social media, in your emails, and all across your content marketing presence.

Visit our launch page to learn more and to snag your MVP bonuses today.


About the Author

Rachel Parker, Founder & CEO of Resonance Content MarketingA self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please).

As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations. To learn more, download our complimentary audio 5 Things You Must Know About Content Marketing.

content_marketing_50 BizSugar Featured Author on Business 2 Community

Our Clients Are Saying

  • Increased website traffic, New Lead Generation

    We were experiencing a lack of internal resources to consistently maintain the Ustream blog. So we turned to Resonance Content Marketing to write blog posts on current industry topics while maintaining a consistent tone with the brand. The result is increased website traffic, new lead generation from gated assets on blog, and better educated/qualified leads. And I now have more time to spend on marketing strategy with the confidence that the content we push out is extremely well written and engaging.

    Rachel is an amazing writer and has really managed to create engaging and relevant blog material on topics that aren’t always super interesting. On many occasions, she has been able to quickly turn around one-off requests and the results are always top-notch. She has also helped guide our content strategy based on her expertise in content marketing, which has been a huge asset to our team.

  • One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

    My company had little or no time to spend on social media. Our needs were to ensure a steady stream of posts across three platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) by harvesting and re-purposing content from our own site and news streams. So I contacted Rachel Parker of Resonance Content Marketing.

    The result was two-fold. Not only did our ranks of followers grew steadily, the steady drip, drip, drip of content helped us train our personnel and direct their own individual social media efforts.

    Rachel and her team are extremely organized and open to discussion and new ideas. They deliver a rapid response to new opportunities — and an overall feeling of being on the same team. One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

  • Increased our likes and interaction rates

    Working with Rachel was a delight. Not only does she communicate very well, but she provided valuable insight about our social media platforms and followers. We have much better engagement with our fans and followers, which increased our likes and interaction rates.


  • Added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks

    Rachel took the overwhelm and stress out of writing content for my marketing campaign! When I approached Rachel, I was really concerned that I wouldn’t have the time to focus on writing copy for a lengthy marketing campaign that included sales pages, solo emails, newsletters and social media updates. Well, let’s just say I’m glad I hired Rachel because I couldn’t have done it without her support and expertise. I loved how she used my voice and words to craft content that helped me reach and attract my ideal client. As a result of working with Rachel, I added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks, hundreds of new social media followers and exceeded my sales and list building goals! You know your marketing copy is working when you hear someone say, “I see you everywhere”. Thank you Rachel for helping me not only get seen by my ideal clients but get paid!

  • Social Media Ranking Better Than Ever!

    We are so happy to have hired Resonance for our social media needs. We spend most of our time serving our clients and studying our field so we can provide the highest quality possible. We no longer worry about our social media, as we have total confidence in the wonderful work Rachel and her team have accomplished.

    Our social media is active, promoted, and is ranking better than ever! People often comment about what they see on our Facebook page. Resonance has added a creative, and artistic twist to our social media that is appealing and captivating to our audience. This has allowed me more time to work with my team and clients, so I can focus on service towards the people that help our business grow.

    I know there will be wonderful content on Facebook, and that Rachel will answer to posts, comments and questions as soon as a comment arrives. I am often impressed at how quickly she responds! Thank you Resonance! I highly endorse Resonance and encourage companies who need social media strategies to work with Resonance! You won’t regret it! 

  • Event Sold Out Two Years In A Row!

    Rachel worked with me on creating a content marketing calendar and content for the Big Social Media Summit (Big SMS) three years in a row. She is very organized and knows just the right amount of posts on social, email newsletters and content to send.  Her content marketing efforts helping us sell out our event three years in a row!  I am expecting the same for October 2014.

    Rachel was hired to write content for our email newsletter and content for our social platforms. In addition, she had a budget to do advertising on social media. She participated in the event live and after the fact to assure buzz was created before, during and after the event. As a result, our event sold out.

    When I work with Rachel, I have total peace of mind.  I know that she is on target, on time, reliable and delivers over and above the results I expect.

    I trust Rachel totally with her ideas on strategy, marketing and the content used to not only promote our events, but also post on my behalf on social networks. I have been doing social media for 8 years, and I hire Resonance to post on some of my social sites as it saves me time, and keeps my social sites relevant and current. They always post great, engaging content that gets my social properties likes, comments and shares.


  • Produced ROI Result needed someone who could grasp the complexities of our product, capture the subtlety of our differentiating value propositions, and convey them in the right voice for an exacting customer audience…. Resonance delivered, by crafting a multi-faceted online content marketing strategy that drove traffic and conversion, producing the ROI result we were looking for….

  • Professionalism and Sincere Desire to Help

    I just didn’t seem to be able to find the time or the right words to explain what I offer and how my company helps people accomplish their goals. Rachel was able to ask me some questions, do some research and capture my voice while writing my website copy exactly as I needed it to be written.  Now, the copy on my website is much more professional than what I would have created and having this task handled by Rachel and Resonance freed up my time to complete other tasks I am better suited to do.

    It was a joy to work with Rachel. Her professionalism and sincere desire to help was apparent from the first communication until the final delivery. I will definitely use Resonance again and highly recommend their services.

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