On Bad Market Strategy and Why He Didn’t Get Your Phone Number

Mad Men‘s Peggy Olsen once told a hopeful lover, “I’m in the persuasion business, and frankly I’m disappointed by your presentation.” You see, when a man hits on a woman, it is all about marketing.

The Product

Let’s say he is the product. His name is Ben. While out at a bar with his buddies, he chooses his target market — you.

Ben is a great product: he is attractive, sweet, funny, smart, sexy, has a good job, and no hang-ups. But good products can suffer from bad brand positioning or bad creative. He has 30 seconds to make an impression, sometimes even less!

The Marketing Team

So Ben consults his wingmen. Alan is the Account Executive who coaches him on how to approach you. He promises to give some good product reviews should you show interest and ask around about Ben. Joey is the Creative who gives Ben a script and spruces up the product appearance so he catches your eye.

Now, Ben needs a tagline — a pickup line. Something that describes his best qualities, projects his product promise and effectively engages the consumer. The call to action is to let him buy you a drink and give him your phone number. Or in some cases, (if Ben is lucky) more!

The Test

Now, if Ben’s tagline sucks, then you won’t want to buy the product. Plain and simple. The first impression has to be stellar or else his marketing campaign is kaput!

So if Ben lays on you what the loser in the above cartoon laid on me, or some variation of the very corny “Hey sexy! Was your father a thief? Because he stole the stars and put them in your eyes!” or the very sleazy “Mmmmm, baby, gimme some of that!” … well, then that is The End.

So now let’s say Ben has failed. He has two options. Option A: re-direct his marketing efforts to a different, more appropriate consumer who might like his tagline. Option B: re-launch the campaign with different tactics, targeting the same consumer. The latter may involve long hours and a hefty budget — no results guaranteed.

What are the worst pickup lines that have been used on you? What do you think is the best way for a man to approach a woman?

Read La Saranovela’s On One of the (Many) Reasons He Didn’t Get A Chance at a Second Date.