In part two of this blog, I will be covering the marketing takeaways from seasons 5 and 6 of “The Office.” In addition to arguably being the best two seasons of the show, seasons 5 and 6 offer lessons on everything from business ethics and sales to logistics.
Season 5 Episode 2 – “Business Ethics”
Overview: Meredith is seeing one of the clients in exchange for discounts on paper. Michael and Holly host an ethics seminar after the news comes out.
Marketing Takeaway: Ethics and sales/marketing are related and need to be properly covered in training.
Season 5 Episode 12 – “Prince Family Paper”
Overview: Michael and Dwight go undercover to steal information from a local, family-owned paper supply company.
Marketing Takeaway: Knowing your competitor’s prices and strategy is important, but that information needs to be found in an ethical way.
Season 5 Episode 17 – “Golden Ticket”
Overview: Michael places promotional 10% tickets in paper shipments throughout the warehouse but fails to realize that he is sending all five tickets to their largest customer. He also fails to include “limit one per customer” on the tickets.
Marketing Takeaway: Marketing needs to make sure promotional sales are properly distributed and that all bases are covered.
Season 5 Episode 24 – “Casual Friday”
Overview: Michael returns to Dunder Mifflin from Michael Scott Paper Company and brings Ryan and Pam on as salespeople. The existing salespeople are upset about losing clients to Ryan and Pam, who took their clients while with Michael Scott Paper Company.
Marketing Takeaway: The size of the salesforce needs to be cut down if there are not enough clients to support the sales team.
Season 6 Episode 16 – “Manager and Salesman”
Overview: Sabre wants the Scranton branch to have only one manager, so Michael lets Jim get the job when he finds out that salespeople can make more money with the company. Michael later regrets this decision, as he is miserable with the sales job.
Marketing Takeaway: Just because a job offers more money doesn’t mean that it is the best option or best fit. Also, sales isn’t for everyone.
Season 6 Episode 20 – “New Leads”
Overview: After the sales team is disrespectful to the accounting department, Michael withholds leads from the sales team in order to teach them a lesson.
Marketing Takeaway: Sales should be respectful to other departments in the company and work together with the marketing team.