Monday, September 6, 2010

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead

I haven't read Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, but it's a wonderful book idea that I wish I'd thought of first. I agree with the authors, David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan, that every business can learn from the marketing successes of this band.

One lesson is that sampling (in this case, allowing concert attendees to record the band--just the opposite of the usual concert policies) can, if done properly, lead to word-of-mouth referrals, more ticket sales, and bigger profits. This is the basis of the freemium strategy that so many businesses are adopting today.

Another lesson is that the marketer (here, the Dead) should build a customer database and take the initiative to maintain contact, nurturing a long-term relationship with fans and reinforcing loyalty.

Despite the change in personnel over the years, the Dead have continued their marketing success by embracing the latest technology to stay in touch with customers, including offering an iPhone app with streaming audio of performances.

The bottom line: Look outside your own industry for good marketing ideas that can help you strengthen customer bonds and widen your circle of customer influence.

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