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Entries Tagged as 'Storytelling'

What Josh Groban can teach us about marketing

November 7th, 2011 · Marketing, Passion, Storytelling

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Josh Groban, the master marketer

If you also follow me on Twitter or Facebook — odds are you know that I have an 18 year old daughter who loves Josh Groban and his music.

This past summer was all about Josh for the McLellans.  We saw his concert in 3 different states, culminating in front row seats, backstage passes (see the picture of my daughter and Josh) and him wearing a t-shirt that she gave him on stage during the encore.

I tell you all of this because as we’ve done our family Josh Groban deep dive, I couldn’t help but notice something:

Josh Groban is a brilliant marketer.

You may not like his music (seriously, what’s not to like?) but you can take emulate his marketing prowess, no matter what you sell.

He has build a solid marketing foundation: Josh has all the usual things you’d expect a singing sensation to have these days.  A robust website, an active fan club, lots of Josh Groban personalized items (Yes, we do have a pair of Josh Groban flip flops at our house), and plenty of ticket giveaways on radio stations etc.

Lesson for us: While the marketing foundation might not be sexy — it’s necessary.  You can’t start off in the middle.  Build a rock solid foundation and then grow from there.

He gives his best customers exclusive content/access: He gives fan club members exclusive access to front row seats.  He also offers $25 tickets for all students at every show, which is not advertising anywhere but on his fan page.

For every concert, he selects one local fan club member to be his “road reporter.”  That person gets back stage passes, a press pass (to sit with the media during the concert and have special photo taking opportunities) and gets to write a review of the concert — which is posted on Josh’s website.  As you can imagine…every road reporter includes the photo of themselves with Josh.  Do you think that drives some traffic to the page?

Lessons for us: Rewarding your best customers transforms them into fans.  Fans who brag and spread the word.   That’s marketing you can’t buy, but you sure can influence and encourage.

He uses social media to be a real human being, not a robot: His tweets are his own and often, not about his music or singing.  (One that amused me was when he was trying to imitate the sound of a train)   He hosts webinar/chats with his fan club members and he really does just hang out and talk with them.

He does some crazy stuff on YouTube like this cooking show video.  He also did a couple where he interviews himself.  He’s goofy.  Which makes him very real and very likable.

Lessons for us: I don’t care if you’re a huge brand like Nike or a local shopkeeper — people want you to be real.  They want to like you.  But they can’t do that if you hide behind corporate speak or “official statements.”

He shows his heart: Josh launched a foundation years ago, but really has sharpened the focus of it to raise money for arts organizations for kids.  It might be a youth symphony, buying instruments for a disadvantaged elementary school or a theatre camp.  At every concert, he talks about his Find Your Light Foundation, offers his fans a chance to text in a donation and introduces a group of kids from that local city who are benefiting from those donations.  It’s all very nicely handled.

Lessons for us: Your customers want to know that you stand for something.  And if you truly show them your heart, they’ll join you in the fight.  Look at what Avon has done for breast cancer.  That’s not the company doing it — it’s their loyal customers.  Who are even more loyal because they share a passion now.

Bottom line — if a 30+ year old singer can launch a marketing tsunami mostly through gile and technology — so can you.  What Josh reminds us is — if it’s real, people gravitate towards it.

Thanks for the lessons Josh…and for the summer that will live in Mclellan infamy!


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But where do you find all the content?

October 17th, 2011 · Marketing, Storytelling, Strategy


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Challenges related to a content marketing strategy

In August of this year, HiveFire surveyed marketing professionals to better understand the state of the B2B marketing landscape including what was really creating the biggest challenges, how they were choosing to market and what they saw on the horizon.  (get a copy of the survey results here)

One major theme surfaced from the results: content marketing (the creation and publication of original content, such as blog posts, photos, videos, website resource pages, case studies or white papers to enhance a brand’s visibility) is changing the way B2B marketers work. More and more marketing effort is being channeled towards content creation and curation.  But it’s not without its challenges.

Some of the more interesting findings of the survey are wrapped in the challenges of actually creating the content.  Few argue about the tactic’s value — it’s the how to get it done on a consistent basis that seems to be causing the most trouble.

Driving leads is the number one objective of B2B marketers but they are challenged with having the resources to accomplish this goal.
  78% of respondents cited driving sales/leads as the most important marketing objective for their organization.

But they have to do it without a lot of help: working with a limited budget (28%) and limited staff (23%) were the top two marketing challenges cited by respondents.

I think most businesses have more content than they know.  They just aren’t looking in the right places.  If you’re trying to implement a content marketing strategy — you can probably re-purpose content found in:

  • Annual reports
  • Sales proposals
  • Marketing materials
  • Sales presentations
  • Orientation manuals (lots of good stuff about the company here)
  • Sales fliers
  • Instructional documents
  • Emaiils to/from customers
  • The FAQ section of your website
  • Diagrams/charts of your product/service (think infographic!)
  • Customer service manuals/instructions

And that’s just scratching the surface.  Remember — the content shouldn’t be all about you.  In fact, if it is — your audience will run kicking and screaming.  Broaden your scope by asking “what does my audience care about?” as opposed to “what can I tell them about us?”

By asking the right question — I suspect you just made finding content to share a whole lot easier.

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What are you doing to generate word of mouth

October 6th, 2011 · Customers/Clients, Love Affair with Customers, Passion, Storytelling · 12 Comments

  Amazon’s Vine program We all know how awesome word of mouth is.  We know it beats any mode of advertising and that over 90% of consumers say it’s the most compelling factor in their decision to buy. We all want it.  We want our customers to go skipping down the street, singing odes to [Read more...]

Mercedes uses visual storytelling

October 2nd, 2011 · Branding, Media, Storytelling · 15 Comments

Mercedes Benz released this print ad series earlier this year and as it often goes, it is just starting to get some viral buzz. It’s a great example of story telling and connecting with your customers.  It’s a visual version of the Mac versus PC TV spots that we all loved. Interestingly, the copy on [Read more...]

Are you in the emotional transportation biz?

June 25th, 2011 · Books, Storytelling · 12 Comments

…We’ve always found a way to tell our stories It’s no secret that I am an unabashed fan of storytelling.  It is how we learn when we’re school kids, it’s how we get our friends to do crazy things (“think of what a great story this will be to tell your kids, Steve!) and it’s [Read more...]