Archives for February 2011


Time To Create a Cult?

Way back when Apple was still a baby fruit, I got firsthand experience working on the Apple II.

It was a breakthrough at the time – with a 9” monochrome screen and the dual floppy disc drives. I first learned about programming there and quickly discovered it was best left to others with more of a technical nature. I just loved it for all the potential it held.

That was 1977, and 33 years later Apple is now all grown up and the Iphone has more power than a city full of those old Apple IIs.

They made it through the days when no one thought they’d survive.

And now enjoy record breaking growth and a MASSIVE following.

Mac is one of the greatest Cults you can ever learn from

They leverage their Cult to sell boatloads of tiny little technology wonders like the iphone and ipad….

“Apple has been able to generate over $75 million in revenue in one day on a product that 99.9% of purchasers haven’t touched or for that matter, even seen in person,” said Victor Castroll, an analyst with Valcent Financial Group.

…now THAT is power.

You see it all over the news every time they bring out a new product. Their ‘converts’ clamor over each other trying to find the leaked photos of the new product. They line up for days outside stores in rain, snow or shine to be fitst in line to pay twice th going rate for a similar tool from a competitor.

But wait… is there really such a thing
as a competitor in the Apple world?

If you ask the media, they compare sales numbers and year over year market share growth. Basically pegging Nokia or RIM against the iPhone in the cell phone world.

But, if you talk to an actual iPhone owner and Cult Convert…

… RIM who?
Nokia… aren’t those 5 year old technologies?

In an Apple Cult… competition disappears.

Doubt me?

Then just go ask a Mac User, an iPhone junkie or a recent iPad buyer to switch over.

Then stand back for the verbal and physical lashing you might get.

I personally am not a Mac user… but I have had an iPhone for a couple years… an iPad for 6 months or so… and I get it.

Apple is different.

They do cool stuff that no one else in the tech business is doing.

Both in their products and in their marketing.

Apple is the best there is in the tech world for Cult Building and racking up the revenues.

From Wikipedia:
Sociologists still maintain that unlike sects, which are products of religious schism and therefore maintain a continuity with traditional beliefs and practices, “cults” arise spontaneously around novel beliefs and practices.

Which I think defines the Apple experience.

Novel beliefs and practices about their business and products.

To Apple converts: the Apple products are just better… in every way, their packaging is a lesson in itself, their ease-of-use is unparalleled, their ability to lead the industry on technologies that users actually want is unmatched, and they are THE coolest company out there in the tech world… heck, in the ENTIRE world.

And to be a member in this Cult, their converts are MORE than willing to plunk down their paychecks and do anything they can to pay twice the going market rate for a (gasp) competitive product.

The other day I was in renting a movie for my daughters and saw a sign on the store that the iPhone 4 was sold out (way up here in Canada we were a few months behind the big launch in the US). I asked the young guy behind the counter about the iPhone sales.

Even he was amazed at what people were willing to pay for this new phone (up to $700 or so). People who obviously sacrifice food, showers, clothing and deodorant… just so they can own the newest iPhone. Executives who skip out of work and are willing to pitch a tent in the parking lot just so they can be the first in the office with one. There is no rational thought happening when Apple launches a new product… they just gotta have it.

With ever increasing frequency I am seeing a LOT of people switching from PC to Mac.

From their Blackberry to an iPhone.

They are drinking the koolaid… by the barrel-full.

So, the question is…

how do you and I create Cults in our customer base?

No better place to find ideas for this than by learning from the best-in-the-biz.

[note: I am only a junior Cult convert… only the iPhone and the iPad. No Mac yet. Hey if you want to send me one, I’m in for going deeper down the rabbit hole.]

Some observations on the Apple Cult.

1) They have transcended rationality and rational thought. They have created these rock-solid beliefs with their Converts that there is nothing else out there that can come even close to competing. Not easy to do. In the day and age of shiny phones and tech tools everywhere, Apple converts keep their blinders on and happily pay a bundle for the tools, the apps, and the music.

What ONE thing that you do could be built up into an irrational belief amongst your customers? Do you do something in your service or delivery that no one else does? Could you? I wrote some time ago about Kinjos Sushi in Calgary. I am now doing some work with them to see how we can build their cult following even more. I have seen their numbers… WOW.

In a deep economic mess… their sales growth is off the charts for the past 3 years.

Why? Because they have 2 things going for them that no other Sushi place in town has: the Pocky chocolates and Peter Kinjo himself. To Kinjo Converts, that is enough to bring them back day in and day out. Imagine a 65 seat restaurant that cranks out hundreds upon hundreds of customers every single day of the week.

THAT is a Cult.

Find that one thing you can do to position yourself as the one-and-only in your market.

2) They have evangelists everywhere. Apple is a master at building their brand up to feverish levels with their converts. Just tell an Apple convert that Apple sucks… and watch yourself for the flurry that undoubtedly will come your way.

Reward the evangelists in one way or another. Give them special clubs they can join. Link to those clubs. Give them users groups and special interest clubs. Give them swag. Give them a feeling of being part of the inner circle. Reward them at your yearly customer get-togethers. Give them a darned good reason to praise you in public forums.

Their Apple users groups are driven by volunteers – they help recruit more volunteers (spending up to 30 or 40 hours a week of their ‘off-time’ doing so!)

3) Get them used to overpriced, yet highly unique and valuable products and services. Low price has never been mentioned in conjunction with Apple. Everyone KNOWS they are premium priced and their quality matches the price.

There are people walking around with $800 iPads that probably barely make that a month. Ask that person if it was worth it and tears will come to their eyes as they describe how the iPad has changed their life.

Then there are others who are leading their field and raking in millions per year… that are just as much of a convert as the unemployed guy with an iphone on his belt and an ipad in his arms.

They have positioned themselves to be a creative gateway. Own an Apple product and unleash your creativity. Everyone wants to be more creative… and a percentage of them are willing to pay a premium to do so. Apple is the logical (to them) step to unlocking their creative potential.

So raise your prices, but make sure the quality and deliverables they get in return are so far above the norm that price never becomes even a factor. Just look at how Apple packages their products! No brown cardboard boxes here. These are works of art and obviously cost a pretty penny to package that way. Apple converts KEEP their boxes on display. How many Blackberry users do that?

What can you do to position your products and services at the top of the industry, in price and in quality?

4) Always be on the hunt for new blood. Apple is great at this. They are the cool kid on the block… and everyone wants to know the cool kid. Be in their circle. Hang out with them. Be seen with them. Apple converts help Convert others just by being out there with their iphones, ipads, and Macbooks. Tease them with the idea of this Club they can join. The price is high… but boy oh boy will you be one of the cool kids then.

Have entry level products (still premium priced) that attract a younger, more vibrant crowd into your fold. Have higher end products that only the elite will buy. But those elite will help you convert other elites. And the juniors will help you become popular in the junior crowd.

Stick with the premium prices… but have multiple products in the premium price range to get both the juniors and the elites. All it takes is one magic bite and they are sold.

As they say in the Apple world… once you go Mac you never go back. Which is true. I don’t know many people switching from Mac to PC these days, but I know a significant amount of people converting the other way… quickly.

5) Show you are human (How many companies would take down their home page – even for a few minutes – to pay tribute to a fallen comrade? Jerry York was on their board of directors and recently passed away – Apply took down their homepage to page homage to this man.

Very honourable… and real.

6) Make it your mission to find that “passion over logic” sale.
That emotional sale is far superior to any logical one. The prices double and the evangelism reaches freaky levels.

Find something, anything, that you can position as the emotional reason to buy. Keep testing different emotional hot buttons until you start seeing the ones that work. Then use those to your fullest degree.

Make them part of an elite group (like Apple converts, even like the lobster brothers who I have written about here – charging $3,000 for a membership to a Lobster Club, rather than selling a $10 lobster off the docks. This is something that only testing will find. When you get it right… you know.

7) Master the Marketing of Your Cult. Apple is a genius marketing company and they know it. If it wasn’t for their marketing and pr side, they would not be what they are today. Not by any means.

There was a time when they were almost a has-been… but look at them now. They realized that they had some of the most passionate converts in the world… and all they had to do was find ways to get 100, 1,000 times as many of those converts.

Blogs like the Total Package give you hundreds upon hundreds of free articles to help you get good fast at your marketing. So do it. You are no longer a furniture store… or an author… you are now a marketer.

Get good at it and use that skill to build your business quickly.

One key to Apple’s success is that it shows off its products in stores set up in the affluent shopping areas of major cities around the world – a well-regarded Apple blogger filmed the insanity that accompanied Apple’s most recent store opening in Philadelphia. Apple had 200 stores at the beginning of the recession in late 2007. It now has 261, and the number is only growing. –24/7 Wall St.

“The Apple store is carefully calibrated as an architectural
and retail room that will change how you feel
when you enter it.”
–Seth Godin

8) Don’t shy away from trash talking your competitors. To a point. Look at the “I’m a Mac” commercials. Hugely successful and rightfully so. They positioned the Mac as the cool, creative guy. The pc – a nerd. Big time success with talking about your competition. But do it in a nice way or your Converts will sense your evil ways and start to wonder why you have to bash an inferior solution so much… maybe you are hiding something… maybe the competitors do have something worth looking at. Have fun with it. But be bold and sassy when you do it.

9) Ignore the fads and create your own. Apple could care less about bringing out the $200 Macbook. Instead of bringing out yet another $200 netbook, they quadruple the price, repackage it, rename it, and voila… you get the iPad with WAY more cool features than any Netbook could hope to have.

Following the fads is best left to your competitors. Fads die away. But creating your own following in a radically different direction is always a better way to position your products and your prices.

” We want to make all our users happy.
If you don’t know that, you don’t know Apple.”

“We love our users.
We try very hard to surprise and delight them.”

“So we do all this because we love our users.
And when we fall short — which we do sometimes — we try harder.
We pick ourselves up, we figure out what’s wrong, and we try harder.
And when we succeed, they reward us by staying our users,
and that makes it all worth it.”

The Apple Cult is an amazing one to learn from.

The 9 tips above are just a start.

Right now, you need to find a few ways you can create your own.

My thoughts?

Take the list above… find a quiet place away from the home or office. Get pen and paper out. Start writing down ideas.

An hour a week doing this and you will find ways to create your own cult.

A fantastic way to raise your prices and build your loyalty.

Drink the koolaid!

Get busy starting your cult.


Calgary Weather… the coming end of the earth?

Minus 32 degrees Celsius right now! Snow Dog... Casino the Husky

Even my dog Casino was yelping with frozen paws this morning… and he is part HUSKY! They are supposed to be cold weather dogs… and even this is too cold for him.

You know – there is an upside to all this ridiculous weather.

It makes you appreciate warm summer weather even more!

Just 2 weeks ago I was sitting on a beach in mexico – today – frostbite.

Troy White in Mexico... escaping the Calgary weather

Appreciate what you have… and what is coming soon enough.

Have a great day and stay warm.

The weather may be in the toilet now – but spring is just around the corner.

Calgary weather is in the toilet


PS: You may also get a kick out of my Quintessentially Canadian article


Marketing Lessons from the WAWA

marketing lessons from the wawaI recently saw a CNBC special on the chain of convenience stores called WAWA. They are experiencing phenomenal success in an industry that, typically, does not have a big brand loyal following.

Except in this case!

People even get married there.

Believe it or not, their clients are so happy with the store and service, they have been married there (granted, they did meet there, but that has to be a first I’ve heard of).

Why are they so successful?

Their motto: “The little convenience store that could”

Some specifics:

• Coffee can’t sit for more than 20 minutes (WHAT? No more sludge?)

• Motivate employees using non-monetary means. They receive average pay, but they mobilize the hearts and heads of employees, and create a true pride in brand.

• Create wawa holics

• Make the customers feel part of the community (that sounds early like they practice good customer service).

• They are more than a convenience store in their customer’s eyes. They are a place where people know their name (from the website – Wawa has been called the “Cheers” of convenience stores by our loyal customers)

• Good service, good foods and drinks

• Its own line of ice cream (most probably a white label brand – which any and every business can do)

• They have sports pools on their websites (that is some rabid fans they are collecting there)

• Their own branded Visa card (plus you get 10% off anything if you use that card)

• Their CEO has a blog! Nothing revolutionary there – but good business practice.

• Celebrities write about them. Erin Hannon, Dunder Mifflin’s receptionist, on the hit NBC television show The Office even wrote an ode to WAWA.

There is an entire marketing lesson both on their website and in thinking about what they have done.

Turning a commodity type service into a leading edge empire is not a simple thing.

But their techniques are quite simple?

How could they apply to your business?

How could their vision apply to what you offer your clients?

Wawa’s vision is “to simplify our customers’ daily lives.”

How can you not only simplify your clients lives, how can you help them share YOUR story with their friends, family and business associates?

Give them a GREAT story to tell… that’s how!

PS: WAWA is actually a funny kind of a name that has a definhite ring to it. Did you know that Wawa is a Native American word for the Canada goose that lives in the Delaware Valley? Me neither… until now.


Uncommon advice for commonsense marketing

If you haven’t heard of the great Drayton Bird, you need to get with the program!

This master of marketing has been writing sales copy and campaigns for more years than I have been alive.

He is very humble in taking compliments, but his work and books speak for themselves.

I just did a quick and content packed interview with Drayton on how he gets sooooo much done in the average day.

If you find yourself procrastinating and needing more stuff done in less time, this interview with Drayton is perfect for you.



PS: If you want to get much better at marketing to the affluent and writing with a passion, here is a brand new Monster Mailman Bundle for you:

(1) Sales Letter Success Class – a content packed event I put on for getting more results from your marketing.
– complete with pdf transcripts and 3 mp3s on how to write more effectively and persuasively

(2) Direct Mail Detox in pdf – a fantastic course I wrote on how anyone, in any industry, can stand out from the crowd
(especially highly competitive industries). Includes positioning ideas, testing ideas, 1-2-3 blueprints for
marketing success, lead generation ideas, etc).

(3) My Cosmo Headline Swipe file in pdf – pure GOLD. These headlines have sold millions upon millions of magazines… every week.
Imagine what they can do to build your business!

(4) Story worthy desires that motivate people and keep them reading – in pdf

(5) Marketing and joint venture secrets for small businesses – mp3

(6) Story Selling Bonus Book

(7) The 31k Course – this will get you cranking out content for the next 31 days. Daily ideas to spark your writing genius and get you cranking out content you can use forever. Articles, blog posts, campaigns and Facebook updates – all of them you will uncover with this gem of a course.

Note – all of these are digitally delivered to you right away.

$49 for all of them – and amazing deal for getting your writing cranked up and your customer relationships at a new high.

Plus, if you use these systems and don’t make at LEAST 100 times your money back in the coming year – let me know and I will refund your money. $49 in and $4900 out – talk about a great return!

Get your Monster Mailman Bundle Here

Have a great weekend and keep on writing!



Marketing to the Affluent

According to Pamela Danzinger (Affluent research expert):

“A new survey among 1,237 affluents shoppers about their online shopping habits found that gift ideas and gift shopping is the second most popular reason they turn to the internet.”


“The affluent shopper are the heavy lifters in the consumer economy. They make up only 20 percent of households, affluent buyersbut account for more than 40 percent of all consumer purchases and more than 50 percent of all income and earnings. Where they shop, what they buy, how much they spend is critically important for marketers targeting customers at all price ranges at retail,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of the upcoming book entitled Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury (Paramount Market Publishing, early 2011).

Affluent clients can improve your business profitability fast, but you have to know what you are doing.

Using the age-old technique of ‘faking-it-till-you-make-it’ doesn’t work here.

You must know exactly who you are selling to, and how best to sell to them (meaning they stay clients for years, even decades, to come – and they refer all their best contacts to you as well).

This is a specific area of interest to me as I am working for clients in a couple different niches that target the affluent.

2 other great resources I am reading, and recommend you do as well are:

– The Art of Selling to the Affluent, by Matt Oechsli
– Mass Affluence, by Paul Nunes and Brian Johnson

First, don’t over complicate this… the principles of marketing to the affluent are, in many ways, no different than marketing to the general population.

One of the best sources of tips and techniques for treating people right is the class, How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (also the headline of his blockbuster advertisement).

selling to the affluentHere are just 3 of the principles from his book that apply to anyone you converse with, market to, or want to get to know:

* First, arouse in the person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.

* Always talk in terms of the other persons interests

* Make the other person happy to do what you suggest

Not exactly rocket science, but so little focus is put on this by most of the businesses and sales people you see out there today.

In order to sell and market to the affluent, here are a few principles to run your business by:

(1) Don’t tell them about your product or service (and how great it is) – SHOW THEM. This is one demographic that will hold you VERY accountable to your promises and claims. So do not try and impress them with your big words or name-dropping… they don’t care.

What they care about the proof that you deliver on what they want. They care about the help you give them (before the sale), they care about your attention to details, and they care about the way you carry yourself in your business.

(2) If you run a service type of business, or they come to visit you in your office… practice your hospitality skills. Do not make them wait (pretending you are too busy to see them). Great them at the door (yes you, not your receptionist). Offer them tea – and do NOT serve it in a Styrofoam cup. Do not tell crass jokes or show off all the war-wounds you got at the rock concert you were at last night – be a professional.

Yes it sounds simple, but you’d be amazed how few people practice the simple things!

(3) One-stop-shopping. Never pass the buck to others when you are dealing with affluent clients. Always be the front person for anything and everything they need (within reason, of course). Put together a response team that fulfills the things you need done – but have you as the person that fields the requests from them. If you cannot do it yourself, make sure you have a top notch team in place that understands how to deal with the affluent, and how to be a professional on the phone.

[Note: in many cases, additional services should be provided free to your clients, unless it was agreed on early in your dealings. Few, if any, will take real advantage of you – rather the opposite – they will gladly send their friends to you if they know you are there for them, no matter what]

(4) Provide Ritz-Carlton Service with FedEx Efficiency (a phrase coined in Richistan). They want you to pamper them – every single time they see you. Explain to them every nuance of your business, how you deal with your clients, what they can expect from you, and what you expect from them. They will want to know how you make your money, and what they get in return for paying you the big dollars.
Now, how do you actually get to the affluent prospects you so dearly want as clients?

At times they will find you – but don’t count your livelihood on that.

1) You CAN find, and market, to them via advertisements, direct mail, and targeted prospecting. The numbers of those who fall into the definition of ‘affluent’ is growing. Depending on the source, ‘affluent’ typically starts with a minimum liquid net worth of $1 million dollars (not counting primary real estate holdings).

marketing to the affluent That said, the absolute best way to get to, and win over, the affluent client is through networking and word of mouth. You must do your research and find out where they frequent (private golf clubs, spas, private fitness clubs, associations, philanthropic events, theatre, etc.)

2) Plan your week properly. Marketing is a numbers game – the more marketing you do, the faster you grow your business. Every Sunday night, plan out exactly how many affluent prospects you need to meet, and then plan out exactly how you are going to do that this week.

Remember, when you are out meeting prospects, you are not there to sell them anything, other than to show them you are a genuine person, and that their best interests are front and centre.

3) Set up your prospecting plan. Design a 3 and 6 month marketing calendar that will lead you down the right path to meeting your objectives. Be specific here, and reasonable. If you cannot commit to 3 networking functions a week – don’t put it on your plan. Leverage all your team members as much as possible to make sure your marketing tools get implemented on time, and on budget.

4) Design your web page to appeal to this demographic. Not the place for a plane jane website with a white background and text only. What should you have on your site, and how should it look?

First thing you need to do is get busy on your research – which sites do your ideal affluent clients frequent? What parts are common among the top 5 sites they frequent? Make sure you look like you belong in the same league as the others they are used to visiting.

Some of the things that you need to cover on your site: no fancy, blinking lights type of sites, instant connection to customer service, ease of ordering (or next step, like filling out a simple request form – again, not asking too much of them the first point of contact), and make sure you have a secure site for their information – AND that they know it is a secure site for their personal information (one of their biggest concerns online).

Some things you can consider when designing your new marketing strategies for this market:

• How would you describe your ideal customer or client? Age, sex, work, family, hobbies, etc?
• Thinking ahead, what is the ideal relationship you have with your clients? How do you communicate with them? How often? How do they approach you? Remember, plan this for your ideal business… then build your business to match your goals.
• What do your ideal clients (or should they) value most about what you sell, and how you sell it?
• What do they value most that you do not presently offer to them? How could you offer it to them? What changes do you need to make?
• If you wanted someone else to act as your front-person, how would they describe your business to your ideal client? What, exactly, would they say? How would they describe the value you provide? How would your ideal client describe the value you provide to their friends and associates?

Some facts for you to consider (The Art of Selling to The Affluent):

– 72.2 percent of the affluent are married with children (either still at home or moved out).
– On average they work 60 hours a week
– 22.4% worked their way into the affluent group through their own business, 25.9% are self-employed professionals, and 44.9% come from the salaried or commissioned employee role (with only 0.6% of them coming from inherited money)
– Only 20.4% said that their bank was helpful with their cash management needs.
– 65.5% said that opinions of immediate family members and trusted friends had significant impact on where they start looking and researching their purchase.

Lots to consider here… but the end results are well worth it.

Plan your strategies to target more of an affluent client. Design your business around them, and what they want. Then implement on a massive scale.

The numbers are there – and they are more than willing to spend their money with you (remember, price is the least important decision making factor in this demographic). This is one of the fastest and easiest way to build your long-term profitability.

By living, playing and working with the affluent – it only makes sense that you too become one of them… right?

So get busy!

To your success,

Troy White

PS: I am compiling a new report on marketing to the affluent. If you sell to upper income people, please let me know, I would love to interview you. If you know others who sell to the affluent, please leave a comment below so I can interview them as well. Thx.

PPS: If you want to get much better at marketing to the affluent and writing with a passion, here is a brand new Monster Mailman Bundle for you:

(1) Sales Letter Success Class – a content packed event I put on for getting more results from your marketing.
– complete with pdf transcripts and 3 mp3s on how to write more effectively and persuasively

(2) Direct Mail Detox in pdf – a fantastic course I wrote on how anyone, in any industry, can stand out from the crowd
(especially highly competitive industries). Includes positioning ideas, testing ideas, 1-2-3 blueprints for
marketing success, lead generation ideas, etc).

(3) My Cosmo Headline Swipe file in pdf – pure GOLD. These headlines have sold millions upon millions of magazines… every week.
Imagine what they can do to build your business!

(4) Story worthy desires that motivate people and keep them reading – in pdf

(5) Marketing and joint venture secrets for small businesses – mp3

(6) Story Selling Bonus Book

(7) The 31k Course – this will get you cranking out content for the next 31 days. Daily ideas to spark your writing genius and get you cranking out content you can use forever. Articles, blog posts, campaigns and Facebook updates – all of them you will uncover with this gem of a course.

Note – all of these are digitally delivered to you right away.

$49 for all of them – and amazing deal for getting your writing cranked up and your customer relationships at a new high.

Plus, if you use these systems and don’t make at LEAST 100 times your money back in the coming year – let me know and I will refund your money. $49 in and $4900 out – talk about a great return!

Get your Monster Mailman Bundle Here

Have a great weekend and keep on writing!



How to monetize your little monsters

I’ll be the first to admit… what follows scares the crap out of me. I NEVER thought I would write an article about this person, but feel I must.

Have you heard of Lady Gaga?lady-gaga-outfit

How could you NOT hear her name these days?

At yesterdays Grammys, she just won:

Pop Vocal Album: “The Fame Monster,” Lady Gaga
Female Pop Vocal Performance: “Bad Romance,” Lady Gaga

In just a few very short years (light speed in the music business), Lady Gaga has become an international sensation—selling millions of albums, breaking Billboard’s record as the first artist to have her first six singles reach number one. She’s won four Grammys, and has sold 15 million albums and 51 million singles digitally worldwide

She is everywhere… on TV…on YouTube… on Twitter… at the Awards ceremonies… everywhere.


Hint: It’s not her music.

She does have a very strong voice, but the rest of it will not change the music industry forever.

She is an incredible marketer…and we should be taking notes watching what she does and how she has captured the attention of the world stage.

So hang on to your thoughts about her music, her dress, her looks, her lack of clothing… and look at what she has done to go from no where to a world famous star in record time.

Pay VERY close attention to her outlandish outfits,lady-gaga-grammy
her bizarre big-eye makeup,
her wacked out videos.

You will start to catch a glimpse of some of her secrets of success… plus… you WILL (no maybe here) catch a glimpse of some other things she doesn’t worry about keeping private.

That’s her entire point.

She WANTS to stand out… and be extreme. She WANTS eyes watching her every move. She WANTS critics speaking out against her.

It’s all part of the package.

Look at the Grammys – she was HATCHED out of an egg during her performance – bizarre? Yes? Wickedly free media attention her “egg” debut got… millions upon millions of dollars in free advertising!

What you may not have thought about was her genius marketing ideas.lady-gaga-egg

Those are the key…and what she wants most?

Fans… millions upon millions of them.

And she has them.

Her one best selling song, Bad Romance, has… get this… 344,761,267 Youtube viewers! On MySpace, Gaga has had 491.5 million plays of her songs.

Love her or hate her – that is an amazing feat that we should be paying attention to.

Lady Gaga, formerly known as Stefani Germanotta, was an obscure go-go dancer who worked burlesque bars in Manhattan.

But, she had music in her blood and was playing piano by age 4 and was accepted at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts at 17.

She was once performing at a bar filled with drunken NYU students. No one was watching or listening to her until, fed up, she began stripping down to her lingerie. “I started playing in my underwear at the piano and I remember everyone was all of a sudden like ‘Whoa!’ And I said, ‘Yeah, you’re looking at me now, huh?’ “

She found a guaranteed way she could get the attention she needed to break into the music scene.

A few of her customer loyalty secrets:

1) Give your customers a special club they can belong to. Lady Gaga doesn’t like using the term `fans`, so she started calling them her `little monsters`. Taking it a step further, she had `Little Monsters` tattooed on herself. Even in her videos you can see the Monster mentions.

After Tweeting her tattoo picture to her MILLIONS of Twitter followers, the Little Monsters started getting their own tattoos and sharing them with the world as well. All of her albums have a monster theme to them as well

Take away: what special club or name could you give your clients? Many of the best loyalty type programs and continuity programs do this… shouldn’t we all?

2) Gaga also recites a “Manifesto of Little Monsters” at her concerts. Her Little Monsters see this as a dedication to them, that her fans have the power to make or break her.

This is the Manifesto of Little Monsters:

There’s something heroic about the way my fans operate their cameras; so precisely intricately and so proudly; like kings writing the history of their people. It’s their prolific nature that both creates and procures what will later be perceived as the “kingdom.” So, the real truth about Lady Gaga fans, my Little Monsters, lies in this sentiment: they are the kings, they are the queens, they write the history of the kingdom, and I am something of a devoted Jester.

It is in the theory of perception that we have established our bond; or, the lie, I should say, for which we kill. We are nothing without our image, without our projection, without the spiritual hologram of who we perceive ourselves to be, or rather to become, in the future.

When you’re lonely,
I’ll be lonely too, and this is The Fame.

Take away: Shouldn’t we all have some form of manifesto that shows who we are and where we stand with our customers? It wouldn`t take much to do, and it certainly can make an impact with those who pay your bills.

3) Special Recognition for a Special Monster. During her live stage shows, Lady Gaga will place a call to one of the Monsters in the audience. Her fans have already given up their cell phones to her (another lesson on mobile marketing) and she chooses one, dials it from stage, and waits for the screams. When the Little Monster shows themselves and their phone, they are put up on a big screen, and invited backstage after the show for a drink.

Take away: What one thing could you do monthly to pay special homage to one of your clients? Something random that would give them exposure to everyone else in your world, and make them feel fantastic at the same time. It could be a special write up about them that you send to your entire database. Make it like an editorial style and send them one in a nice frame ready to be hung on their wall. You could have a photo with you and them done up and sent out to your entire list on a postcard or greeting card. It could be special mention on your website, on your blog, the possibilities are truly staggering.

4) Have a secret code or sign.
Fitting with the Little Monster theme (album titles, tattoos, songs, etc), she also has a claw that she forms with her hand while on stage. The clawed hand is part of the choreography in the video of her song “Bad Romance.” She first got the idea at one of her concerts while watching two of her fans greeting each other this way…and an idea was born.

Take away: You may not have a secret handshake or claw for your business, but you may have a special acronym or formula you share with your clients. Give them something that is unique and proprietary to your business, make sure they understand that it was designed just for them, and encourage them to use it frequently (again, with pictures, mentions, etc).

5) Leverage social media. Gaga has over 5 million fans on Facebook and almost 3 millions Twitter followers! She keeps in frequent communication with them and shares the exciting, and not so exciting parts of her life with them.

Take away: Leverage social media if at all possible. I personally am not a huge fan (you may have read my Twitter challenge last year on this blog), but I realize that Social media is huge and very fitting for loyalty. Find people to help you get good at it, and leverage outside resources so social media management doesn`t suck your time dry.

6) Work your ass off to build a fan base with your clients.
This quote pretty well says it all on why she has been able to do what she has:

“When you’re dealing with someone as good as Gaga, a lot of it is how to stay the *&^% out of the way,” said Steve Berman, Universal Music’s president of sales and marketing. “Gaga has worked tirelessly in keeping up daily if not hourly communication with her fans and growing fan base through all the technology that exists now.”

Take away: Work your ass off. Overnight riches are a thing of fairy tales. No more needs to be said.

7) Know WHO your customers are. While she seems to have attracted a wide range of Monsters from all age groups, the majority of her fans are young, lost and confused. So was she. An absolute misfit at school. Ridiculed for being different. Pretty well sounds like most of the teenage population out there. And she makes sure they know that she is absolutely NO DIFFERENT than them. When they become a Monster…they know she is one of them.

Take away: Get to know your customers intimately, and make sure they know what you know about them. If you personally can’t relate, have a spokesperson or employee who IS just like them.

“Lady Gaga isn’t the music industry’s new Madonna.
She’s its new business model.”

All this by 24 years old.lady-gaga

Not too shabby, at all.

A quote to herself: ” ‘Now that you have everybody watching, Gaga, you’d better be f***ing great.’ “

Last lesson, based on this quote: once you get the success you wanted, work harder and don’t blow it!

To your success, you little marketing monster.


PS: If you want to get much better at marketing and writing with a passion, here is a brand new Bundle for you…

2016 marketing plan calendar