Mack Collier

Why Amanda Palmer is a Better Marketer than Your Brand

By: Mack Collier | February 21, 2013 | 

Why Amanda Palmer is a Better Marketer than Your BrandOne Friday night in 2011, I was on Twitter when I suddenly started seeing a flurry of tweets from friends in Boston about a concert they had been to that night.

It was a ‘secret show’ given by Amanda Palmer, and as I watched dozens upon dozens of tweets flying by, I decided to see what the big deal was.

What Amanda had done was organize a ‘secret show’ by giving away tickets to the show.

In order to be eligible to win tickets, you had to go to Amanda’s Get Glue profile and leave a comment sharing your favorite experience at an Amanda Palmer concert.

The show was a wild success, and Amanda holds these ‘secret shows’ often, using social media to connect with her fans and create an amazing experience for them.

Now, the Skeptical Marketer will hear this, and immediately spot the big problem: She didn’t sell any tickets! Hello! And not only did she not sell any tickets, she gave all the tickets away to her biggest fans, the people who would likely be the ones to buy tickets from her!  All this rocker chick did is leverage social media to lose ticket sales! Right?


In May of 2012, Amanda launched a project on Kickstarter to fund a tour to promote her new album and art book. She set the funding level for the project at $100,000, which was the highest level Kickstarter would allow. She leveraged the same social media channels that she had used to promote and give away thousands of free tickets to her secret shows. But this time, she asked her fans to help support her and help her raise her lefty goal of $100,000.

Did it work? In 31 days, Amanda’s project was backed by almost 25,000 of her fans, who pledged a grand total of $1,192,793. This exceeded her funding goal by more than one million dollars, and at the time made Amanda’s project the 2nd most funded project in the history of Kickstarter (today it remains the most funded music project ever on the site). There was some controversy around the project, and you can read about that here.

Amanda Understands: Successful Marketing is about Delighting Existing Fans

If you research the top goals for marketers, you’ll see ‘acquire new customers’ mentioned early and often. In researching my new book, Think Like a Rock Star, I was trying to discover what the ‘secret sauce’ was for a rock star’s marketing success. Why is it that Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Amanda Palmer, and dozens of other rock stars can cultivate armies of passionate fans, while most brands cannot? What are rock stars doing that most brands are not?

First, I realized most brands focus on acquiring new customers. They position their marketing so it appeals to new customers, with the idea being that new customers equal new sales.

There’s a couple of big problems with this approach:

1. New customers have little to no loyalty toward that brand. So ,while you may get that initial purchase from them, there’s no guarantee you will get a second one.

2. Since new customers are frequently leaving, there’s a high churn rate. You might need to bring in 5,000 new customers to eventually retain 500 of them as current customers. That means the cost of marketing to this group goes through the roof.

Second, I realized rock stars are also focused on acquiring new customers. But here’s the important distinction: Rock stars connect with their biggest fans and then let their biggest fans acquire new customers for them!

What happens when Amanda Palmer does secret shows for her biggest fans? She gives her biggest fans another reason to love her. Those fans then go out and tell all their friends about how amazing Amanda is, and they acquire new customers on her behalf.

Rock stars understand their ability to acquire new customers tomorrow depends on their ability to delight their existing fans today.

About Mack Collier

Mack Collier is a social media strategist, trainer, and speaker located in Alabama. He specializes in helping companies better connect with customers, as well as cultivate fans via social media and other marketing initiatives. Mack is a highly sought-after speaker and has been quoted in some of the world’s most prestigious news sources, including The Wall Street Journal, Time, ESPN, The Washington Post, and others. He founded and moderates #Blogchat, the largest Twitter chat on the web. His first business book, Think Like A Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies that Turn Customers into Fans will be published in April, 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

115 responses to “Why Amanda Palmer is a Better Marketer than Your Brand”

  1. Guru_Franchise says:

    @ginidietrich @MackCollier Thanks for sharing you guys! I love how Amanda used word of mouth from her loyal fans to acquire new ones #Nice

    • MackCollier says:

      @Guru_Franchise @ginidietrich Yes she does secret shows & gives her fans a free experience, then when she asks for support, they give it 😉

  2. heather_hear says:

    exceeded her funding goal… Amanda Palmer rt @ginidietrich learn how rock stars market themselves by @mackcollier

  3. heather_hear says:

    fascinating @ginidietrich @MackCollier how your site collects relevant
    “Conversation from Twitter” never seen that before…

  4. ginidietrich says:

    This blog post made me SUPER excited to read your book! I hope you’ll come back when it’s available. Talk about a new – and very interesting – way to think about marketing and customer acquisition. Really looking forward to seeing you next month!

    • MackCollier says:

      @ginidietrich Thank you Gini!  It was honestly a blast to write, I’m really excited that brands are finally starting to realize the potential of connecting with their fans.  They still need to get past the whole ‘this is awesome cause we can turn our fans into walking billboard for us!’ mentality, but baby steps 😉  Thanks again for having me!

  5. RebeccaTodd says:

    Excellent analysis! AFP is a marketing genius. Most artists do not want to hear that they are a brand of one and refuse to behave like a business or think like marketers. I funded the kickstarter campaign and $5 got me one of the best albums I have heard in years. Beyond that, she did amazing campaign updates that made me feel like I knew he much better. By the time I received my download (early and with more tracks than originally estimated) I wished I’d have gone for the big Donut with a Rockstar package. Now the Albini controversy- don’t EVEN get me started…

    • MackCollier says:

      @RebeccaTodd Thanks Rebecca!  If you ever watch her on Twitter, she’s just constantly tweeting back and forth with her fans, and they love that she responds to them.  I should run it through, I’m sure at least 70% of her tweets are replies.  Wonder how many ‘social media experts’ can say the same? 😉

      • RebeccaTodd says:

        @MackCollier Oh yes I know! She and I have tweeted personally…and Neil Gaiman too…Swoon! I have some data for you- she RTd one of my bit.lys which gave me awesome insight in to just how far her true reach extends. And- see her live. One of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

        • MackCollier says:

          @RebeccaTodd awesome!  She RTed me once, pretty cool traffic surge to my blog 😉  She has such affinity built up with her fans, when they see her RT something or tweeting with someone, it resonates.

        • RebeccaTodd says:

          @MackCollier Exactly! And she crowd sources lyrics too- check out the Ukulele Anthem. Yeah, I am kind of an uber fan. I knew her from the Dolls days, but it was through the kickstarer updates that I really grew to “know” her better.

        • MackCollier says:

          @RebeccaTodd Have you heard about #LOFNOTC?  She sold over $11K in t-shirts over Twitter in 12 hours completely by random 😉  She said she was a loser all alone on her computer on Twitter on a Friday night and drew a picture of a computer and half-eaten slice of pizza and glass of wine and posted it to Twitter.  One of her fans said if she would put that on a t-shirt they’d buy it.  So she did and sold $11K worth!

        • RebeccaTodd says:

          @MackCollier I know! She’s just the best. And not to open this can of worms, but brief thoughts on the Albini bs?

        • MackCollier says:

          @RebeccaTodd Honestly I haven’t really kept up with it, I remember hearing some stink about how much she raised versus how it was spent, etc.  That’s when she had to get into defending herself and how much money she raised vs how much everything was going to cost, so I think it’s the same thing.
          I do know this:  The simple fact that her Kickstarter project was so wildly successful is, by itself, going to open her up to more scrutiny and jealousy. Success draws criticism, plain and simple.
          Here’s what I wonder (and as I said I honestly haven’t followed so maybe you can help me here), is anyone in GTO upset with Amanda, or are outside sources upset with her?  I mean if someone in the band is coming out and saying ‘Yeah Amanda promised to pay us X, and she didn’t’, then that’s one thing.  
          But if the complaining over what Amanda did or did not pay her band is NOT coming from the band, then so what?  As I said, success breeds criticism.  What do you think?

        • RebeccaTodd says:

          @MackCollier Here was the issue as I understood it- the GTO got paid, that was no issue. Where the controversy came from was in crowdsourcing musicians to join them on stage. To have a full string and horn section travel with them for the tour was not feasible- who cares if it was about money (my thought). So she put the offer out through her blog that if any experience musicians wanted to play on stage with them for a couple of songs, they got free tickets, food, booze, and got to meet AFP and GTO. Albini feels that she should have to pay these musicians union scale. 
          Here is what chaps my ass about it- why can’t people volunteer their time as they would like? I would have gladly done anything- even worked the merch table- to get to meet AFP and the Band, and I would have still paid for my ticket! If people wanted to donate their time to be a part of something bigger, why should that be prohibited? A great story came out of the TO show- violinist Maddie, who did the lead on Trout Hear Replica, was only 15 and would not have even been able to attend the show. In the end, she met the whole band, played the lead on a stunning song, and they introduced her onstage too. I’m sure Maddie will tell you this was not about making a few bucks, this was about fulfilling a dream.

        • MackCollier says:

          @RebeccaTodd Oh yes thanks for refreshing my memory, I think that’s what I heard about a few months ago.  As you said, true fans would KILL to be on stage with Amanda!  I bet many of them would be embarrassed to even ask for money, and most wouldn’t want it.  It would be a dream come true!
          Again, people that are complaining about that are operating from a point of jealousy over Amanda’s success with the Kickstarter project, IMO.  Fans DO want to be paid, but often they want ACCESS, not cash.  If you had offered her true fans either $500 or a chance to perform with her on stage for even 15 mins, I bet most true fans would take the chance to be on stage without even thinking.

        • RebeccaTodd says:

          @MackCollier Well put. Many of the local bands I know use volunteers and fans in their efforts- as guest performers or ticket takers or cd hawkers. Why should this not be allowed just because Amanda makes more money than your average small town unknown band? Why does this change the metrics of fandom? Heh I could REALLY get ranty about this…

        • rustyspeidel says:

          @RebeccaTodd  @MackCollier Jealousy. Haters. Etc.

        • belllindsay says:

          @RebeccaTodd  @MackCollier I met Neil Gaiman once (back in my TV days) and swoooon indeed! 🙂

      • RebeccaTodd says:

        @MackCollier And I like that point you raise- if I check out the tweets of a big shot and all it contains are links and nothing personal, I don’t follow.

  6. lizreusswig says:

    This approach is very, very cool – so simple, yet innovative!  And now there’s going to be another book on Must Read pile!  Think I’m going to have to run away to Jamaica for a month and just read!

  7. PattiRoseKnight says:

    Oh no another book to add to my list – I’ll need a sabbatical to get through all of my must reads!

  8. MackCollier says:

    @ginidietrich I love your community here, so engaged and smart!

  9. susansilver says:

    I love this post, it explains exactly why businesses can’t ignore social media. You need to build your army from the start, so when you really need them, you can mobilize them for a good cause. A tour completely funded by fans is a great way to do utilize that loyalty.

    • MackCollier says:

      @susansilver Great point, Susan.  How many brands would think ‘well if we give our customers something for free, what are we going to get back?’  Rock stars like Amanda don’t worry about getting something back every time, they just give and give because they know that eventually they will need to call on their fans.  And when they do, their fans will answer.

  10. lauraclick says:

    Excellent, excellent post. Love this story, Mack! I think so many brands could learn from this. If businesses would quit thinking about selling all of the time and more about how to better serve the customers (aka “fans”) they already have, they would be so much better off.

    • MackCollier says:

      @lauraclick Thank you Laura!  When I was researching the book, I kept coming across story after story of how rock stars would do a free show for their fans, or a few years ago Taylor Swift signed autographs for free for her fans for over *15 straight hours*.  Rock stars are constantly doing things like this to surprise and delight their biggest fans.  They strive to have an emotional connection with their fans, whereas brands want to have a transactional relationship with their customers. 
      But when the rock star releases a new album or launches a Kickstarter project like Amanda does, their fans take the lead and help the rock star sell more stuff.  Because rock stars want an emotional relationship with their fans *that leads to sales*.
      Both rock stars and brands want to acquire new customers and generate sales, but they both go about it in completely different ways.

      • lauraclick says:

        @MackCollier Living in Nashville, I often hear that story about Taylor Swift. I also remember when Conan O’Brien did a secret free show in Nashville at Jack White’s studio. Word spread like wildfire and people were lined up around the block for hours and hours trying to get in. 
        These kind of things just make fans love you even more and go out of their way to support you and buy from you. It’s a simple concept, but it’s hard to execute in the business world because it means creating a tremendous shift in the culture of the company. Instead of asking “what can we sell today?”, it should be “what can we do to delight and surprise our customers today?”

      • AmyMccTobin says:

        @MackCollier  @lauraclick Yep… Rock Stars or any musicians know you have to PAY YOUR DUES first before you have the fandom you desire.   I get it totally – how it’s the same in the social space.

        • MackCollier says:

          @AmyMccTobin  @lauraclick Exactly, it’s almost like a bank account, you have to GIVE a certain amount to your audience/fans before you can expect them to give you something (cash, attention, etc) in return.

  11. MackCollier says:

    @lauraclick Thank you Laura, loving your thoughts on the post!

  12. >> Rock stars connect with their biggest fans and then let their biggest fans acquire new customers for them!
    Mack, I think this has HUGE implications in the B2B space, especially for those companies that get a huge percentage of their business from a small handful of important customers. 
    Excellent insights and post!

    • MackCollier says:

      @barrettrossie Great point, Barrett.  All this is is taking the concept of word of mouth, but focusing on cultivating word of mouth among the customers that have the highest levels of affinity for your brand.
      Which is a fancy way of saying ‘delight and thrill your fans, and they will bring you new customers’ 😉

  13. AmyMccTobin says:

    Excellent post  my friend.  I read a post on @shellykramer ‘s V3 blog yesterday that I can’t get out of my head – it was about the ROI of building fiercely loyal communities.  THIS is what Amanda Palmer knows… how to build them..  And YES, it takes A LOT of time and money, but then it’s starts to build itself.WHEN’s the book coming out???? 🙂  I see, April. When can we buy it?

    • MackCollier says:

      @AmyMccTobin  @shellykramer Yeah how many times do you think rock stars like Amanda ask what the ROI is of connecting with her fans?  Rock stars WANT a close connection with their fans, they FEED off it.  
      Sales are a happy byproduct.  A byproduct they LOVE, but the relationship they have with their fans isn’t structured from their POV as being strictly about sales.  This is a mentality that most brands will never understand.

      • AmyMccTobin says:

        @MackCollier  @shellykramer Well, I think some brands DO get it… zappos.  Starbucks.   The point of that post wasn’t just about ROI, it was really about what it takes to build the community, AND what the benefits are. Don’t tell me you think Amanda doesn’t care about paying the bills.

        • MackCollier says:

          @AmyMccTobin  @shellykramer Oh of course Amanda wants to pay the bills, in fact I had a conversation with someone earlier about this and I said that I thought Amanda was one of the most savvy marketers out there, and a lot of what she does with her fans is purposely done because she KNOWS it will lead to sales later on.  
          That doesn’t mean she also doesn’t love her fans.  I think most of the biggest rock stars in the world are also some of the best marketers in the world as well.

        • AmyMccTobin says:

          @MackCollier  Do you know who Dale Chihuly is?

        • MackCollier says:

          @AmyMccTobin No, who is he?

        • AmyMccTobin says:

          @MackCollier He is an OK artist – but a master marketer. Your next book: Think like an Artist.

        • MackCollier says:

          @AmyMccTobin Thanks for the link, I will check it out!  It’s funny, writing this book actually did give me an idea for my next book, but that’s a long ways off!

        • belllindsay says:

          @AmyMccTobin  I knew I recognized the name – he’s  the glass guy, right? Agreed. *Master* marketer.  @MackCollier

        • AmyMccTobin says:

          @belllindsay  @MackCollier Master marketer, but he’s a FACTORY, not an artist.  The perfect juxtaposition is Paul Stankard, a brilliant, brilliant artist but not a great marketer. Guess who has more money?

        • MackCollier says:

          @AmyMccTobin  @belllindsay It’s really interesting when you consider that talent alone won’t make you rich and famous in many cases.  But a little less talent and a little more marketing chops can make you a LOT of money!
          But here’s a question I have:  You can look at successful artists like Beyounce and Kelly Clarkson and Lady Gaga, if you actually listen to their songs, many of them are not exactly the most amazing lyrical creations 😉  But is that a result of these artists being ‘less talented’, or smart enough to create a product (a song) that will sell to the masses?  
          There are no doubt thousands of unbelievable songwriters that will spend their lives playing in local bars simply because they will never get noticed, and a big reason why they will never get noticed is because while they are amazing artists, they are terrible marketers.  I think there definitely needs to be a balance, in many cases.

        • AmyMccTobin says:

          @MackCollier  @belllindsay  I think the music industry may be a little different – the way you look, marketing and LUCK all play a part.I’m speaking with a prospective client now – an artist who went to school with Chiluly… he is a brilliant artist – but wants to be a commercial success. He’s had a few licensing agreements here and there, but never really made it big.  Why? Because he won’t commit to marketing…   that means $$ AND time.  I know you’ve all seen that before.Now, I mince no words.  I tell them: if you don’t want to be successful, that’s totally your choice. But there is a REASON that the ‘other guy’ is raking it in.

        • RebeccaTodd says:

          @MackCollier  @AmyMccTobin  @shellykramer Yes there is a great video about how she set the initial limit for her Kickstarter- shows she knew exactly how much money she would make and at what price points to set the perks. Smart cookie, she is.

  14. Cision NA says:

    I think your rock star insight will come full circle with this post. We have long been a fan of yours and this post solidifies why – you truly have great insight and can explain concepts in a new and unique way. So well that I think this post will resonate well with our followers and I will tell them how amazing you are!
    I echo what @ginidietrich said – cannot wait for your book! I just pre-ordered it through Amazon. 
    Have a good night!Best,

    • belllindsay says:

      @Cision NA  @ginidietrich  @MackCollier  Woohoo! I love this post and the whole “rock star” way of thinking. Glad you guys did too, Cision! 🙂

    • MackCollier says:

      @Cision NA  @ginidietrich Lisa you’re the best and thanks so much for pre-ordering Think Like a Rock Star!

  15. MackCollier says:

    @barrettrossie Thanks Barrett I don’t think I did a great job of addressing your point about B2B, but if a small pool of customers…

  16. MackCollier says:

    @barrettrossie Converting just one into a fan that advocates on your behalf to other potential clients/partners could be huge for a B2B

  17. NickTNpt says:

    @SnippetPhysTher Time for PTs to tap into that rock star mentality?

  18. rdopping says:

    Listen Mack!
    Kidding, just wanted to say that. I read the piece on Amanda Palmer in the NYT. I can’t help feel it was douchy of her to act towards people who she likely could empathize with. She was most likely in their position at one point in her early career.
    The secret shows thing is brilliant though. Very cool idea.

    • MackCollier says:

      @rdopping Hey what’s the piece in the NYT?  I missed that one, can you link it?

      • belllindsay says:

        @MackCollier  @rdopping Mack it’s linked in the piece – I aded it for context (ex-journo here! LOL) – she caught some flack for the KickStarter thing. “There was some controversy around the project, and you can read about that here.”

        • MackCollier says:

          @belllindsay  @rdopping Oh the New Yorker piece?  @RebeccaTodd and I were talking about that below.  Here’s where I come down on this issue:  Who is upset about what she did and that she didn’t want to pay the musicians that joined her?  It’s outside sources.  The musicians that joined her were THRILLED to do so.  Did she know that she could offer them the chance to play for free and that would be happy to do so?  Yeah I am sure she did, but if those musicians were absolutely thrilled to have a chance to perform with her, I don’t see the problem.  And I am betting a lot of the problem others have with this is because of how wildly successful Amanda’s Kickstarter project was.
          If she was taking advantage of these musicians I could see it, but if the musicians are willingly joining her to play for free, and are thrilled to do so, then I don’t see the problem.

        • belllindsay says:

          @MackCollier  @rdopping  @RebeccaTodd Yup, I agree. That’s art baby. It’s also why people contribute to each other’s books or films (or blogs!) – I’ve always said – be prepared to do some free work if you want exposure, a professional connection to a person or an organization, or simply to just get ahead. It really does work. As long as you’re not being abused.

        • MackCollier says:

          @belllindsay  @rdopping  @RebeccaTodd Exactly.  I’ve happily spoken for free on Think Like a Rock Star in the past because it’s an idea I am so passionate about.  But Lindsay to your point, some of the musicians might have been willing to perform for free for the exposure, and to be able to say they performed with Amanda Palmer.  
          Or think about this:  What if Amanda offers a musician the chance to play for free (and in the process she does so cause she knows she doesn’t have to pay, that someone will do it for free).  And a drummer takes advantage of it, and plays for free.  Then as soon as they are done, the drummer asks Amanda if he can take a picture with her, then asks her on the spot for an endorsement of him.  She’d probably say yes, then the drummer goes and posts the picture and endorsement on his site and uses that to get paying gigs!  If we would fault Amanda for not offering to pay these musicians, would we also fault the drummer for playing for free, then leveraging it to get paying gigs?  Probably not.  
          As you said, sometimes doing something for free is worth it if it opens doors to get you something else you want as well.

        • ExtremelyAvg says:

          @MackCollier  @belllindsay  @rdopping  @RebeccaTodd I love success.
          I hate people who only tolerate moderate success and at the point that the person makes BIG money, turns on them.  I’ve never heard of this artist, but I like her style.

        • RebeccaTodd says:

          @ExtremelyAvg  @MackCollier  @belllindsay  @rdopping You’d love her Ralph, if for nothing more than the lyric “stop pretending art is hard.” I’ll give you an AFP edumacation, if you’d like…

      • rdopping says:

        @MackCollier Crap! I meant the New Yorker. Sorry dude. Yes, I also agree with the “if they want to play for free let ’em.” They got swag and exposure. That’s good too but I can see the point of the “haves” exploiting the “have nots”. It’s a dog eat dog world out there. 
        Plus any time someone is successful on their own there will always be naysayers. Cheers, sir.

        • MackCollier says:

          @rdopping Yep, agree on all your points.  I think the fans probably loved it, but I’m also not blind to the fact that Amanda probably knew she didn’t HAVE to pay the musicians, if she didn’t want to.

        • RebeccaTodd says:

          @MackCollier@rdopping I kind of feel that in order to exploit someone, you have to somehow create terms where they are not aware of their potential to be rewarded. I have not read the bible, but this whole thing reminds me of Matthew 20:1-16- the parable of the landowner. If the reward is equal to the work for the volunteers, who is Albini to argue? Now, take this with a grain of salt as I spent 11 years as a rock widow- my local arena gives free tickets to rock shows in exchange for writing a review. These people do not even get free food and booze, let alone a chance to meet the artist and join them on stage. And people COMPETE for the chance to do so! And does the “writer’s union” kick up a stink? Does Pressfield write snarky posts about how these bloggers should be paid scale or the venue is taking advantage of them? No. Why? Because musicians are whiney and self-entitled. (re-read the above caveat…) As AFP herself says “stop pretending art is hard.”. Do it because you want to and the fire burns within your soul, or get a real job. BOOM.

  19. MackCollier says:

    @Ginidietrich I just wanted you to know that as of this morning, Think LIke a Rock Star’s sales rank on Amazon is the highest its been since I first announced the book available for pre-order way back on October 1st.  It’s so high because of the new pre-orders from Spin Sucks readers!  You have an amazingly supportive community here and I think it’s awesome the connection you have with them, and they with you!  Thanks so much guys!

  20. dwaynealicie says:

    I love this post …  and I absolutely cannot wait for your book, @MackCollier !  I think another piece of the puzzle is the sense of community that these artists encourage around themselves. I like to talk about Lady Gaga as the best example of this. She seems to reciprocate the traditional one-sided, fan-to-celebrity, “parasocial” relationship — or she at least does a good job of creating the illusion of doing so. You get the feeling she knows and understands her fans intimately.
    And in Ms. Palmer’s case, we see an artist actually delivering access in person at times through impromptu insider-only performances. Isn’t she also famous for never paying for drinks because her fans buy them for her? It’s a little edgy and maybe even questionable at times, but … it looks like a sign that her community is manifesting itself through her, not the other way around.
    And isn’t that the essence of marketing? Listen to your market. Be what they want or need.
    Certainly, artists aren’t the only ones who have the opportunity to create community. Big implications for brands and companies who get it! Of course it might take a wee bit more energy to get people rallying around socks, payroll services or termite extermination. But it’s not impossible. Anyway, I get excited about this stuff!

    • MackCollier says:

      @dwaynealicie I get excited too, obviously 😉  I think these rock stars are simply using role-reversal, they are treating their fans as if THEY were the rock stars!
      Now what’s really interesting to me is, what would marketing in general look like if most brands adopted the same strategy?  A few years ago I worked with Dell to put on a special event for some of its biggest fans.  They got to spend the day at Dell’s HQ in Austin, they got to see all the new projects and products that Dell was creating.  Then after lunch they were all told to go into a small meeting room.  In walks Micheal Dell!  Michael sits down and chats with them for about 15 minutes, and at one point I just looked around the room at these customers, they were mesmerized by Michael and you could tell they were thrilled that they were even in the same room with him.  Your average Dell customer could care less, but these guys were some of Dell’s biggest fans, an it was a complete thrill for them.
      That’s what I want to see more brands doing, embracing and delighting their biggest fans.  It makes complete business sense as there has been study after study done that proves that fans spend more AND refer more business to the brand.  
      If most brands stopped creating marketing messages designed to attract the attention of people that don’t care about them, and instead created marketing that was designed to connect with the people that LOVE the brand, how different would the world of marketing look?  I think it’s a question worth pursuing the answer to.

      • dwaynealicie says:

        @MackCollier That is an excellent Big Question — I think you just framed my thinking for today.
        It seems like one consequence might be more signal and less noise in our lives.  I can’t be the only person who wouldn’t mind a little less interruptive advertising…. right?

        • MackCollier says:

          @dwaynealicie That’s the key, less interruption.  Less of a disconnect between the brand sending the marketing message, and its intended audience.
          More efficient marketing for the brand (which lowers cost), higher satisfaction for the customer, because the marketing had more value for us.
          Make it so! 😉

  21. MackCollier says:

    @sarahkayhoffman @SpinSucks Hey cowgirl, happy Friday!

  22. techguerilla says:

    @ShellyKramer @ginidietrich Because she was with the Dresden Dolls and wife of Neil Gaiman and I’m not? Wrong answer? 😛

  23. smd says:

    .@dbvickery @ginidietrich @amandapalmer is successful in her use of social media because she is authentic. #yesibackedherkickstarter

  24. MackCollier says:

    @_rebeccajackson @trevoryoung Hope you both enjoy it! Thanks for the RTs!

  25. robotpainter says:

    @JonMikelBailey every thing I’ve read about Palmer is about her marketing skills, not once have I read a thing that she’s a great songwriter

  26. CarrieMorgan says:

    Love it, @mackcollier – I think that the challenge is in translating what works for a rock star into what works for a business in today’s environment – and social media is a beautiful place to make that happen.
    Rock stars have the advantage of connecting emotionally with their fans – their customers. People love them for the music that speaks directly to their soul and touches their heart. It forges an immediate, strong bond.
    So, that being said – the challenge for every marketer is how to touch that same emotional space. How to get past the product benefits and attributes that very few people care about, and focusing on the EMOTIONAL need their product meets, the pain points it solves, the frustrations it fixes. Nobody will spend time figuring it out – as a marketer, you have to feed that to them and strike just the right note that resonates. 
    Businesses that can do that are winning the battle for customer retention and loyalty, and new business.
    Can’t WAIT for your wonderful book to come out! Carrie ~

  27. CatieRagusa says:

    Awesome post, Mack!  It sounds like she’s really got the right idea.  I feel like that’s how it should be with most brands–really focus on your current fans/clients, and go from there.  Obviously acquiring new customers is a necessity, but how can that happen if you don’t have some sort of following to begin with?
    But, when a rock star (or other brand) DOES get that new customer for the first time, how can they make sure they stay fans and keep coming back?
    Super interesting topic.  I really enjoyed the read.

  28. […] Collier recently released his new book, Think Like A Rock Star, detailing the genius marketing strategies employed by some rockers. Strangely, he did not focus on such classic elements as hairstyle and […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please enter an e-mail address