I recently came across an interesting book that mixed two things that I love to spend time on – music and marketing. Entitled “Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History”, the book examines the marketing methods of The Grateful Dead over an incredible thirty year period. Over that time, The Grateful Dead sold millions of dollars of tickets and merchandise and developed an incredibly large and dedicated (fanatical) fan base. The author’s of the book, Brian Halligan and David Meerman Scott gave us a couple keys to the bands business strategy that we can apply to direct mail marketing:
- Mailing List – “The Dead” were cutting edge beforeAl Gore invented the Internet, developing a large mailing list which developed into a community of “Dead Heads”. As they said back in the day “keep your powder dry” and keep your mailing list clean and updated, so your message reaches the correct recipient.
- Mix It Up – When you went to a Grateful Dead show you literally never knew what was coming next, your senses we’re regularly hit from all sides. Use all of the tools available to you and mix up your marketing to include print, mail, digital and personalized printing to keep your community engaged.
- Be Yourself – “The Dead” were the “The Dead”, they didn’t pretend to be The Monkee’s because they thought that image would sell more records. Let your direct mail marketing reflect your company and all of its’ strategic competitive advantages.
Just going back and reading about “The Dead” makes me want to curl up with an impromptu twenty minute guitar solo that has nothing to do with the song I was listening to. Meet me at the Cow Palace in your tie dye and we can discuss the merits of direct mail and possibly have an adult beverage or two……..