It’s no surprise that a key to innovation is rejecting conventional wisdom. And innovation thrives in many businesses, particularly those in the technology space. But whether in silicon valley or silicon alley, marketing is still largely done in the same way it has for decades. Companies hire PR firms who push out press releases, while marketers post product info to web sites and create factsheets for their sales staff.
Marketers may dabble with new approaches, sticking a toe into the social media space by creating a Facebook fan page or setting up an official Twitter account, but even then most apply old approaches to new platforms. Knowledge is shared through boring white papers which sit behind a registration wall while Twitter accounts push out links to bland press releases or staid marketing messages.
It’s not the first time that David has written about the Grateful Dead. Readers of his book World Wide Rave may recall a discussion framed by asking whether you wanted to be like Led Zeppelin, whose historic reunion show at the O2 arena was not made available in video format (and where YouTube was forced to remove clips posted by fans), or like the Grateful Dead who, long before the days of Facebook and social media, encouraged concert attendees to record their shows, even setting up special sections where they could plug in to the soundboard to get better quality recordings.
As the book pointed out:
If you want to remain relevant in an always-on, fan-centric, YouTube world, you need to embrace—not restrict—your most important supporters. You need to believe in the power of a World Wide Rave to sell your products and services.
In this new book, David and Brian take a look back at how
the Dead worked to develop and nurture an active community of fans, then show
how to apply many of those same techniques to today’s marketing platforms. For
Rethink traditional industry assumptions – Rather than focus on record albums as a primary revenue source (with touring to support album sales), the Dead created a business model focused on touring.
Bypass accepted channels and go direct – The Grateful Dead created a mailing list in the early 1970s where they announced tours to fans first. Later,they established their own ticketing office, providing the most loyal fans with the best seats in the house.
The foreword to the book is written by one of the biggest
(literally and figuratively) Deadheads, former UCLA and NBA great Bill Walton.
As he so eloquently describes it:
Their passion, creative spirit, imaginative soul, and industrious commitment to promote truth, fairness, justice, and the Grateful Dead way led them through the evolutionary transition where they went from playing for silver to playing for life. This book tells you how to make that transition for your own career.
David Scott’s books are always practical, insightful and a fun read. Fans of his prior books won’t be disappointed here. Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead may be his finest book to-date.