Three Lessons Marketers Can Learn from Lady Gaga


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Today Lady Gaga gave an intimate interview at SXSW (South By Southwest) Music Festival in Austin Texas. She candidly dished the dirt about her performance last night and whilst I was not there to witness first hand, apparently included a mechanical pig, and being vomited on by a performance artist. Whilst not everyone’s cup of tea as it relates to her choice of performance art, she certainly had much to say today about her past, her fans and her ethos as an artist that we marketers can take note of.

Lesson 1:  “Don’t Sell Out – Sell In!” – Lady Gaga

When Lady Gaga said this today, it hit home. She proceeded to articulate that in her career, she was often told her show was ‘too gay’. She took this as a compliment because a strong core of her fans were gay as well as those friends close to her. To exclude them as a part of her demographic would be like asking her to have a personality transplant — never going to happen. She knows who is most loyal to her and those fans whom celebrate her uniqueness and accept her as she morphs and grows as an artist. What we marketers can be reminded of from this is that we should invest in our advocates and remember the 80/20 rule of business. If you do not presently have a personal relationship with your top fans, friends, followers and advocate rethink your strategies. Celebrate their love for your product and create unique experiences exclusively for them.

Lesson 2: “Nobody will remember what you Tweeted when you are dead.” – Lady Gaga

The Mother of All Monsters nails it again in that statement. We marketers place so much emphasis on creating amazing posts and putting together 140 characters of sheer brilliance but at the end of the day, Twitter won’t make our products, businesses or companies any better. Social media on any channel can’t save a crappy company. What she proceeds to say after this is that social media allows her to stay infinitely connected directly with her customers. She takes it very seriously, also stating that she uses Salesforce to manage her relationships because she believes it is vital to her success. Our take away from this is that our social marketing efforts should be aligned with our passion for making good products and memorable experiences. Social media is just another place to celebrate our customers and their passion for what we do. What we post on social channels should evoke the feeling that we want our customers to have. If we remember what Maya Angelou and Gaga said as a rule, our content should always resonate our brands values. #MakeThemFeelIt

Lesson 3:  “Create meaningful relationships with good partners who share your passion.”

Lady Gaga performed on a stage sponsored by Doritos. There were some who criticised her choice and some media backlash which she addressed today in her SXSW Music keynote/interview. She articulated that Doritos made a generous donation to her charity to empower youth – the Born This Way Foundation – for her performance whilst not limiting her by putting artistic restrictions on stage. Doritos called the stage the Bold Stage, and aligned their branding with perhaps the most brazen of all musical artists I’ve ever seen. Lady Gaga further states that there is much to gain from collaboration, and in marketing, aligning our purpose with others can have a significant benefits. Our takeaway is to reach out to others outside our businesses who have shared values and similar communities for greater reach and opportunity. Where it be in guest blogging, re-sharing a partners content on Facebook, or creating joint contests and branded events – be open and have some fun. Magic happens when we have the positive energy and open our hearts up to possibility — that’s been her a part of her business success and clearly, it’s working.

Got a marketing lesson you learned from Gaga?  Please share it in the comments. I would love to hear it.

Yes, proudly a lil Monster… Stephenie Rodriguez

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About the Author

Stephenie RodriguezStephenie Rodriguez founded Mighty Media Group, a leading data-driven digital, mobile and social marketing strategy and solutions firm, in 2004 and is currently the company’s Chief Executive Officer. She is also the former publisher of Ocean Drive Magazine (Australia), a speaker and futurist on all aspects of social technology, an evangelist of engagement,  and has advised companies including SSP – The Food Travel Experts, Austereo, JR/DutyFree, Radar Group of Companies, Transfield, Allied Mills, Lincoln Indicators, Income Solutions, and Bayer (Berocca), Toyota, Mercedes Benz, and the UN FAO. You’re likely to find her Tweeting here @digitalgodess or present at events such as #SXSWi, #TFWA, #Tedx and #SocialBiz.