Pop Music’s Lessons for Marketing
post # 139 — July 21, 2006 — a Client Relations, General post
There are some mysteries about my hobby – pop music – that I would love to know the answer to, because I’m sure that if I understood them better there would be some interesting business lessons: a) What really ARE the marketing lessons of Madonna’s career? How did someone of her (shall we say modest) talents become the lasting global phenomenon she did?
b) Why is there such a dichotomy between “hip” and “professional?” McCartney was always clearly the most talented musically, but he could never approach the reverence that Lennon achieved thorough his “attitude” and “persona.”
c) On a related point, most of the (I think) truly talented pop music artists I like – Abba, Beach Boys, Bee Gees, etc, – are viewed as terminally unhip, no matter how well they sell. I know that says a lot about me, but beyond that, what does it say about the role of “hipness” in marketing?
d) I like the Eagles, I really do – but how does one explain the fact that their Greatest Hits volume 1 is the best selling album of all-time (rivaled only by Thriller.)? Does that teach us more about marketing and management or more about musical tastes?
e) So much of pop music success seems to be about “catching the cultural wave” – which is what a lot of businesses would like to know more about (and which ‘The Tipping Point’ only just touched on.) Has anyone developed any general lessons? Anyone want to co-author the book?