Five Marketing Strategies You Can Learn From the Music of The Beatles

JoelCognified Marketing, Content Marketing, MarketingLeave a Comment

The Beatles and Marketing Strategies

Have you listened to the new Beatles channel on Sirius Radio? I do on my daily fifteen-minute commute to the office and it’s terrific. Hearing the stories and interviews made me think of five marketing strategies from the greatest Rock and Roll band. Ever.

Even if you’re not like me and The Beatles aren’t your favorite band, the methods they used to influence music translate to marketing strategies you can use today. Here they are:

#1 – Start With a Catchy Riff

A Hard Days Night starts with a riff that most people know. It’s easy to remember, plants itself in your mind and suddenly you’re humming it all day long. It’s not a complicated melody and it was an early success that helped shape The Beatles fan base.

What does this have to do with marketing strategies? A lot. Do your marketing campaigns stem from an idea that will help your prospect think, “Huh. I hadn’t thought of it that way.” Or, “I’ve never heard anything quite like that before.”

How you write a headline, select a featured image or introduce an idea can impact the effectiveness of your message.

#2 – Tell a Three Minute Story

John Lennon and Paul McCartney were fans of Chuck Berry and called him the best three-minute storyteller they ever heard. Many of their songs borrowed this format.

Rocky Raccoon is one of my favorite songs and it starts, “Once in the black mining hills of Dakota there lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon…” Aesop himself weaved no more epic tales than the story of Rocky. This ditty has it all, hero, villain, conflict, story arc and a sad ending.

When you develop a campaign or collateral, do you think about the elements of a story to keep it interesting? Three minutes is a lifetime in the mind of a prospect.

The Beatles learned from Chuck Berry the importance of message and thrift in song. You can use this in your work, too. Quickly introduce your characters, set the stage, take them on an arc and get out with a solid call to action.

#3 – Incite Emotion

You will succeed in understanding your audience, refining your message, selecting the right medium and delivering in the most efficient channel. The Beatles proved this with many of their songs.

Set the scene with emotion and grab attention with specific facts. “She’s Leaving Home” begins, “Wednesday morning at 5 O’clock as the day begins, silently closing her bedroom door, leaving the note that she hoped would say more.”

In fifteen seconds the stage is set and emotions are hooked by a “note that would say more.” Can you think of ways to develop intrigue like this in your marketing messages? Can you create content that plants seeds and leaves your prospects wondering what is coming next?

The song tells a story about a person leaving home, parents feeling betrayed, a clandestine meeting and, again, an ending. The range of emotions in this song appeal to many. As a parent, the thought of a child leaving home as told in the story is gut-wrenching. “She’s leaving home after living alone for so many years” is a genius phrase that raises questions and further sparks emotion.

When you develop your marketing strategies, do you look for ways to take your audience through a range of emotions? Remember, people buy on emotion and justify with logic. Make sure to set the hook with emotion before you begin to make your case with logic.

#4 – Hammer the Refrain

Many songs by the Beatles used the AABA format of songwriting. This refers to the rhyming structure of the song and the chorus follows this and makes a transition. The song “Yellow Submarine” with its iconic refrain, “We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine” is hard to shake once you hear it.

And Ringo Starr’s voice adds texture to the content, too (Yes, a song is content!) If you’re into music theory, here’s a website that talks about The Beatles and their innovations.

When you think about your marketing strategies and the tactics you use to achieve them, do you weave your message into the content in creative ways that reinforces it throughout? Do you keep strategy in mind as you take your prospect on a path toward becoming a client? Do you design content to nurture, educate and progress? If not, why not?

As you bring your prospect along on the road to clientdom, take a cue from The Beatles and develop a phrase you can use to plant your message. Doing this will help you stay top of mind.

#5 – Keep Your Marketing Strategies Simple and Iterate

In the early days of The Beatles, critics said they used common music methods and took no risks. This strategy proved to contribute to their success because simplicity can fuel innovation. Much of the early work of The Beatles were cover songs of artists who influenced the members of the band.

Good marketing strategies involve doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t. I think of this as iterating like The Beatles did with so much of their work. If you examine the evolution of their music, it’s easy to see how it evolves. They gain confidence, fans and fame with each new record they released.

How do you do this in your marketing? Tracking, of course! This is where the metrics you pay attention to are important. I like to keep metrics simple and focus on three things: Generating leads, converting those to opportunities and closing those to produce revenue. There are lots of metrics to track, but for me, they all lead to the three I mentioned. Nothing else matters.

The Beatles were early content marketers, but they didn’t call it that. They understood the importance of producing value to earn engagement with fans and that’s why they are the greatest band to ever play rock and roll. Open to debate, I know.

You must do the same with your marketing strategies and content marketing efforts. Pay attention to what’s happening in your markets. Be aware of your competition, but don’t chase them around or let them influence your plans. Stay agile and iterate, iterate and iterate some more.

Content marketing is talked about a lot, few do it well and many want to do more of it. Why not leave a comment below about what’s working for you? Or, if you have questions you want to be answered, let me know and I’ll respond to the comments.

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