You’re Marketing to the Wrong People

by Mack Collier


This week I am headed to Louisiana to present Think Like a Rock Star to New Orleans’ AMA chapter.  One of the things I’ll talk about with that group is one of the key takeaways I had from researching and writing the book.

In doing research for the book, I wanted to learn how it was that rock stars could so easily create and cultivate fans.  I wanted to learn how rock stars create fans so effortlessly, then take that ‘secret’ and show brands how to create fans just as easily.

But the secret, isn’t what rock stars are doing, it’s what brands are not.  Brands aren’t marketing to the very customers that are most poised to drive real business growth.

Consider these stats:

  • Fans spend 13% more than the average customer – Satmetrix
  • Fans refer business equal to 45% of the money they spend – Satmetrix
  • Customers referred by another customer have a 37% higher retention rate

In short, fans create cash.  Rock stars have always understood this, and that’s why almost all of their marketing efforts are focused on their most passionate customers.  Rock stars go out of their way to create amazing experiences for the people that love them.  Because rocks stars understand that the best marketing in the world is spoken in a voice that the customer pays attention to.

Their own.

By embracing their fans, rock stars put their marketing in the hands of their most passionate customers.

In contrast, consider this final stat:  The top marketing goal for US companies is to acquire new customers.

Wait, what?

This was the most surprising thing I learned in writing Think Like a Rock Star.  Rock stars focus almost all of their marketing efforts toward connecting with their most passionate fans, the customers that are already giving them their business.

While in contrast, most brands focus almost all of their marketing efforts toward connecting with people that have never bought from that brand.

As a result, almost all of the rock star’s marketing is via word of mouth, from satisfied customer to satisfied customer.

On the other hand, almost all of the average brand’s marketing is via traditional marketing channels.

Who do you trust more:  Your best friend, or the commercial that just ran during Monday Night Football?


But the greatest irony is this:  Brands don’t embrace their fans because they want total control over their marketing efforts.  Yet rock stars have learned that when they give up control and freely give their marketing to their fans, they then earn the trust of their fans.

Those fans then willingly spread their marketing for them.  Funny how that works out.

PS: A special treat for you, I’ve done a free 50-minute webinar for Cision on Fans vs Influencers: Which is Better For Your Brand?  Hope you enjoy it!

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