Inbound Marketing Insights: The Grateful Dead and Niche Marketing

I recently started reading Inbound Marketing by Hubspot Cofounders, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah.

If you didn’t know, it’s an explanation of the theory and thought process behind their company.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing insights, from the book for your reading pleasure.

The first insight from the book involves the Grateful Dead.

Jerry Garcia says: Find Your Niche!

Yes, the Grateful Dead. Brian and Dharmesh explain how the Grateful Dead used rule breaking niche marketing to undermine their competition, target a niche audience and become one of the highest grossing rock bands in history.

The Grateful Dead came around at the same time as a slew of other iconic rock bands. Many of these bands became successful by making music that appealed to a wide audience. Instead of competing with the poppy sounds of their contemporaries, The Grateful Dead crafted a unique sound that mixed blue grass, jazz and rock and roll. Their sound, while it didn’t have as much mass appeal as some bands, was unique and well executed.

The Grateful Dead also broke the rules of the time by focusing on the live performance instead of record sales. They encouraged their fans to distribute free bootleg recordings of their live shows and focused their efforts on their live performances, turning them into dynamic, psychedelic experiences.

Unlike other bands who had droves of lukewarm fans, the Grateful Dead earned a diehard group of “Deadheads” that followed them around to every show.

The Grateful Dead weren’t afraid to break the rules of the music business. Instead of trying to appeal to a wide range of people that were already being courted by droves of other incredible bands, they marketed to a niche audience and won diehard fans.

In the competitive world of marketing it is often better to be the best in the world at one thing than mediocre at a lot of things. Has your company found its specialty? Have you found a niche market that you are equipped to serve? In order to answer yes to these questions you may have to bend the rules set up by industry leaders. Today tools like keyword research and social media can allow b2b marketers to find more untapped niche markets than ever before.

If you’ve found your niche market, how are you doing connecting with it? Tools like workflows, CRM and buyer personas can allow b2b marketers to target marketing to specific individuals.

Check out this video of the Grateful Dead performing live and witness their unique sound for yourself!

Want to know more about Grateful Dead’s marketing techniques? Go get yourself a copy of David Meerman Scott’s book: Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead.

Join me next time for more Inbound Marketing Insights!


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