Marketing Lessons from The Taffetas and Lady Gaga

Did you know our esteemed leader, Angie Rogers-Howell, is not only an experienced marketing professional but a star of the local stage as well? Her most recent appearance at the Muncie Civic was in The Taffetas as Cheryl, the blonde member (it was a wig) of the singing sister quartet who travels all the way to New York City from Muncie in hopes they will be discovered by Ed Sullivan.

It’s a lovely story from bygone days when gaining an audience was as simple as getting onto a single, hugely popular television show. Today it’s a little more complicated.

WHAT BUSINESSES CAN LEARN FROM ARTISTS

Artists have a more difficult time than ever achieving popularity because there is no longer one big audience tuning in to a show like Ed Sullivan’s. Today’s most popular artists – Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars – have to be everywhere to keep eyes and ears on them.

Lady Gaga, for example, has a website, an Instagram feed, Twitter feed, YouTube channel, Facebook page, Myspace page. Her music is of course available everywhere you can tune in or download digitally: Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, and on and on.

This is all in addition to an offline promotions strategy, of course, which involves a lot of travel, networking, meetings with record label execs and publicists, interviews and everything else a pop star has to do to remain in the public eye.

What does this have to do with you as a business owner, you wonder? Just this: like professional artists, you have business goals and you might have antiquated ideas of how to achieve them.

THE TAFFETAS PLAN

You knew you needed to advertise to bring in business. You imagined your own version of the Taffetas plan: your new website was your “wardrobe”, a couple ads in the newspaper and on the radio were your transportation, and the quality of your product, your talent, would do the rest.

It didn’t turn out that way. You had a great product but no one seemed to be paying attention. There didn’t seem to be any one place to advertise to capture that audience and convert them into a customer base. Your customers seemed to be tuning in everywhere else.

That’s when you knew it was time to update your marketing plan to the 21st century.

THE LADY GAGA PLAN

That’s when you really got busy, not just working in your business, but working on your business. You realized that your customer base was varied, and that they had a wide variety of interests that drove what they decided to pay attention to.

  • You realized your support for local not-for-profit organizations was something that mattered to some members of your audience more than your prices.
  • You discovered that people feel more connected to not just you, but your business as well when they hear your personal story.
  • You developed a strategy for reaching different groups of people where they were in both digital and “offline” spaces, and that building community and building your business went hand in hand.

That was all great. It was also utterly overwhelming.

SO, WHAT’S NEXT?

That’s why we’re here.

The Farmhouse is a hard-working, small town Hoosier business run by a singing, dancing entrepreneur named Angie with big ideas for how to build and maintain your business’s customer base. It’s a place you can go to get help with the chore of working on your business while you also have to run your business.

We can’t have those simpler, bygone Ed Sullivan days back, but that doesn’t mean pursuing your dreams has to be an overwhelming task.

If you think Lady Gaga does it all herself, think again. She’s got somebody tending to things back on the farm as she goes out to live and build and dream.

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