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From the Annals of Gee, Nobody Has Ever Done This Before

 Imagine it’s a long time ago. The distant past. Like 1993. Back then, all you had to do to market your products to the masses was create a Facebook page, upload to Tumblr, tweet several thousand of your buddies, and…

PSYCH! There was no such thing as social media then! #noway!

So, how did businesses back in the ancient day ever manage to communicate to their customers? If only they had known what social media strategist Mack Collier knows – how to think like a rock star. Check it out. Rock stars have always known how to attract fans, even back in the dark ages before Al Gore invented the Internet.

Mack Collier’s “How To Think Like a Rock Star” gives readers advice on creating social media and marketing strategies that forge ordinary customers into fans with simple advice that walks “you through the process rock stars have used for decades.” Many of Collier’s concepts “may seem counterintuitive or downright confusing at first,” he writes, especially those that “concern how rock stars connect with their fans.”

To the rock-star inclined, he offers five radical, guitar-blazing, amp-exploding strategies like “You need to better understand who your customers are.” His example is lawn care products. Other advice includes, “Change your marketing and promotional efforts to create more value for your customers and fans” and “Show your customers that you’re human.”

Thanx bruv. That’s whack advice. Though how rock stars became the catalyst for Collier’s latter strategy is, honestly, anyone’s guess. Social media, of course, has dramatically changed the way we communicate so that now, according to Collier, customers can “connect with one another and share their thoughts and opinions” about ANY BRAND THEY CHOOSE! Oh yeah. Sharing thoughts and opinions – as we all know – is a uniquely 21st century invention.

Don’t get me wrong. Social media is an important and awe-inspiring boon to businesses, marketers, customers, rock stars and book review columnists alike. They have increased the reach of thoughts and opinions (both wise and misguided) beyond anyone’s expectations, providing new ways to promote products and political ideas, deliver education and share information. They’re just not that new.

From Collier’s bio (Alabama-based media strategist, trainer and speaker), his cred as rock star expert is hard to determine. But, it’s a catchy hook to invite his readers to think like one. In my other life as a professor whose marketing students want to know more about social media in the marketing mix, I see potential for Collier’s work as a classroom tool. Techno-newbies, just discovering Facebook and its social media cousins, will appreciate his straightforward tips.

While Collier’s advice is hardly original, it is not misguided. Anecdotes about successful companies and rock stars are entertaining enough to keep you reading. I particularly like his advocacy for people who “share what’s in their heart” as a way of doing business, teaching as part of selling, and understanding that transactional relationships (you pay your money and you get your product) aren’t necessarily long-lasting. His overly liberal use of the term “passionate” (at least 60 by my count) as what you want your customers to be is a rather one-note refrain. But, it’s probably true that the difference between rock stars and many companies is that rock stars “honestly care about their fans, want to be close to them, and appreciate their support.”

While I’m not sure I want my toothbrush company to get too close to me, Collier’s point is well taken. The cynical (though common) view that a company is only interested in your money tarnishes a brand. Companies that truly care about their customers and that try to address their concerns, as well as their needs, are more likely to produce true fans. FBN




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