Takeaways from NACE Experience!: Part 3
So I was a little skeptical about hearing someone talk about Lady Gaga at the conference but was pleasantly surprised at the content that Jackie Huba delivered. Here book is called Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics. Here are a couple takeaways from her presentation:
Focus on the One Percenters
Jackie explained how Lady Gaga focuses especially on that small group of her biggest fans. She does special things for them because she knows they are the ones who are going to spread the word about what she’s doing. Jackie presented some interesting, yet not surprising, statistics showing that most marketers are more focused on getting new business than on nurturing and increasing the lifetime value of their existing customer base. Lady Gaga’s top 1% of fans are her advocates…they are the ones who attract the new business and that’s one of the reasons she focuses so much on making them feel special.
Now I admit this is a little tricky in the wedding industry because we don’t really want repeat customers….we’re always on the lookout for new brides. However, I think it’s important to recognize who those advocates are and build that special relationship with them throughout their time as your client and even afterwards when the chance for referrals is greatest. Another application of this thinking is considering which of your creative partners (not vendors) are your advocates. What are you doing differently with them than with other partners?
Lead with Values
Jackie also spoke about the importance of values and how businesses should only do things that are in line with their stated values. Her example was about Lady Gaga and her commitment to marriage equality. The LGBT community was huge in the launch of her career and she has stayed true to her commitment to them as an ally throughout her career. Some of her stunts, like the meat dress, that were perceived by many to be just for publicity, in fact had a deeper meaning stemming from her commitment to her values.
What are the values of your business? I don’t know that they have to be as socially charged as the marriage equality issue to be meaningful to your clients. When making decisions, do you consider how your values fit in with what you’re doing?
Do Something Worth Talking About
The truth is that people get distracted and easily run out of things to talk about. It’s our job to give them something worth talking about. Lady Gaga is eccentric, outlandish, and always pushing the boundaries…that’s what people love about her. That’s also what some people don’t love about her. However, she still has them all talking. I wouldn’t recommend designing a meat dress for your next fashion show but Jackie’s point here, I think, was to not be afraid to be different and to push yourself beyond what’s comfortable and boring. People notice when you take risks. People talk when you take risks. What kind of risks are you willing to take?
I look forward to reading her book!
-Featured image by Paul Katcher