I’ve been doing a lot of writing and thinking about myths lately. Not like, the Greek myths or anything, but rather the sort of mythical thinking you run into when online folks talk about marketing concepts. For example, a lot of bloggers write about how you shouldn’t really do traditional marketing tactics anymore or how creating a website is a piece of cake…stuff like that. What I haven’t told anybody yet is that I was actually inspired by some pretty classic rock songs. You may not have known that these songs were written and composed to combat some of the myths running riot in the online world, but I am here to tell you that that is exactly the case.
To prove it, I’ve outlined for your pondering the seven songs that specifically inspired me to follow this line of thinking. Here they are!
1. Money (That’s What I want) by The Beatles
Despite all evidence to the contrary, many people who are tweeting, blogging, Facebooking, pinning, and more actually are hoping that some money comes of it. That means that as important as engaging and conversing and transparency and authenticity might be, what people really want is, well, money. Yep, that’s what they want. The Beatles actually wrote this song as a way to combat the myth that people should solely focus on the “fluffy” stuff in the online world.
2. Like A Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
Many people do not know that this song was actually written about integrated marketing and the need to build bridges between different departments and different kinds of marketing. Specifically, Garfunkel was hoping his epic mood would drive people to remember that building a bridge between social media marketing and more “traditional” marketing can be a really effective way to avoid “troubled waters.”
3. Piece of My Heart by Janis Joplin
You might not think “marketing” when you think of Janis Joplin and her wailing ways, but the fact is that she wrote this song specifically to combat the idea that people should try every single marketing tactic available, and immediately. Janis felt very strongly that this was a woefully bad way of doing business, so she framed the song such that every time you try something new without planning and strategizing, you’re taking another piece of heart. The “You know you got child if it makes you feel good” thing was just added for dramatic effect.
4. Creep by Radiohead
Very, very few people ever realized that Radiohead wrote “creep” to protest the idea that community-building should be your top priority online if you are using social media for business. Now, they wrote the lyrics to be a bit angst-ridden – it was the 90s, after all, but their point is “Hey, I don’t belong here” as in, they haven’t spent their time creating a community. They also felt a bit odd that community had not been their first priority while it was top priority for so many others.
5. Talk of the Town by the Pretenders
A lot of people think that getting a lot of followers and becoming an online celebrity or a “twelebrity” is what social media is all about. However, if you are using social media to market your product or service, you’re going to find that being the “talk of the town” isn’t going to do you a lot of good if the people talking about you don’t want to buy from you. That’s what lies behind this classic hit from The Pretenders. You know they’re on board with my way of thinking because they’re from my hometown, right?
6. Mama I’m Comin’ Home by Ozzy Osbourne
Did you know that Ozzy actually wrote this song because he was thinking about the whole “ROI of your mom” soundbyte? Yep. That was his inspiration for this song. Consider especially, “Times gone by it seems to me/you coulda been a better friend to me.” He’s really trying to apply an ROI formula to this relationship and it’s gosh darned hard for him. It’s all very loose and ambiguous. But in a subtle way, Ozzy wanted to show that while the “ROI of your mother” would be hard to prove, there are certainly ways to figure the ROI of your social media marketing efforts. It’s an undercurrent to the song. Listen for it.
7. Hotel California by the Eagles
The Eagles, few people may know, actually had started doing some social media marketing before they wrote this hit song. They had bought into the idea that having a marketing plan was lame, so they just jumped in. Well, wouldn’t you know they found themselves in a situation where they weren’t making a lot of headway but they couldn’t just quit either. You know what that became – “You can check out any time you like but you can never leave.” I’m sure there are other social media references in the song as well.
I know some of you might be skeptical about how some of these bands came to write these songs. You might even ask me for proof. Well, I don’t have any, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. With that being said, can you think of any other rock songs that you just realized were actually written to dispense with marketing myths that are spreading throughout the online world? If so, share ‘em here!
Marjorie Clayman is the Director of Client Development at Clayman Advertising, Inc., her family’s third-generation full service marketing firm. Margie has recently published an e-book that you can read about here.