Can marketers learn from the techniques that hip hop artists use? I say the answer is emphatically, YES! No, I am not saying that you should start using the technique of using cuss words, don’t be that closed minded, keep reading and see what I am talking about. Take the rapper Drake as my example. He’s got a catchy song called “Over,” which has been on the airwaves for several months and has crossed over to mainstream radio. Why has it done so? Well check out what he’s done. Some of his techniques are similar to what we tell businesses to do on their website everyday! In the second verse, he makes mention of not one, but three different very reputable sources that we all know. One might say he is “Linking” to their site. Check it out (and yes, I’ve deleted all the cuss words for the kiddo’s):
alright, bottles on me
long as I’m a drink it
never drop the ball, *** y’all thinking
making sure the young money ship is never sinking
bout to set it off in this **** Jada Pinkett
I shouldn’t have drove, tell me how I’m getting home
you too fine to be laying down in bed alone
I can teach you how to speak my language Rosetta stone
I swear this life is like the sweetest thing I’ve ever known
got to go thriller Mike Jackson on these ****
all I need is a **** red jackets with some zippers
Draw them in
Drake (did I mention he’s on Twitter? That’s his Twitter link back there. Check him out. He’s pretty good with fan’s too:)) mentions “Jada Pinkett,” a known actress, “Rosetta Stone,” a very well known foreign language speaking tutorial company that has had commercials on tv since I was a kid, and “Michael Jackson,” which come on…if you don’t know who he is then…well…I’m not sure how you made it this far in life. The point here is that he gets credibility by using names we can all relate to and hooking you into a catchy tune. Smart right? If we as marketers would link more to other people in our industry and outside to build site credibility, or if we can get other businesses to link to us so that we are thought of as “credible,” then we’ve made quite an advance in the marketing realm.
Drake doesn’t stop there. He put this toe tapping tune to a great hook that everyone can relate to. He uses a phrase that is common today and common 10 years ago. When I say “I’m doin’ me,” it may not mean much to you if you are over the age of 55. However, those under that age should recognize that as a term that has been on the radio, on TV shows, in the movies, and heck, women say it ALL THE TIME! Either in the form of “I need me time,” or even in the context of “I’m sick of this man, I’m going to just do me!” There are many different ways to say it, but check out how he uses it in his hook throughout the song (again, the offensive words are not displayed):
I know way too many people here rite now that I didn’t know last year
who the **** are y’all?
I swear it feels like the last few nights we’ve been everywhere and back but
I just can’t remember at all
what am I doing? what am I doing?
oh yeah, that’s right, I’m doing me, I’m doing me
I’m living life right now man
and this what I’m do til its over
til it’s over, but it’s far from over
Find a way to become more marketable in todays society
Now, I realize some of you may be saying, “Has Syl lost her mind? She is saying we need to copy a hip hop artist to improve our marketing and web content skills?” No, of course not. Listen, if you can come up with a way to use common slang terms of today that are not offensive but catchy, and use them in a marketing campaign, then aren’t you doing what you set out to do? You are making a campaign that people will REMEMBER! You want to be that REMARKABLE campaign. You want to leave an image in the end users mind that makes them think of you (or your client) first. So what you’ve got to do, is find creative ways to use todays lingo and incorporate it into your current strategy, whether it’s conservative or not. It will work! Oh and for those who still think I have fallen off my rocker, well, let me show you a few more stats on these SMART hip hop artists.
Drake released his last album on June 15, 2010. The record sold nearly 500,000 copies in a week. Due to the first week of sales, he sold the most records for any hip hop artist in one week time in 2010 until Eminem released his album. Now, if you’d like I can explain a little about Eminem and his lyrical genius and how following pieces of his artistic talent can gain us more market share as well (leaving out the obscenities). You really ought to look at these artists, check out what they are saying, and why the youth to the old are swaying and singing their tunes. When you can reach that broad a range of audience, it’s time to see what you can borrow from them and use in your own business strategy. I’m not suggesting you start cussing, what I am suggesting is that you look at your current processes, see if you’ve got anything that you can play on with current terminology that exists today and incorporate it into your marketing campaign.