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Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead

To steal a line from one of the more famous songs by the Grateful Dead: “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

I never would have imagined while enjoying those eight or nine Dead shows back in the day that I would learn a lot about marketing while reading a book about the band in 2010.

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History by David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan helped me walk a few steps further in my journey into the marketing world. Among lessons shared are:

(1) Rethink traditional industry assumptions
(2) Turn your customers into evangelists
(3) Bypass accepted channels and go direct
(4) Build a huge, loyal following

Meerman Scott and Halligan draw from practices that made the Dead the top touring band of all time  in 19 chapters with titles such as “Create a Unique Business Model,” “Cut Out the Middleman” and “Upgrade to Premium.” They tell how more than a dozen companies such as Rue La La, Google and Amazon have successfully employed those practices.

I learned a great deal about marketing while reading Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing & PR a couple of years back. After devouring Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, I ordered Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. I’m really enjoying it, too.

As basketball legend and Deadhead Bill Walton states in a cover quote: “Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead is like a powerful, hard-charging anthem that fills in so many blanks while closing the circle of life. Like the Grateful Dead, Brian and David are transformational visionaries with a keen eye for the second set.”

Reading their latest book will help get you Truckin’ into the new world of marketing and PR!

  1. September 7, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Thanks Mike! Brian and I were surprised how much we learned as well. During our research phase, the lessons kept coming!

    • mikeboehmer57
      September 7, 2010 at 6:19 am

      Keep up the good work! I’ve learned a lot from you — and try to implement it, and share my experiences with others. A friend in Pittsburgh who owns a small marketing company and saw me talking up the book on Facebook said she looks forward to reading it. (I attended several Dead shows with them in Indianapolis in the early 1990’s, by the way.)

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