Tuesday, February 20, 2007

3 Lessons Gangsta Rappers Can Teach You About Marketing

OK…let me start this by saying I do not enjoy rap music. In fact, the closest to rap I ever get is Kid Rock and he turned himself into a country singer!

This is important for a couple of reasons:

#1 You don’t accuse me of liking rap

#2 Even though I don’t like rap, it doesn’t mean I don’t listen to it or look for lessons in what rappers do. I could probably write a book about the business acumen of Jay-Z (a marketing genius if I’ve ever seen one...I'd love just to tag along with him for just one day to learn from him). It just means that you too need to be looking beyond what you like or your industry for marketing and business models.

Now, let’s get on with the show…

#1 Keepin’ it real

If this is not the slogan for a new advertising age, then I don’t know what is. Authenticity, in my opinion, is the MOST important aspect of any marketing or advertising campaign. For gangsta rappers, not "keepin' it real" can murder an aspiring or top (think Vanilla Ice) rapper.

If you want to be successful in your marketing, you had better keep it real. Keep it honest. And you will be rewarded for it. If you don’t, your customers will desert you until you end up on the Surreal Life for broke businesspeople (it’s coming…I can feel it).

#2 Showing Love for your homies

Whenever I do happen to listen to rap, there is always some guy giving a shout out to his homie. In other words, he’s mentioning his friend’s name. The effect? That rappers fans start looking for that friend’s album.

I recently wrote about Paris Hilton being a walking billboard for other people’s products. Well, rappers do this all the time. And the best part is that it’s authentic. Or at least it appears that way. Fans of rap know better than me that rappers tend to be affiliated with each other through their record companies and that these “shout outs” are great for helping each other.

But that’s the point, isn't it? By helping others, you help yourself. Rappers get it. And so should you. Make sure to praise your friends, vendors, or whoever else you work with. In the Web 2.0 era, selflessness is profitable.

* I’d like to give a shout out to my buddy Steve Harper. If you haven't read his book "The Ripple Effect" you're missing out.

* I’ll give another shout out to Thom Singer. Pick up his book too.

#3 Famous rapper (feat. some guy you’ve never heard of)


Who-the-hell-are-you rapper (feat. Famous rapper)

This is the mack daddy of “rapper marketing”. What’s better for an up-and-coming rapper than to be featured on an album by a guy everyone likes. This works great for rappers. And even conversely. Get a famous rapper to rap on your album and you are nearly guaranteed your first single will sell.

It’s love (and money) by association. And this works in pretty much all business. Get someone famous or well-known to endorse you, and you are well on your way.

Speaking of which, any famous (or not-so-famous) people out there want to give me a shout out? Or how about endorsing my next marketing product (coming out soon). Comment on this blog to let me know (Paris Hilton already did!)

To Your Continued Success,

Carlon Haas


1 comment:

Steve Harper said...

Okay this is just plain illin man! You know you be listening to the be-bopping good funky jambalama music of my home boys. Yo every time I jump in your ride your bass is a bumping and your trotting like player on the way Cali!

Don't deny it sucka!

Great post my man! Great lessons to be learned by all.

And I do listen to rap and we all know you do too!

Ripple --- or should I say....RIPPLIN ON MY BRUTHA FROM ANOTHER MUTHA!

Peace Ooooouuuuuttt!