Beyoncé’s new album, Beyoncé, was recently released with no notice, marketing or buzz. Once the album was ready for sale, one sentence saw this album hit number in no time at all, “Guess what, Beyoncé has a new album!”
The album sold an amazing 80,000 downloads on iTunes within 3 hours of its release. In fact, iTunes became temporarily overloaded when in the first day of sales, over 430,000 albums were sold.
1) Beyoncé is sexy as hell, your B2B company probably isn’t.
In marketing, there are two categories of things that people will spend money on; things they want, and things they need. The biggest issue we see in B2B marketing is the unsexy factor. The things we market aren’t a want, they’re a need. When people want something, they seek it out, much like they did this album. When people spend money to fulfill a need, the tactics have to change. The consumer will still seek out a product that they need, but it is a far less thrilling experience than a visual album that leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. B2B companies need the standard marketing tools of:
- Insightful, creative and informative content.
- Social Media presence that conveys the company culture, expertise and confidence.
- A kick a$$, easy on the eyes website that sells, informs and provides worth.
Take some hints from Beyonce’s content. Firstly, she broke away from the expected. Standing out from the crowd is vital in B2B marketing. She didn’t need marketing because her content was unexpected, fresh and brilliant. These things are built into pop music, they aren’t so much inherently present in say, software. She also included a new/old format in her videos, images and sound.
She was able to count on this album going viral because the creative content was so strong. For B2B companies, simple tactics like tying in current news or pop culture into posts is a great way to get clicks and shares. Video and compelling images also get a lot of attention in blog posts or social sharing.
2) She’s freaking Beyoncé.
B2B companies very rarely have the strength of a household name. No one except those in your same industry will probably even know you exist. This means that your name isn’t something they’re going to search. They will search for the need instead. So, we must ask ourselves, what are our consumers’ needs? These features, keywords and questions are what they will type into a little search box. Marketing is about getting in front of the right people. How are you doing at that by the way.
Furthermore, she made it so easy to access. Sure she knew she’d get some flack for releasing it that way from brick and mortar stores, but she did it anyway. This worked because of insights into her target audience. She (or her team) knew that their target consumers would know where to go to get the album quickly. They knew that this tactic would put the product in the customers’ hands sooner, generating buzz exponentially.
Having insights like this (on a smaller scale of course) about your social audience, will increase the number of leads you can grab from a great offer, trial or demo.
3) I mean, have you seen it?!
She is amazing at what she does. Many would contend that she’s the best, and after watching the entire visual album about 50 times, I am now strongly in that camp. Stunts like the one ‘Yonce pulled with skipping the marketing and going straight for the drop, is really only something she could ever do.
Most importantly, she is consistent. ‘Yonce is not one of those artists that puts out a so-so album and then a great one. Everything she does is perfection and with this latest stunt, she worked hard to surprise and delight her customers. That shows commitment, consistency and client empathy. She has established a cult following and stood the test of time in the rough world of pop culture. In conclusion, you are not Beyoncé, you need marketing.
We can all take a track from this album when it comes to the art of marketing. While she didn’t use traditional marketing methods or tactics, the build up behind this successful stunt was very much a product of great marketing.