Commerce and Culture meet, get along, but no sparks fly

I have been effectively marketed-to by a short list of bands 1) releasing an album early online-only, 2) announcing a prestige packaging / limited edition version of an album available between certain dates in brick & mortar stores or 3) giving fans on their mailing list first ability to purchase live concert tickets online.

In each case, I felt duly incentivized and clicked outside of the email ad to an external site, where I had to register all over again and navigate a checkout process, OR, better, I stepped away from the computer, left my home and bought something using my real phalanges and dirty green wallet-lining.

Each instance demonstrated the same pattern: 1) I would have bought it anyway, the email blast made we aware of its existence, and 2) they advertised things which I’d grown accustomed to purchasing elsewhere and convinced me not to put off the purchase, but compromise and but now. It didn’t feel more convenient. I like record stores and would be visiting one soon anyway. The only campaign that prompted greater revenue was one which convinced me to buy the same album twice, once as pre-release mp3, then months later on vinyl record.

If I translate that to myself as a marketer using online tools, I really need a good email list of people who voluntarily signed up for updates. Such individuals will happily open my can of spam, taste it and not complain that it’s too salty. Then they will need to feel that their relationship with me is exclusive, limited, VIP. Because they feel special, I’ll offer something in short supply, to collect and relish, to strengthen customer loyalty. Then, by strategically releasing my commodity in stages to various tier markets, each segment can feel it was uniquely addressed and supplied.

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