Jerry Spouts Some Unwitting Marketing Wisdom

Disclaimer: We’re not deadheads. None of us have steelhead or dancing bear tattoos on our calves, we don’t wear tye dye (except to bed), and only one of us followed Phish in college (and it’s probably not who you think it is). That being said, we like them enough to write this article.

I can’t think of many people who haven’t at least heard of the Grateful Dead. If you have parents who were young in the 70’s or hippie friends and family, you have more than a passing familiarity with this band. Whether you like them or not, you have to admit the Dead speak some truth amidst the nonsense and jam bandery that fill their songs.  Since I have been hanging out with a deadhead friend of mine lately, it occurred to me that the Dead have their own brand of unique marketing wisdom to share with the world.

These Grateful Dead quotes were not written to apply to marketing by any stretch of the imagination, just the same I’ll bend your mind to my way of thinking.

One Man Gathers What Another Man Spills

Ever heard the saying “One man’s loss is another man’s gain”?  How about “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”?  Where marketing wisdom is concerned, it is these old chestnuts, and this line from Saint Stephen.  In marketing, capturing your target audience (or personas as we call them in the biz) can be as simple as finding and capitalizing on another’s missed opportunity.  A missed marketing opportunity could be an untapped media outlet like Plurk (look it up, you won’t be disappointed), a new advertising space like in What’sApp, or an all inclusive automation tool.  Here we are talking about anything that will help set you apart or capture a previously untapped audience.  So listen to Jerry on this one and strive to become the gatherer, not the one who spills.

Once in a While, You Get Shown the Light in the Strangest of Places if You Look at It Right

One of my personal favorite Dead songs is Scarlet Begonias, although I didn’t realize it was a Dead song until college. (I know. I know.)  This line has always spoken to me, but recently in a very different way.  The marketing wisdom in this quote is the same wisdom you can apply to any other facet of life.  Be open to new experiences, different ways of thinking, conflicting points of view and the unusual. You might find just what you’re looking for because inspiration and genius are sometimes found in unlikely places.

You Just Gotta Poke Around

You can never tell what might work and what might not in marketing if you aren’t open to new ideas and concepts.  My mother used to say to me, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”  She was absolutely right, but what she didn’t mention was that doing what you’ve always done in marketing will net you decreasing results over time.  Times change, so if you want your business to succeed you will have to adapt.  The marketing wisdom here is that if your customers are always asking if you have a website or are on social media and you tell them no, you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity for growth with your marketing activities.  So, get lovely shakin’ on Shakedown Street with your marketing efforts and get with it old timer!

Keep Truckin’

Probably one of the most famous phrases ever uttered by Jerry Garcia, this really is penultimate marketing wisdom in two different ways.  First, marketing takes a lot of work. The end products of marketing most people see take hours and hours of labor to pull off successfully, and very few get everything right the first time.  The takeaway here – if you put time and money into improving your marketing, don’t flip out if you don’t see immediate returns on your investment.  These things take time, and anything done right is worth the wait.  Second, if make a wrong move and find out your efforts really were a waste of time and money, you got to keep truckin’ on.  Don’t dwell on your failures, just keep moving on down that crazy highway we call business.

If you have anything to add, please, please, please leave us a comment below.  We’re just dying to know what you think.


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