“People will always talk, so let’s give them somethin’ to talk about” – Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus proved once again that she knows how to get attention when she twerked on stage at the VMA’s.
But make no mistake – Miley isn’t just creating controversy for its own sake. Underneath her wild outfits and outrageous behavior is a great marketing mind.
Read on and find out what you can learn from Miley Cyrus’s naked approach to gaining publicity.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Controversial
“If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not in the light.”
Miley Cyrus isn’t someone who avoids controversy.
In fact, she actively seeks it out.
The most infamous example of Miley Cyrus’s attention getting ways is her latest stunt. Some may have thought it in bad taste (Like the Christian groups who condemned her behaviour), but it also caused enough attention that it now warrants its own Wikipedia entry.
The fact that not everyone likes what Miley Cyrus does and says doesn’t stop her.
She is focused on her own core fan base of young tween girls and she knows how to give them what they want.
If you avoid taking a strong position, your marketing message will come across as bland and unappealing to everyone – when you are controversial, there will naturally be people who won’t like your message, and that is fine.
Instead of focusing on pleasing everyone, concentrate on the subset of people who are the closest match to your message – that’s the start of what Seth Godin refers to as a “tribe.”
Create a Community Around Your Brand
“My real fans understand what it is I do.”
Most entrepreneurs and marketers understand the importance of building a social presence, but Miley Cyrus goes far beyond this when it comes to talking to her tribe.
Although Miley Cyrus has over 39 million followers on Twitter, she direct tweets to individual fans.
It’s this kind of investment into these relationships that has produced such a loyal following.
Miley has gone as far as developing her own social network, where her fans can interact, post fan art, and get the latest Cyrus updates. Members of her tribe can identify one another using her signature greeting.
While we may not have the resources to create our own social networking site, we can all invest more time in talking to our customers.
Be Prepared To Change
Miley Cyrus wasn’t always controversial. in fact 3 years ago this is how she looked… kinda wholesome.
But Miley realised that her fan base was changing and quickly adapted her image and antics to suit.
In business you have to move your marketing and products to suit the needs of your customers.
If not, you’ll quickly end up like Blackberry’s maker, Research In Motion… dying a slow death.
Become Part of a Larger Movement
“And now, I’m just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time.”
Being able to associate with something larger than yourself can be a compelling mission statement.
Miley Cyrus isn’t just trying to promote her music, she is also trying to change the world – Miley Cyrus views herself as an advocate for teenagers and other groups who may not have a voice.
Becoming part of something larger than you and your company can be very powerful.
Vacation rental site Air BnB isn’t just trying to sell you are a room for the night. They are improving the world through the sharing economy.
Or online shoe seller Toms, with its “One for One” movement that has transformed crass consumption into a noble act.
For very shoe that you buy from Toms, one is given to a child in need.
These companies make the consumer feel like they aren’t just buying, they are also giving something back.
Deliver The Goods
“When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time.”
Controversy isn’t enough if you fail to deliver a quality product. The fact is, Miley Cyrus’s music is good.
Unlike a lot of other musicians, she doesn’t put out a lot of material – but when she does deliver, it is good.
Despite being arguably the most famous solo artist currently performing, she has only released two studio albums.
It is this final point where some businesses lose their way. Massive hype and brilliant sales copy won’t, by themselves, create a successful long-term business. For that, you need to actually produce something exceptional.
In fact massive hype and brilliant sales collateral is a very quick way to kill an average business, because more people get to know the product is crap faster.
So next time you see a picture of Miley twerking, think to yourself how quickly she’s dominated that marketing space with 1 act of controversy.