Are You Weird Enough to Succeed at Content Marketing?

There will never be another Nirvana.

Or Coca Cola. Or Stephen King.

Apart from a very few anomalies, no band, brand, or author will ever achieve the level of cultural penetration that Generation X was the last to witness happen in real time.

Our culture has broken apart into millions of little tribal pieces.

It’s not because kids these days aren’t heading down to the crossroads with their guitars and web dev tools to do a deal with the devil.

It’s something much weirder than that.

Marketers, get ready.

In this episode Brian, Sonia and I talk about:

  • Why “mass marketers” are screwed
  • The new bond that forms audiences
  • Why Seth Godin thinks weird is your only hope
  • What does success mean in this brave, weird world?
  • The “craft beer strategy” of marketing
  • Why the small business can survive and thrive
  • Has world-wide digital distribution replaced marketing?
  • How to market to the weird

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The Show Notes:

About the Author: Robert Bruce is Copyblogger Media’s Chief Copywriter and Resident Recluse.

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Comments

  1. Just to say thanks, every time I open Copyblogger you give me MORE to think about! Listening to you three today has been a treat! It is comforting to someone who has always been just a bit outside the mainstream to feel that there are kindred spirits out there and that the future is looking ROSY for the weird-ones!

  2. I totally agree with the breaking down of the “mass” culture, although I feel like it will always exist to some extent within things like music.

    But I absolutely agree with the idea that aspiring entrepreneurs (and bloggers) need to be focusing on the “weird”, because on the net, you choose what content you want to interact with, and as long as the net stays open and free, you should be using this factor to try to pick to an appeal to a certain group, and not everyone.

    Until corporations put data caps on net usage that is… =(

    PS: http://www.savetheinternet.com/

    • We’re now seeing the phenomenon of “mass weird” (not new, it was a pretty major trend in the 1960s and has had its moments since the middle ages), e.g. Lady Gaga, the W hotel chain, Apple.

      Very few industries will be able to achieve what mass looked like in the 20th century, with one product snagging 70 or 80% of the market, but that’s not the bit that interests us — what interests us is how to snare a really juicy, profitable, satisfying 1% that we can build an amazing business around.

  3. FINALLY! Score one for the weird and quirky. I feel like I’ve finally found my niche (or maybe, it found me!)

  4. Very cool – I luv Seth Godin’s idea. The grand days are really over – another Michael Jackson won’t emerge,

    It’s all about “dominating” your small niches with remark-abilitiy. I luv the examples you brought.

    Hilarious ending. This blog needs Bruce’s humor.

    BTW – I really like the song in credits. What’s the remix called ?

    • The song at the end is from Girl Talk’s All Day, track Triple Double. You can download the whole album for free from the link in the show notes.

      • Thanx ! The style is awesome. Copyblogger’s podcasts are the only ones I listen to frequently. Go figure.

        • What? Mars, come on! ;)
          I was asking Brian to PLEASE bring back the typewriter, the nice finishing tunes from the first season or maybe play some classical music. I didn’t think the song did Copyblogger’s classic stylish ways any justice. I vote for Chopin but alas, such “music” is now popular, and I am in the lonely minority. I know it. Sigh.
          Podcasts rock, needless to say, thank you Brian, Robert and team.

  5. Agreed that a good marketer is someone who is a little quirky / creative / thinks outside the box. You have to constantly reinvent the wheel. Nice article, as always!!

  6. Great show again.

    Sonia, your notion of “mass weird” (or perhaps Weird Mass?) is really key.

    You can’t be too weird – there has to be enough of a market for your product to reach.

    (I actually worry that my own niche may be TOO niche).

    The Blue Moon story was really interesting. The idea of creating “multiple weirds” to reach multiple market segments is pretty appealing and cost-effective in the Internet world we live in.

    Slap a new label and a new story on an old product.

    Are we coming into a world of “mass-customization” in marketing?

    Isn’t Apple really selling “faux cool”?

    Conversely, how do you choose the “right” weird for your product or service?

  7. Great talk, guys.

    Love listening to these.

  8. I think it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. There are a lot of social media strategies and they might not all require you to be “weird” but you certainly have to have a different view on things. The point how to market to the weird is a good point though. You can’t market to weird people without being weird yourself first!

  9. Hi guys! I’m part of that weird copyblogger fan minority that love your show. Guess I’m a listener. I find listening to convinced voices inspiring. Anyway!

    I especially enjoyed the beginning of your earlier shows where your giggly intro is shorter, has a punchline and transitions into that awesome jazz-base sound intro.

    Maybe I’m weird, but I think that would be awesome if it returned:)

    Go IMFSPR!

  10. It’s always about differentiation, right? Great show!

    P.S. Wonderbread is still alive and well. I find it fascinating that our local high school still offers PB&J on scary white bread…

  11. “There will never be another Nirvana.

    Or Coca Cola. Or Stephen King.

    Apart from a very few anomalies, no band, brand, or author will ever achieve the level of cultural penetration that Generation X was the last to witness happen in real time.

    Our culture has broken apart into millions of little tribal pieces.”

    The truth.

    I have been arguing this for awhile (with less eloquence than Robert’s article here).

  12. The question that affects marketers today as you say is “How do I position myself so people resonate with me and my products?” The fragmentation of culture requires that we focus on being remarkable to the people who make up our market: “niche” is the new purpose which overtakes “mass”. Or for niche, read weird! The internet and countless TV programs mean more individuality – impacting your own tribe is becoming possible.

  13. Guess what, I have been reading ‘Purple Cow’ today and then I stumble on this radio show from Copyblogger. Coool!! Thanks guys, that was a great talk. I got really inspired by reading Seth’s book and his marvellous take on ‘weird’. How about this quote ‘If you do something very good, stop it immediately’, because very good = boring. :)

    Interesting Sonia what you say about the middle segment in business facing a hard time. It’s really a great time to be a small business, isn’t it? Thanks to the internet!

  14. I’m loving this. It’s tempting to appeal to everyone, but really, to start a profitable business, that’s not necessary. You just have to find the group/customers that work for you. Being a purple cow helps you to stand out from the crowd when trying to find them.

    Another point: people seem to be interested in the companies/people that aren’t desperate for followers/customers. What’s up with that? Is there any psychology to explain? If anyone knows, I’m sure you guys do…

  15. Maybe you can influence us with your music selections?

    Another great conversation that made me look at my “About Me” page much more critically, and how I can use my weird voice to make it more interesting.

  16. Is it possible Brian’s passion for certain music gets in the way of his commentary?

    All that waxing nostalgic about those bands from the 90’s and railing on about the demise of significance in today’s music sounded like the same noise coming from my generation about the “crap” from those grunge bands out of Seattle.

    I’m no expert on music, but it seems to me that fans have their 5-year love affair with music that corresponds with their coming of age. They embrace the popular stuff of their teenage years. Most music that came before that window of time is dismissed, and the stuff that comes after their sweet spot no longer resonates as deeply.

    Was Nirvana more “authentic” than Donna Summer? Kiss? Justin Bieber? Lady Gaga? I used to believe in such nonsense. The significance I had attached to certain music was more about my own need to find significance and belong to a tribe of my own.

    Yes, the music industry is in flux. That’s opening up all sorts of possibilities for non-Wonderbread bands. Could be just like the late 60’s all over again. (I was 10 years old in ’68 and thought music would change the world. It didn’t.)

    Anyways, I was much happier when you switched the conversation over to beer…

    OK, I’m Irish and finding significance in beer seems so much easier. ;)

  17. Weird or authentic?

    I think that authentic artists and creative business people are only grouped into a weird class because they are so rare.

    Passion + good ideas + vision = Greatness
    Most of the time, this is not a main stream approach to a problem but does that make one weird?

  18. My first time here, I love what I found, very interesting and valuable ideas. I enjoyed listening with you guys. thanks

  19. It’s Miller!! Have to represent my native Milwaukee :)

  20. The death of the middle can be postponed, as Brian says. You have to learn to talk to the four different personality types that make up the human race. It is a process that can be learned, and is well worth the effort.

  21. I got a good laugh out of your show today, especially Sonia and the french bread bakers. I like that Ezikiel bread too!
    Thanks for sharing!