Wednesday, August 11, 2010

5 Things Eminem Taught Me About Marketing

What Eminem taught me about marketing.

Eminem is a terrific writer, but if he wasn’t also a natural marketer, he might very well be still living on the wrong side of 8 Mile.

1) Put yourself out there

Be tireless and undaunted. Marshall paid his dues in underground clubs as the only white boy to step up and take the mic.

I was playing in the beginning, the mood all changed. I been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage. But I kept rhyming and stepwritin the next cypher, best believe somebody’s paying the pied piper . . .
Em knew that no one was about to hand him anything. If he wanted his voice heard, it was his job to spread it.

2) Be extreme

Try speaking to everyone and you end up speaking to no one.

As Sonia recently pointed out, Jenny Lawson and Naomi Dunford aren’t for everyone, but those who love them, really, really LOVE them.

See I’m a poet to some, a regular modern day Shakespeare, Jesus Christ the King of these Latter Day Saints here. To shatter the picture in which of that as they paint me, as a monger of hate and Satan — a scatter-brained atheist. But that ain’t the case, see it’s a matter of taste. We as a people decide if Shady’s as bad as they say he is. Or is he the latter — a gateway to escape? Media scapegoat, who they can be mad at today . . .

3) Tell a story

Build a backstory that is unique to you and you’ll develop a following that can belong to no one else.

Marshall’s storytelling was evident in his first LP, but he cemented his place as a teller of unforgettable tales in the second album, most notably with the song Stan, which tells the story of a crazed fan who does double duty in the song as a doppleganger for Marshall. Eminem used this narrative as both a means of self reflection and as a response to the many critics questioning the cultural impact of his music.

4) Experiment

Eminem’s music is crammed with experimentation. From the simple lo-fi beats of his earliest work to the wicked carnival rhythms which characterized his partnership with Dr. Dre, and all the loopy meters in between, it’s easy to imagine that Marshall isn’t happy unless he’s trying something new.

Not every experiment works, but at least he’s willing to play in the lab.

5) Address objections

A big rule of marketing is to address audience objections before the audience does.

Eminem has a history, going all the way back to his first major release, of addressing critics head on without flinching.

How many retards’ll listen to me and run up in the school shooting when they’re pissed at a teach-er, her, him, is it you is it them? ‘Wasn’t me, Slim Shady said to do it again!’ Damn! How much damage can you do with a pen? Man, I’m just as %#&@#! up as you woulda been if you woulda been, in my shoes, who woulda thought, Slim Shady would be something that you woulda bought?
Marshall Mathers is complicated and undeniably controversial, and though his critics would correctly point out that his music is filled with hate and vitriol, few of them seem to acknowledge that he is also manipulating his own material, taking his arguments to such ridiculous extremes that he turns them into farce.

Love him or hate him, the man known as Eminem has proven that he’s an important force in both modern music and culture. You don’t have to like his lyrics or his message to learn something from him. I’m grateful for the day my wife wondered out loud if I really knew what I was talking about.

Written by: Sean Platt

No comments: