4 things marketers can learn from Kanye West

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4 things marketers can learn from Kanye West

If attention is the new currency, then Kanye West is the richest man alive. Whether it’s his groundbreaking music, innovative fashion designs or bizarre social media tirades, Kanye has an unprecedented ability to draw mass attention to himself whenever he wants.

As a marketer myself, I envy and deeply admire Kanye’s ability to grab attention, and from a marketing perspective, I think we can learn a lot from him. From one marketer to another, here are 4 valuable lessons I learned from Kanye:

 

  1. Be Authentic

 

Effortless authenticity is the key to longevity in a career. Your messages must be consistent with your company’s values while setting you apart at the same time. Just as it’s important to promote a consistent and authentic message, it’s important that your messages fit seamlessly within your brand – don’t go out of your way promoting an inconsistent message. Being unique and establishing yourself as an organic individual is crucial to gaining your audience’s respect and trust. Create a place for your voice so people will keep coming back.

Kanye knows a thing or two about affording himself a long and fruitful career. Kanye has unapologetically been himself been for the entirety of his career, and this has been a major key to his success. Fitting into a mold may be easier at first, but originality – effortless authenticity – is the key to longevity. There is no other person like Kanye, so if you’re craving that kind of material, you can only get it from him.

 

  1. Take Risks

 

The last thing you want is to put up boring content. Marketing is a competition for people’s attention, and if your content is drab, you’ll never get your target consumers’ time of day. Take a minute, close your eyes, and think about all the digital advertisements you’ve come across in the past 24 hours. On average, consumers only recall 30% of the digital ads they see. What made those ads memorable for you?  More than likely, you found it to be interesting and unlike other content, and it stuck. Doesn’t matter if you liked it or not – they already won your attention.

Say what you want about Kanye, but the guy takes huge risks socially and artistically. As we know, taking risks is something Kanye has done through his whole career. Kanye’s eccentric personality has led him to carry out a number of interesting and controversial actions, but this is what keeps him in the headlines. …and it’s why we’re talking about him right now. Damn, he’s good.

 

  1. Timing is Everything

 

Understanding your audience’s shopping journey is a must. It’s critical to know when and where your audience is looking at something, just as it’s key that your content is on-message, so you can be sure that you’re efficiently and effectively targeting your likely consumers.

Kanye is a genius, but especially so when it comes to the timing of his actions. Let’s dive deep into the Kanye-lytics. Now, we’re no rocket scientists, so we could be wrong – we found that the majority of Kanye’s media stirs occur right before the release of a Kanye original. Coincidence? No way. Take his most recent episode of pandemonium for example, Kanye tweeted his support for President Trump, which caused massive social media outrage, and literally kept him trending until his album “Ye” was released a few weeks later. By building hype around his brand, Kanye’s album became relevant long before it dropped. And that’s just one example – the next time you hear Kanye’s in the news, take note because we bet something big will follow.

 

  1. Failure is Not an Option (It’s a Milestone)

 

“If you learn from your mistakes, then I’m a f***ing genius” – Kanye West

 

Look, the man has FAILED. I’m serious. Some of his social media stunts have really tarnished his reputation. (We cringe thinking about his TMZ slavery comments and the stage charge at the VMAs.) But, we can confidently say that no matter what, Kanye does what Kanye will do, and he’ll stay at the top for as long as he wants. Even amidst all the hubbub, the antics, and the problems in the world, Kanye’s performances will still sell out, and his Spotify will still have millions of listeners.

Try new things. Take a risk, be authentic. It’s not about coming up with some genius marketing technique (but if you do, let us know). Instead, embrace your company values, and put them behind every message. You’ll be you before you even know it.