Free Assessment: How does your inbound marketing measure up?

Get Started

Free Assessment:

How does your inbound marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.
Get Started

Free Assessment:

3 Legendary Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead

By Bob Ruffolo

3 Legendary Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead

Marketing-Lessons-from-the-Grateful-Dead.jpgThe Grateful Dead is one of the most iconic bands in history. Even if you can’t recall a single song they’ve recorded or you don’t know what they look like -- you know the name and the legend.

Against conventional wisdom and the advice that everyone was eager to send their way, the band found unlikely success by breaking all of the rules that other bands follow.

They had a different approach in mind -- one that greatly resembles today’s inbound marketing methodology.

They had a mailing list long before the email list was hailed as the most valuable marketing asset, gave away free content when blogs weren’t even an idea; What’s more, they put their fans first.

They truly understood how to attract an audience, keep their attention, convert them into lifelong fans, and delight them.

In Marketing Lessons From the Grateful Dead, world-renowned marketer, David Meerman Scott, and HubSpot’s founder and CEO, Brian Halligan set out to study this groundbreaking band and share the marketing gems that led to their success.

While there are many lessons that businesses can learn from in this book, we’ve condensed them down to the major takeaway points. The following are 3 most important marketing lessons that brands can learn from The Grateful Dead.

#1. Create a New Business Model

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this book is that The Grateful Dead was immensely successful because they didn’t do what all other bands did. They created their own business model.

Most bands, then and now, focus on selling albums. Record sales become their primary income source, which in turn affects their marketing strategy.

Rather than focusing on selling albums, the Grateful Dead focused on selling concert tickets -- selling an experience

The Grateful Dead created a concert experience that was unmatched by any other band. While their competitors were altering their sound to sell more records, built a revenue stream that didn’t compromise their art. They created a cult-like fan base that carried its band to superstardom.

To do this in your industry, first, you have to look at where everyone is competing the hardest and where the revenue streams are.

Where are the opportunities that get overlooked?

A classic example is how Netflix put Blockbuster out of business.

Originally Netflix offered a monthly subscription service that delivered DVD rentals to your home. They had some success, but couldn’t gain significant market share in an area that Blockbuster completely dominated.

It wasn’t until they offered live streaming, and later dropped DVDs altogether, that they created the model that would ultimately change the industry.

#2. Cut Out the Middleman

Inbound marketing gives individuals and businesses an opportunity to cut out the middleman and market straight to their target customers. Interestingly, The Grateful Dead was doing this at a time when it was believed to be impossible....

Keep Going! 

In the full synopsis, I'll dive into how the Grateful Dead marketed experiences, not a product, gave away content, and cut out the middleman by developing its own mailing list.

To start diving in now, click "keep reading" below. 

Free Assessment:

How does your inbound marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.


Marketing Strategy
Published on January 25, 2016

Recent Articles

My Best Sales Reps Haven’t Hit Their Quotas All Year: What Do I Do?
June 7, 2023 • 4 min read
7 Must-have Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategies [Infographic]
May 8, 2023 • 4 min read
What Small Business Leaders Need To Know to Thrive During a Recession
April 19, 2023 • 7 min read
5 Keys to Marketing Your Business During a Recession
April 17, 2023 • 5 min read
Should Your Demand Gen Strategy Change in a Slumping Economy?
April 12, 2023 • 5 min read
Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation: What’s the Difference?
April 10, 2023 • 5 min read
How a Lack of Sales and Leadership Buy-in Is Killing Marketing Morale Worldwide
March 6, 2023 • 5 min read
Website Conversions in 2023 — STOP, START, KEEP
January 25, 2023 • 5 min read
HubSpot Pricing: Your Guide to Everything HubSpot Costs for 2023
January 9, 2023 • 13 min read
Sales vs Marketing in 2023: What’s The Difference?
January 5, 2023 • 7 min read
How To Set Content Marketing Goals for Growth
December 29, 2022 • 6 min read
Should You Hire An Agency to Create Your Content?
December 12, 2022 • 4 min read
24 Essential Questions for Understanding Your Ideal Customer (+ Infographic)
December 1, 2022 • 5 min read
Take It From an Expert: You Probably Don’t Need a New Website
November 16, 2022 • 4 min read
Inbound Marketing Benefits Explained (Updated for 2023)
November 15, 2022 • 6 min read
Want to Win More and Improve Company Culture? Do More Role-playing
November 9, 2022 • 4 min read
4 Ways To Recession-proof Your Website In 2023
November 1, 2022 • 5 min read
Why Trust Is the True Currency for All Business
September 5, 2022 • 6 min read
The Big 5: Best Business Blog Topics to Drive Traffic, Leads, and Sales
August 29, 2022 • 10 min read
What is a Content Strategy? (Definition + Templates)
August 25, 2022 • 12 min read
10 Marketing Objective Examples To Guide and Focus Your Strategy
August 18, 2022 • 6 min read
What Marketers Need To Know About Switching to GA4 [Google Analytics 4]
July 30, 2022 • 5 min read
How To Inspire Your Marketing Team To Try New Ideas
July 25, 2022 • 5 min read
Do I Need To Invest in Marketing When My Business is Thriving? (+ Video)
July 21, 2022 • 7 min read
How Much Does It Cost To Become a World-class They Ask, You Answer Case Study?
July 16, 2022 • 12 min read