Lady Gaga: The Unlikely Champion of Marketing Automation


Lady Gaga does things differently.

From her eccentric wardrobes to her less than normal behavior, there is nobody quite like her in the music industry. And as one of the most successful artists in recent history, it’s hard to argue with her approach.This is a strategy that Lady Gaga’s manager, Troy Carter, has been pushing from the start. In a recent interview in the Guardian, Carter made it clear that they were only planning to push things further, with technology taking a leading role in their strategy.

This bold push into new technology and the resulting success of the Lady Gaga brand mirrors the strategies of companies of all kinds who have adopted new trends like content marketing and new technology like marketing automation. For a floundering music industry, these early adopters and forward-thinking companies have become the ideal role models for shaking things up to create real results.

A History of Innovation

When it comes to integrating new technology into the music business, Carter has always been somewhat of a trailblazer. Lady Gaga’s latest album was marketed through a partnership with Zynga, in the company’s wildly popular game Farmville. Users could visit a Lady Gaga style farm to receive exclusive content including early-release tracks.

The pop megastar’s next album is set to be released next year as a paid smartphone app. Packed with exclusive content in addition to the album, Carter believes this may be the future of the music industry.

So what’s next for the music industry’s most innovative duo? According to Carter, marketing automation technology may be next on the docket.

A Focus on Relationships

As technology creates a more empowered class of consumer, business success is increasingly about creating meaningful two-way relationships. This is just as true in the music industry as it is in the B2B world. As Carter puts it, “It’s more important to have the one million diehard fans, than to have 54 million people who aren’t necessarily fans, or they might have liked one thing you said, or one video.”

This is a smart take on marketing. As any marketing automation user will tell you, it is more important to identify your quality leads than to generate thousands of unqualified ones. It is for this reason that Carter has created a social network just for the diehard Lady Gaga fans, which sets the stage for automation technology to drive the artist’s success even further.

Prospect Tracking

According to Carter, the data held by record companies through the old distribution model was “sh*t.” “You have names, you have cities and you have credit card information, but it’s not user behavior. You don’t know where else they are going on the internet, you don’t know what other artists they like, or what music they listen to. You really don’t know anything about them.” This is the same problem companies in all industries experience, and it is one of the problems marketing automation is designed to solve.

By providing a new site for fans that requires them to sign up (convert), Lady Gaga’s team now has access to all of this information and more. The more information you can gather about your audience and customers, the more accurately and effectively you can market to them. This is what allows Amazon to deliver such exceptional experiences to it’s users, and allows marketing automation users to deliver the perfect message, at the perfect time to their prospects.

Lead Qualification

Marketing is no longer about sending the most emails or creating the largest audience. As Carter puts it, “It’s being able to segregate those audiences and knowing who the super-fans are.” This is true in any industry.

Segmenting your audience and qualifying your leads to identify your best prospects is essential to business growth. The companies that will rise to the top in coming years will be those that learn to capitalize on this automation technology to create more effective and targeted marketing.

While it is too soon to tell how automation will impact Lady Gaga’s record sales, it certainly seems poised to turn traditional music marketing on its head. This new application also marks an interesting point in the development of marketing automation solutions. The principles that have made it such a success for businesses are becoming attractive to those outside the business world.

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