How Eminem Schooled us on Marketing

Take a moment to imagine your mom. Chances are, she’s a pretty lovely lady. Maybe she’s really into Chia Pets or something cute like that. Maybe she insists on overfeeding you every time you visit home. How nice. Now imagine that same woman filing multiple lawsuits against you for being what she perceives to be an asshole.

Meet Eminem, the alleged “asshole.” Despite earning unrelenting animosity from the very woman who gave him life, his brand has grown beyond respectable heights and looks to stay that way for some time. Is this by a stroke of luck? Absolutely not. Our buddy Marshall has made his ascent using techniques that we can all learn from, no matter what we’re selling.

The topic of his brand’s success has recently turned hot again, thanks to Mr. Shady’s marketing stunt which successfully caused the heads of roughly one-third of his fans to explode. It was a bloody mess.

The esteemed rapper released two videos that hinted at the first of the five points we are about to list.

1. Expose Your Personal Life  

A new girlfriend? A pregnancy? A heated argument? Domestic violence? All of these things were hinted at in the chaotic teaser that appeared to be a documentary about Marshall’s personal life. It basically had all the brilliance and mystery of the very first Cloverfield movie teaser, only the head of the statue of liberty was replaced by a tiny prophecy stick that had recently been peed on. The point is, let your fans into your personal life… even if it’s as dark as midnight

2. Wear Your Beliefs on Your Sleeve

“What does love mean to you?” Eminem is asked during the mysterious teaser. Brilliantly, we don’t get an answer. “WHAT´S HE GOING TO SAY? WHAT’S THE ANSWER?” His fans ask, just before their heads explode. Your beliefs are an insight into who you really are. Let your fans hear about them.

3. Embrace Controversy

“Everybody just follows me, because we need a little controversy.” Wise lyrics from eighteen years ago. In the recent teaser, we see an argument, and that’s all it really takes. It’s no secret that conflict garners attention. Just… do me a favor and don’t go out searching for it. For the love of god, don’t become a sex offender. This particular form of controversy is causing celebrity careers to tank overnight. Plus… it’s just wrong. Still, if controversy finds you, don’t shy away. Use it.

4. Build Relationships

No, I’m not talking about marrying someone. I mean, you can, I guess. Marshall has done it twice with limited success. What I really mean is partner with other brands. Brands that push you to be better. Brands that make you look small if you don’t rise to their challenge.

5. Create a High-Quality Product

Even if you aren’t a fan of rap you have to admit, there is a unique and gifted essence to Em’s emotional spewing. No matter if you follow the last four steps, you won’t get any traction if the thing you’re selling sucks balls. I can’t offer a ton of help on that front, but there is one thing you can do. Don’t put too much energy into promising something great. Don’t obsess over album covers, logos, or slogans. Not yet. Focus on your work. A sexy graphic design doesn’t hurt, but if you don’t follow it up with something great, you’re basically breaking a promise to your consumer.

It all basically boils down to one thing: honesty. Sure, this blog post was essentially inspired by a video that was a total sham, but it was a sham that suggested honesty. Pretty crazy, right? I certainly think so. Maybe crazy should be number six on the list? The word certainly seems to hang around Marshall Mathers an awful lot.

Rebecca Smart Bakken

Rebecca Smart Bakken

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About Me


Hi there! I’m Rebecca, a world citizen and digital marketing nomad.

Some of you may have also seen me on HGTV´s show “Beach Around the World”.

Over the years, I’ve made a name for myself in the tech/ startup industry by helping 250+ startups scale with growth hacking strategies.

Now I want to help musicians and artists to promote their music and engage better with fans on social media.

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