In between bouts of weeding my two vegetable gardens and preemptively fighting leaf curl on my Avalon peach trees, I read a lot. My goal is to read two books a week. And while much of what I read is to prepare me for a book project I want to begin later this year, I remain intrigued by books attempting to link business practices with social media and customer-centric marketing.
I was deep into blogger/communications consultant Brian Solis’ new book, Engage, when I came across this month’s Atlantic Magazine, which has an all-too brief article on the business practices of the Grateful Dead. Written by the Atlantic’s Joshua Green, the piece is a must read for anyone who is professionally or personally involved in using social media to engage customers. Green suggests that in the age of customer centric marketing and direct connections with consumers, many businesses could benefit from how the Dead engaged its fans/customers. He also believes that the Dead Archives—which are at the University of California, Santa Cruz’ campus could be mined for future marketing books.
Green’s examples of how the Dead directly engaged its customers and profited from that experience is a good tale. More importantly it beats just about anything I’ve read recently that’s been written by any of the self-anointed social media gurus.
The Dead as management models? Dude, they just keep on trickin’—Jim Forbes on 03/05/2010.