What Does Lady Gaga Have to do with Marketing Association Programs?

Special thanks to ASAE Annual Meeting speakers Debra Bachman-Zabloudil and Sheri Jacobs, I was treated to a session that promised to deliver how Lady Gaga was a marketing success and it hit was a home run.
This session started right out of the gate proving immediately you must have a catchy title for your session.
When attendees were asked why they attended a few said topic, a few said the speakers and a few said Twitter. However, the real winner, overwhelmingly, was the fact the title said simply – How to Market Like Lady Gaga. Even if you don’t like the singer, you have to respect that she is a household name. And this woman, who just a few years ago went by the name Stephanie, now has over 11 million followers on Twitter and over 40 million fans on Facebook. This session proved it wasn’t by accident.
1. Have a Purpose – you need to make sure all your programs have a purpose in mind. What do you want to accomplish with your program.
2. Build a Fan Base – from time to time, award your key attendees with special treats. Offer an association member special discounts if they attend regularly.
3. Quality over Quantity – This should seem obvious, but focus on creating programs that reek in excellence.
4. Humility Matters – Going back to the fan base, do something nice for those people who are supporting you. The speakers mentioned for example that Lady Gaga sent pizza and water to a group of fans waiting to see her show outside. She knows it’s not about her. We as associations need to remember that sometimes.
5. Have the Right People on Your Side – You need to have champions for your programs and your membership. People who are willing to shout it from the mountain top.
6. Differentiate – What’s new and different in upcoming sessions. Always be thinking about how we can make people feel different about our programs.
7. Fake it Till You Make It – Sometimes you just have to believe you are a rock star. You know you are, so act like one. Market like you are the best and then deliver in abundance.
8. Timing is Everything – You must be deliberate in your marketing and make sure you go beyond the normal sometimes.
9.  Don’t be Afraid to Experiment – It’s ok to try new things and be outrageous.
10. Make it Fun – Jim Thompson bobble head.
11. You Can’t Appeal to Everyone
12. Make it Easier to Remember
13. Be Accessible – Own your programs and make sure you are visible. Example used in marketing this program came from http://us.moo.com/.
14. Make it Constant – What can you do to always be out there promoting, both in-person, in print, electronic, etc.
15. Get people involved. Show a who’s who list for each event.
16. Be Generous to Loyal Customers – find out what company sends the most people to education and how you reward them
17. Know Your Audience
18. Be Your Own “Bad” Self – Be true to what your mission is and don’t contrast with who you say you are.
19. Give Fans a Reason to Visit Facebook
20.  Tell a Story
21.  Take Advantage of Trends – like social gaming
22. Create a Full Experience – It’s not just about the event. It’s just one piece of the mission. How do you tell the full story through your marketing?
23. Leverage Partners to Build New Programs
24. Continuous Learning – for example, Lady Gaga interned with a famous hat designer to learn how she creates. To be a pro, you have to keep learning.
25. Make Money – create limited editions of things
26. Limited Time Offers – such as Groupon, Living Social, etc. Get a certain discount if a certain amount register by X time. If that number registers, get 1/2 off.
27. Be Original
28. Don’t Let Your Guard Down
29. Don’t Get Stale.

Thanks again to a great session Sheri and Debra and also to ASAE!!