Michael Jackson - RIP A Great Marketer

The blogosphere is aflutter today with the untimely death of Michael Jackson yesterday.  The TV stations were in full swing last night, putting his biography on a continuous loop and providing non-stop commentary. Ann Curry on NBC totally sucked me into Michael's story - and what a story it was.  As I watched, it dawned on me that Michael Jackson and the folks behind him were a marketing machine!  We can all learn from him.

1)  Product - Whether it's his albums (Thriller, Bad) or his renowned live performance, Michael had a product to deliver.  It was beyond the music - it was the entire package - the outfits, the dancing, the show, etc.  Michael Jackson was entertainment.  People around the world loved the product.

2)  Positioning - Quick - name the other members of the Jackson 5.  How far did you get?  I bet not very!  Michael was effectively positioned within the Jackson 5 (the small, cute one with an amazing voice and dance moves).  Then, when he went on his own, he took those skills - the singing, dancing, etc and made himself the king of pop.  Who else could dance like that little guy back in the 1970's?

3)  Place- Timing is everything.  Michael Jackson came into the right place at the right time.  In the early 70's the country was looking beyond Vietnam for a new beginning.  The Jackson 5 entered the scene from their Motown roots with their light-hearted songs, helping the country try to recover from the turbulent and war-torn 60's and early 70's.  When MJ went solo, he was able to capitalize on a new TV medium called MTV (that's Music Television for those not in the know).  Remember the Thriller video being on MTV every four hours or so?  This placement drove him to stardom

4) Pricing - I think the other three "P's" really drove this one.  The king of pop made oodles of money.  Thriller is still one of the top selling albums ever.  The man could see out a concert in a heartbeat.  Enough said.  He asked a reasonable price and made a ton of money.

Whether your selling marketing automation software (like myself), hamburgers (like the Burger King), we can all learn from MJ.  Its about the basics.  Nail your position in the market, create a solid product, ensure you're in the right place, and price for value.  If we can execute...we can hope to come close to Michael Jackson and his unimaginable stardom.