GroupHelix Explains 5 Lessons Small Businesses Can Learn From Britney, Gaga and Other Pop Culture References

Chicago-based GroupHelix, a leader in all-in-one lead generation, mobile, social media and CRM custom digital marketing platforms, explains how small businesses can take cues from pop culture and turn them into new customers and revenue growth.

GroupHelix, a Chicago-based leader in all-in-one digital marketing platforms for lead generation, mobile, social media, CRM and marketing, explains how small businesses can take cues from pop culture and turn them into new customers and revenue growth.

Pop culture is a barometer of the present. It reflects what society is doing, what they're talking about and what their wants and needs are. Small business owners and leaders can sometimes be out of touch with pop culture, and therefore can be missing some key clues on what society is asking for.

We continue to hear businesses say, "We don't need to be on Facebook, our customer base doesn't use it." Every time this is said, it's like hearing your mean third grade teacher scraping the chalkboard with her unmanicured fingernails. The reason for this misperception is that business owners aren't taking cues from what's current.

So here are 5 lessons that small businesses can take from pop culture.

#1 Celebrate the Contrasts
Lessons from Britney Spears Head Shaving.

It was a cold day in February 2007, when the television stopped playing its regular scheduled program, and cut to a crazy-faced Britney Spears shaving her head at some random barber shop in L.A. The next couple of years were turbulent, at best. Tabloids posted pictures of her ever growing mid-section with whipped Starbucks drinks in hand, and people tore her apart after less-than-stellar live performances of her lip-synching.

However, the world watched and her fans rooted for a comeback. Since the cold day in February, our beloved Brit-Brit has had 2 record charting albums and is at the top of her game. Pop Culture teaches us that people lose interest if there's no contrast. Everyone's business has its ups and downs. When things need improvement, concentrate on fixing the task at hand. Once improved, don't be afraid to tout your successes and improvements. The only thing people love more than a juicy story is a fantastic comeback story. Charlie Sheen, I hope you're listening.

#2: Be nice.
Lessons from Rick Perry's "Strong."

I remember waking up at 6:13am and reaching for my phone on the nightstand next to my bed. I did the usual scanning through all of my emails before getting up, and then going to Facebook to read all of the non-sensical posts from my 855 closest friends and family. However, there was one common video thread that kept getting berated. I see Rick Perry in a Brokeback Mountain-esque type of setting and then he manages to spur negative after negative comment. The video was circulated through the interwebs at an unprecedented pace, and now the video is the number 1 most hated clip on YouTube.

We're in a time where authenticity is valued more than anything. It can take years to build, and can be destroyed in a single horrific marketing effort.

#3: Keep a Uniform Message.
Lessons from Lady Gaga in Holistic Branding

Chances are you either love or hate Lady Gaga, however she does know how to establish her identity and use multiple outlets in the digital world (web, social media, mobile) to reinforce her brand. She didn't capture fame solely because of her music. She captured fame because she captured our attention, and demanded it through interviews, music, and the digital universe.

You wouldn't leave the house without shoes, or you wouldn't leave the house with mismatched socks. You shouldn't run a business without a social media strategy that aligns with your business, or having mismatching technology. The power of personal networking is extremely important, and a digital strategy should never replace that. However, there are millions of people who prefer to be spoken with in the digital world. Brands need to take a holistic and a matching approach across all the ways they are represented, both in the digital and non-digital space. Social media is an ideal channel to show and reinforce a brand's personality power. There's a reason why Gaga has the most Twitter followers, even more so than President Obama.

#4: Expectations are everything. Manage them.
Lessons from Obama's presidency.

Leaving all political affiliations aside, I think most people would agree that Obama had some pretty ambitious goals during his campaign. He said he was going to change government, change this, change that, almost to the point where he was promising to change every child's diapers. Change, change, change.

Obama is coming into his final year of his term, and the reality is that Obama could never fulfill the things he promised during the campaign. He was setting himself up for failure since his promises were simply impossible to obtain.

Being able to deliver on a promise is everything. If you can't do it, it's important to quickly reassess and to set expectations again. During the 2nd year of Obama's campaign, his communication team should have stated the major campaign promises, and given an update on his different talking points. For the items that seemed impossible, it would have kept the public's faith if he would have addressed these and set new expectations.

Take an inventory of your promises to clients. If you're not on-track to fulfilling these promises, you need to have an honest conversation. They know if you're not hitting your goals that you stated to them so admit it. Reset expectations and go from there.

#5: Keep the Konsistency Koming
Lessons from The Kardashians

There are many things that I'll never understand. The meaning of life, why the platypus was created and why my neighbors living above me are the loudest walkers in Chicago. However, I will also simply never understand why the Kardahsians are popular or why they've become a media phenomenon.

I've decided to poll my inner circle of trusted friends on why some of them are fans of the Kardashians. Their answers were simple; they are consistent. Whether they are consistently annoying or consistently entertaining (entertaining??), they know what to expect. In a time where unexpected is bad and risky, and expected is good, people like to know what they're getting.

Businesses need to take a cue from this family, and understand what they're doing right. If you tune into the Kardashians, whether they are taking New York or taking Miami, you know what you're getting. Our clients know exactly what they're getting from us on any promise and every deliverable and then some.

Your take away ...
When in doubt with what to do with your business, do as we did at GroupHelix, and simply open up your eyes and ears to the news and realize how people are consuming what's around them. In 2012, shake your business up a tad if it needs it, be authentic, consistent and observe. Regardless of what business you're in, it's being affected by pop culture every moment of every day.

About GroupHelix
GroupHelix is an all-in-one hybrid website, customer acquisition and customer relationship management (CRM) platform that is custom built with a lead-generation strategy for each client. Based in Chicago, GroupHelix focuses on technology solutions that encapsulate social media and mobile environments bringing users to your site and building lead-generating "hooks" that turn visitors into leads, and leads into customers,

Visit for more information or contact Amy Nedoss for inquiries.

Amy Nedoss


Categories: Advertising

Tags: consulting, CRM, customer relationship management, Hubspot, inbound marketing, lead generation, marketing, Marketing Technology, salesforce, SEO

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