What Madonna Taught Me

My Marketing Mentor: Madonna

In my consulting practice, the economic crisis of 2009 has brought about the need to change, retool and reinvent everything we do in the leasing and marketing of multifamily rental assets. What worked as little as two years ago will simply not cut the mustard today. In fact, it won’t even be close to the results those efforts created 24 months ago. My experience has taught me that this is the time to be at the top of my game so that I can rise to this challenge.

Like everyone else, I need someone I can learn from. This is why I have chosen Madonna as my marketing mentor. For me, Madonna came on to the music scene while I was in my first few years of high school. Even though we wore uniforms, we would try to put a lace band in our hair that would match our lace socks. Every girl running around Fisher Catholic High School wore not less than 6 – 10 black rubber bracelets on her arm and risk detention for a uniform violation infraction. I have to admit, I was influenced by Madonna.

As the years rolled on, Madonna sprinted into a provocative direction and defined herself with her extremely open sexuality. She stared in her movie called “Truth or Dare.” She shifted that X rated image and was nominated for her performance in musical movie Evita. Then in yet another grand process to change her ever evolving image, today, she is writing children’s books. Do you remember the last book she wrote prior to her children’s books? It was sold with a paper cover at the bookstore because of its cover! How does a woman go from pop artist to sexual icon to movie star to author of children’s books? She does it by constantly reinventing herself. She can retool her image to fit her business needs. This is a person who is a marketing genius. She has a unique ability to change her image and position in the spotlight year after year.

If we take a lesson from the marketing manual lived by Madonna. Any apartment community, no matter when it was built, can survived and thrive as Madonna has. I am excited to be working on some projects which are being rehabbed. The “before and after” photos of the apartments are astonishing. To follow suit the marketing needs to be rejuvenated often with a new name, logo and market position. However, you don’t have to redevelop your buildings to conduct a marketing rehab. And, there is no better time than now to reintroduce your apartment community to the market with a fresh look. This is what it takes to get the attention of today’s consumer.

I think Denny’s should receive an award for their effort to get America back to their dining rooms. The Tuesday following Superbowl Sunday, Denny’s offered a free Grand Slam breakfast to everyone who visited. Including the Superbowl ad to launch the campaign, Denny’s spent six million dollars on ads, food and staffing. 200,000 American’s waited in line for up to two hours for a free breakfast valued at $5.99. Not only did Denny’s receive over 100 million dollars in free advertising due to the fact that every media outlet covered the event, they also got old customers and future customers acquainted with the value they offer on a plate.

I drive past apartment communities in every city I visit and many have invested in a rejuvenation effort in years. Their signs have not changed, the landscaping is overgrown, and their exterior colors are out of date. When I open the apartment rental magazines I still see ads with the same old photos and tired words that have not been freshened since the 90’s. If Madonna was your marketing director, she would jump on this need to refresh, renew and reposition. The styles we use for new logo’s has changed. For just $180, the online designers at www.CrowdSpring.com will send you a minimum of 25 entries for new logo options. This small investment is a great start to kicking your image into the current day.