Time for Data Center Marketing to change? Gangnam Style

I don't think you you can say that Data Center Marketing is innovative.  Not to say the people aren't smart, but by nature the data center industry is risk adverse and uses methods that have been proven over time.  I am sure you have all noticed how you are ignore the marketing messages more and more.  Trade shows are more about networking than seeing the latest technologies.  Ads may get lots of eyeballs, but they don't meet expectations to marketing departments with few leads.

Some of the most innovative events have been when people host social events.  Steve Manos has his "On Tap" events in Chicago.  A group of us have a "downtime" event, (the opposite of uptime).

Wake up the Old Way of Marketing is Dead.  HBR blog network has a post.

Marketing Is Dead

Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead. Many people in traditional marketing roles and organizations may not realize they're operating within a dead paradigm. But they are. The evidence is clear.


Restore community marketing. Used properly, social media is accelerating a trend in which buyers can increasingly approximate the experience of buying in their local, physical communities. For instance, when you contemplate a major purchase, such as a new roof, a flat screen TV, or a good surgeon, you're not likely to go looking for a salesperson to talk to, or to read through a bunch of corporate website content. Instead, you'll probably ask neighbors or friends — your peer network — what or whom they're using.


Find your customer influencers. Many firms spend lots of resources pursuing outside influencers who've gained following on the Web and through social media. A better approach is to find and cultivate customer influencers and give them something great to talk about. This requires a new concept of customer value that goes way beyond customer lifetime value (CLV), which is based only on purchases. There are many other measures of a customer's potential value, beyond the money they pay you. For example, how large and strategic to your firm is the customer's network? How respected is she?

Another HBR blog post uses the success of PSY Gangnam Style as a way to do marketing in different ways.

Bill Lee, in a widely-read HBR blog, argued that "Marketing is Dead" in order to explain how the traditional marketing model between the manufacturer and consumer needs to be changed. That assertion is very much evident in the success of "Gangnam Style," which appears to have faithfully followed a social network-oriented playbook in its media use, content development and message.

To start, the song intentionally lacked a copyright so that people would be encouraged to create their own online parodies, in essence their own "XYZ Style" like "Lifeguard Style" and "Oregon Duck Style." The original "Gangnam Style" has been viewed over 200 million times worldwide, but if you count all the views of the parodies, one can imagine the total reach to be many times that.

Another social-network tactic is that crowdsourcing was used to choreograph the now famous"invisible horse dance." Instead of relying on his internal team, Psy invited and compiled suggestions from the whole Korean dance community to develop the widely popular moves.

Some of the most innovative ways to do data center marketing follow this recommendation.

Be open-minded, but in a controlled way. Psy's crowdsourcing strategy was limited to just the dance community. Confining the source of ideas to a knowledgeable base allowed Psy to increase creativity, but at the same time make sure that no time was wasted filtering out impractical ideas. Unrestricted crowdsourcing runs the danger of leading to outrageous results, such as when fans or pranksters on the Internet voted that Justin Bieber tour North Korea.

The days of spending big money in data center booths are in the past.  More and more people are figuring out how to create social events.  And, writing this post just gave me an idea on how to use this technique for a different data center social event.

Gangnam style may be silly and funny, but it's traffic is hard to argue with and its disruption for traditional music marketing is waking up a bunch of people.  It is hard to argue with traffic stats like this.  Look at Gangnam Style vs. Taylor Swift's numbers and the shape of the curve.