Bowie the marketer

Ziggy played guitar, but Bowie made him a star.  We often forget about the genius that goes behind making a great character.  But creation is just part of it.  You have the be able to market that creation and sell it to an audience that is passionate about it.  In walks David Bowie.

At a very young age David Bowie was drawn to advertising.  It was one of his first jobs as a teen, and you can tell he took to the trade quickly.  Author Peter Doggett wrote about Bowie in the 1970’s in his book The Man Who Sold The World — which is much more of an appropriate title after you start to learn more about the marketing genius.  Peter said Bowie was the first true multi-media musician who knew the value of showmanship and art mixed with persona.  He learned he could sell himself to the world, and the best person to do that was himself.  In my interview with Peter we talked about what put Bowie in a class by himself:

Just Push Play:

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So how does that apply to bloggers, podcasters and radio personalities today?  I think the key is in the word personality.  You need to find a way to market yourself as a personality — because if you don’t do it, who will?  You need to find who your audience is, find out what they want and give it to them.

I wouldn’t recommend spandex and make-up though.  You’re not going to pull it off like Bowie.

Making great radio may be enough now, but it won’t always be — mostly because it’s not where you’re audience will always be.  Your audience is being fragmented into a million directions.  If your content is good, you need to transform yourself into offering it on other platforms where your audience currently is.  Bowie lived out his ‘content’ and transformed into multiple platforms — and in many ways that’s what is expected of you as a broadcaster.  You’re expected to be a person who connects on an emotional level.  Right now there’s no better platform to do that than expanding your operations on-line with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter — and offering your content as it plays out in your life.

Bowie realized he could sell himself.  The most successful personalities have too.  Have you?

About Ryan Wrecker

I'm an award winning radio programmer, news anchor, talk show host, digital guru and problem that currently serves as a writer for Radio Ink Magazine. My blog ( is designed to help personalities advance themselves through content creation. Follow me on Twitter @RyanWrecker
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