Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

We don’t get to decide

Quick.  Name a few David Bowie songs.

I'll wait.


Got some?

Was one of the songs Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes?

When I heard a DJ earlier today doing an intro for the David Bowie song he was about to play, it was the first one that came into my mind.  And sure enough, that's what he was playing.

He mentioned a few things in the intro that got my attention, though:  According to him, it never broke the top 40, and wasn't even released as a single (although Wikipedia seems to disagree, and I think the picture of the single puts that one to rest).  

Regardless, I found it interesting that one of the songs that Bowie is most closely associated with never really hit it big initially.  At least not until the fans started demanding it.

According to Bowie, "it turned into this monster that nobody would stop asking for at concerts: 'Dye-vid, Dye-vid - do Changes!' I had no idea it would become such a popular thing."

The moral of the story?  We, in marketing as in music, don't always get to choose what's going to end up being the most important thing we do. Not which product features, or value propositions, or advertisements.  

They key is to listen, as much as possible before we release our products, but also just as much afterwards.  And to keep the ch-ch-ch-changes coming.


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