This summer, the most infectious and pervasive earworm I’ve heard has been Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.”  I can’t get away from it; every radio station seems to play it, and, okay, I did download it to my iPod.  I admit that it’s quite a catchy song that I’ve caught myself singing along to on several occasions, and I’ve also found that catchy songs are great lessons in marketing.

1.       Be catchy.  The lyrics and the way Katy Perry sings the chorus is completely catchy; you can’t help but hum along a little.  Your marketing should be too; it should be memorable and recognizable, so that it burrows into the minds of your target customers.

2.       Leave something to the imagination.  One of the best things about “California Gurls” is that it leaves a lot to the imagination.  The lyrics conjure up a sunny, warm day at the beach, just steps from the Santa Monica Pier, skin glistening a bit from sunscreen and salt water, and ok, popsicles.  I can practically smell sunscreen, salt water, and corn dogs when I hear “California Gurls.”  You may be selling estate planning services or plumbing installation, but the idea is still the same.  In the first example, your clients want to feel at peace with their decisions, so your marketing should give them the impression that their affairs will be in order when the time comes.

3.       Collaborate when necessary.  About two-thirds of the way through “California Gurls,” Snoop Dogg starts rapping.  Katy (or her producers) knew that adding a heavy-hitter like Snoop would entice listeners by adding another layer to the song.  How can your business benefit from collaboration?  Maybe, as an estate planner, you can recommend a good financial planner or CPA, or as a plumber, you know a great carpenter who can finish those kitchen cabinets your client bemoaned while you were installing a dishwasher.  Team up with another professional to sell your services as a package deal; clients love a one-stop shop.