The Digital Marketer’s Summer Playlist

Summer is here and with it comes so many reasons to get your groove on. Barbecues and beach days. Drinks on the patio and road trips with the top down.

Of course, there is that thing called “work” that tends to get in the way. No problem. Just queue up this summer playlist—filled with digital marketing inspiration—and call it a training day. (We promise not to tell.)


1. Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film The Great Gatsby—Various Artists

This hip-hop infused soundtrack uses modern music to help retell the literary classic, but the movie essentially stays true to the book. Use this as inspiration for telling your brand story. While the characters and subplots may change, every piece of communication, across every channel should still ring true with your brand story.

2. Just Give Me a Reason—Pink

You’ve got to give people a compelling reason to follow your blog link, click your ad, like and comment on your Facebook post or retweet your tweet. Getting your audience to take action isn’t a new challenge. It’s just so much harder in today’s media-saturated world. So, how do you break through the clutter?

Start with what’s worked for marketers forever, and still works. Write compelling headlines. Blow them away with stunning visuals. Create content that delivers on the promise of your headline and the promise of your brand. Build upon your brand by consistently creating remarkable content.

3. Stir It Up—Bob Marley

Creating average content isn’t enough anymore. You need to stand out from the bland. That means letting your brand personality shine through and maybe stirring things up once in awhile. (Responsibly.)

As Guy Kawasaki is quoted as saying in Content Rules—“Don’t be afraid to polarize people. Most companies want to create the holy grail of products that appeal to every demographic, social-economic background, and geographic location. To attempt to do so guarantees mediocrity.”

4. Thrift Shop—Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz

This hip-hop hit is a testament to the power of digital marketing in its own right. The Thrift Shop video, uploaded to YouTube in the fall of 2012, went viral and has garnered more than 340 million views so far. The duo’s new hit, Can’t Hold Us, is following suit.

Thrift Store is also a fun reminder that what’s old can be made fresh again. Take a holistic approach to creating content, and always look for ways to reimagine it into new and creative formats across different platforms and for different audiences.

5. Blurred Lines—Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell

Lines between distinct media are blurring in the digital age, and marketing teams need to adapt. Multiscreen consumer behavior is challenging companies to find the right combination of paid, owned and earned media.

“The Converged Media Imperative,” a research report by the Altimeter Group, suggests that to make converged media a reality, brands must first prepare internally. Corporate communications, media buyers and social teams will need to work together to tell one story. “Breaking silos is essential,” and new roles may emerge around titles such as “content strategist or digital storyteller.”

6. We Are Young—FUN.

This millennial anthem is a fun reminder of an important demographic. A generation that’s 59 to 80 million strong (depending on who you ask), Millennials are described as “history’s first ‘always connected’ generation” by the Pew Research Center. Seventy-five percent (age 18-29) have a profile on a social networking site, compared with 50 percent of the Generation X members (ages 30 to 45) and just 30 percent of Baby Boomers (aged 46 to 64).

As brands like McDonald’s struggle to reach influential millennials with new products, other brands are creating controversial ads in a rush to be hip and edgy. This should be a painful reminder that the pressure to break through the clutter or go viral should never come at the expense of due diligence.

7. Summertime—DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince

No summer playlist would be complete without this quintessential summer song. It’s Will Smith as The Fresh Prince. Need we say more?

What songs are on your summer playlist? Let us know in the comments below.