What A One-Hit Wonder Taught Me About Marketing

by · May 20, 20134 comments

There’s one phone number that most people can recite, regardless of demographic. And I mean full phone number, not 9-1-1. Think about it for a minute: What’s the one phone number than most everyone you know has in common they can recite without hesitation? 867-5309.

Tommy Tutone’s hit from 1981 emblazoned the number in our minds, and while little more of the song is all that memorable, “867-5309/Jenny” has an incredible marketing lesson buried within it’s one-hit wonderness. The song is the probably drunken announcement of a man who finds the number of a woman written on a bathroom wall. “For a good time, call …” graffiti, while most often a cruel joke, is the ultimate in smart marketing.

Why? Because it hits the relevancy bullseye.

Relevance Bulls EyeIt’s a relevant message, sent to a relevant audience, in a relevant time and in a relevant location.

Drunk guys going to the bathroom in a bar are primed to hear this message, ready to receive it and apt to take action. “For a good time, call 867-5309.”

The magic of marketing, be it social media, digital or even traditional, is to deliver a relevant message to a relevant audience in a relevant location and at the relevant time. This is our challenge.

So what are you doing to make your audience think, “Jenny, I’ve got your number. I’m going to make you mine?” with your product?

The comments, as always, are yours.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • jes

    I wasn’t even until 6 years after that song came out, and I still know that number by heart.

    • jes

      *wasn’t even born

  • Dara Khajavi

    Interesting perspective about a one hit wonder. I remember listening to that song and singing along with friends. It really was an interesting marketing strategy. What did you learn about the artist’s failure after the hit?

  • Anna Pham

    Great inforgraphic with concise yet simple message.