It's 11:30pm in Vegas. But I'm still on Chicago time so it feels like 1:30am.
So I'm a little tired.
Plus my last journey to the craps table didn't go well.
So I'm a little cranky.
It's at this point that the invasion of the casino floor begins. Hundreds of folks start streaming in to line up at the various nightclubs inside of Wynn Las Vegas.
Mini skirts and Ed Hardy shirts are abundant. They are ready to line up for hours to see the latest EDM (electronic dance music) DJ.
Some of them are ready to spend a lot of money on bottle service.
I don't understand any of this.
I don't understand the appeal of Skillrex or Diplo.
I don't understand why anyone would spend $300 on a bottle of Grey Goose.
But I'm a marketer at heart, so my job is to try and understand (maybe even embrace) things that I don't understand.
Did you catch that?
Good marketing is about trying to understand things that you don't initially understand.
In the real world, we call that empathy.
So I get over my feelings and try to understand these clubs kids. I try to get out of my own worldview and try to get into their worldview.
If you can't do this, your marketing will always suck.
So maybe I'm a kid from LA. I've got a decent job, but not that many bills. Maybe I still live with my parents, or with some roommates.
The weekend has arrived and I'm ready to blow off some steam. I grab my buddies and we take the short trip from LA to Vegas. I'm interested in what's cool and new. EDM is cool and new. So it doesn't matter if I "like" DeadMaus. He is what's hot and I'm interested in that.
I spend a little money for an outfit for the weekend. I want to look good. I wear "normal" clothes all week long and I'm ready for something new.
And I convince my buddies to chip in some cash for bottle service, because I understand that I'm not paying $300 for the Grey Goose . . . I'm paying $300 for the Grey Goose and a place to sit down and drink it. I'm buying the seat, not the vodka.
Did you catch that?
Did you catch the difference between what I'm buying and what I'm paying for?
After I think about it for a few minutes, I understand why these people are here.
The easy thing to do, the thing we do so often . . . especially in the arts, would be to mock these people.
It would be easy to look upon them with scorn. The same way we look at the people who like "trash" like reality TV. Why don't these losers put down the remote and come out to see our noble and worthwhile art?
Maybe part of the reason is because we look down on them . . . and they know it. Maybe it is because we lack empathy for their experience.
A good way to get over that feeling is by working hard to understand their perspective. Once we understand others, we can market to them.