Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead

What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History
Written with Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot

The Grateful Dead – rock legends, marketing pioneers

“Like all the best teachers, this book inspires you to do your own thinking in your own way and I found it enlightening and liberating.”
- Financial Times

“a welcome change from the standard business books… Scott and Halligan provide examples of modern-day companies that are illustrating the lessons.”
- Entrepreneur

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead mini-documentary from David Meerman Scott on Vimeo.

“the book, like the band, defies expectations and proves to be accessible, entertaining and thought-provoking. Not bad for a bunch of dirty hippies.”
- Risk Management Magazine

“fits four decades’ worth of guitar solos and weed smoking into the context of recent American marketing.”
- The Guardian (UK)

“…a well-written and sprightly little book. If you learn these lessons, you will have a better company and you will have a better life…”
– Management Today

The Grateful Dead broke almost every rule in the music industry book. They encouraged their fans to record shows and trade tapes; they built a mailing list and sold concert tickets directly to fans; and they built their business model on live concerts, not album sales. By cultivating a dedicated, active community, collaborating with their audience to co-create the Deadhead lifestyle, and giving away “freemium” content, the Dead pioneered many social media and inbound marketing concepts successfully used by businesses across all industries today.

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead gives you key innovations from the Dead’s approach you can apply to your business. Find out how to make your fans equal partners in your journey, “lose control” to win, create passionate loyalty, and experience the kind of marketing gains that will not fade away!

Covered extensively by the media including The London Sunday Times Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Independent (UK), Billboard, Reuters, UPI, ABC News, Canadian Business Magazine, the Street, mediabistro, and The New York Post

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“Marketing gurus Halligan and Scott take a crack at codifying the Dead’s non-musical innovations… that correlate with emerging business principles. It’s a trip that’s surely been long and strange; but as [they] remind us, it’s also been profitable.”
– Canadian Business Magazine

“Demand everything. Expect nothing.”
– Bill Kreutzmann, co-founder and drummer, The Grateful Dead

“Brian and David’s newest book, Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, is like a powerful, hard-charging anthem that fills in so many blanks while closing the circle of life all around us. Like the Grateful Dead, Brian and David are transformational visionaries with a keen eye for the second set.”
– Bill Walton, basketball legend and Deadhead

“Halligan and Scott have written one of the most inspired, practical, and unconventional books on the business bookshelf. Want to develop a cult-like following, establish a new category, and do what you love? Scott and Halligan-calling upon their innate marketing savvy and inspired by their passion for the Grateful Dead-show you how.”
– Marc Benioff; Chairman & CEO, salesforce.com

“For years, business theorists and corporate strategists have pointed to the Dead’s example for insights into perennial issues and emerging challenges. Scott and Halligan focus on one key factor in the band’s extraordinary artistic and business success-their iconic and enduring identity, not just as a band but as a brand. The authors’ real appreciation for the Dead phenomenon, and their compelling and creative analyses of the Dead’s marketing acumen, make this thought-provoking survey mandatory reading.”
– Nicholas Meriwether, Grateful Dead Archivist, UC Santa Cruz, and author, All Graceful Instruments: The Contexts of the Grateful Dead Phenomenon and Dead Letters: Essays on the Grateful Dead.

“Jerry Garcia and his band were brilliant marketers. They understood that you grow your fan base one fan at a time and they constantly came up with things to energize their base while continuing to build it. As committed fans and talented marketing pros, Brian and David have created a book that is both entertaining and informative.”
– Jim Irsay, Owner and CEO, Indianapolis Colts and owner of Jerry Garcia’s guitar, Tiger

“David and Brian share my deep passion for music and its inspiration in our everyday lives. In Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, they combine their marketing expertise with a zeal for one of the most successful and iconic bands of all time. They mold two subjects that are seemingly poles apart into one breakthrough book that is as entertaining as it is enlightening.”
– Del Breckenfeld, Director, Entertainment Marketing, Fender Musical Instruments Corp. & author of The Cool Factor: Building Your Brand’s Image Through Partnership Marketing

“Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead explores the phenomenon created by the Grateful Dead showcasing the extraordinary power of music and the innovations the Dead developed to connect and bond with their audience.”
– Michael Lang, co-creator & Producer of the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Festival and author The Road to Woodstock

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