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Marketing Lessons: Be More Like Hamilton and Less Like Burr

Uncategorized Dec 21, 2020

Like most of you, Hamilton was on repeat in our house a few weeks ago. Every member of the household was humming some Hamilton tune at one point.  While the Disney Plus release ignited a new spark in old fans and created an army of new ones, this fan realized that there are a number of marketing lessons we can learn from Hamilton.  

Yes, social media, email marketing, and digital ads didn’t exist in the 1700s but the basics of communication and negotiation still ring true today. 

Here are the five lessons from Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton you should apply to your businesses’ marketing campaign: 

Don’t wait for it. 

I meet a lot of business owners who tell me they aren’t ready for marketing yet or they still have to figure out a list of items before they can focus on marketing. Similar to so many things in life, chances are that if you wait, you’re going to get passed by.  Either the market or your competition is going to leave you behind while you “wait for it.” 

So while it may be tempting to take the Aaron Burr approach, waiting to get your marketing campaign started is never a good idea. 

Be Non-Stop.

“Why do you write like you’re running out of time?” Hamilton knew that the key to his success was writing.  He was able to master his skill and fine-tune it so well that while he’s not the original writer of the US Constitution, he has undoubtedly shaped our understanding of it for centuries. 

Hamilton knew the content was a queen and the frequency was king.  When you’re marketing your business you need to be just as aggressive with the content creation and distribution.  Online and offline campaigns are only successful when they are consistent. Working with a marketing team will help you create that consistency and add an army of content creators to your team so you’re not working non-stop. 

Talk More, Smile Less. 

I’ve already discussed the frequency of content but that’s not the true meaning of this statement. When Burr tells Hamilton to talk less and smile more, he’s asking Hamilton to be more agreeable. If there’s one thing large brands have learned this year it’s that talking less and smiling more isn’t an acceptable response for today’s consumer. 

Pushed forward by the Black Lives Matter movement, people want to know where businesses stand on tough issues.  They want to know how many employees and board members are BIPOC. They want to understand how many BIPOC owned companies large corporations are supporting. 

Your clients don’t just want you to talk less and smile more, they want you to be real with them. They want transparency in companies.  A strong marketing team can help you organize the message and work with an internal team to answer the questions while creating internal shifts and addressing issues in real-time.  

Find the Room Where It Happens.

I speak to many business owners via video conference who are struggling to find that “room where it happens.” In the age of COVID, the physical rooms may no longer exist. Deals are still getting done and the “rooms” are now Facebook and LinkedIn Groups, WhatsApp chats, and virtual introductions. 

Find the places where your ideal clients or referral sources are still networking and connecting and try to join them. Be sure you’re providing value and engaging as a real person. Don’t spam or begin with a sales pitch.  You need to become trusted and build your reputation before the room where it happens will begin working for you. 

And, finally, the best piece of advice when it comes to marketing is:  

Don’t throw away your shot. 

As we see throughout the musical, Hamilton leans into his opportunities and success follows.  Burr sits back. He finds success through a slower path but ultimately becomes frustrated with Hamilton’s meteoric rise and continued influence on his goals. Does this remind you of your relationship with your competitors? 

In business, you have to take your shot. You have to launch the marketing campaign before you feel it’s fully ready. You have to test the ads to find your audience. In marketing, you have to shoot and maybe you’ll miss your target and have to readjust but you’ll be light years ahead of your competition who is still tinkering with their bullets. 


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