What Can Britney Spears Teach My Charity About Marketing?

Photo of author
Written By Maureen

What could single mother Britney Spears, who has admitted to “dabbling” in drugs and is renowned for going out without her knickers, have to teach the charity sector about fundraising?

1. Baby One More Time – Britney knows her product really well; it is herself. A talented singer, she was a teen icon who defined pop music in the late ‘90s. Baby One More Time sold 1.4 million physical copies and more than half a million digital copies for the 16 year old. Lesson one is – be very good at what you do.

2. Oops, I Did It Again – Still rocking her “sweet 16” persona, Britney shows with her second album that she could pull off the same stunt – twice. So lesson two is – just because you’ve used a tactic once doesn’t mean you have to “refresh the brand” straight away. You can have success doing the same thing – again.

3. I’m A Slave For You – Britney decides – after turning 19 and three headline-laden years in the industry –to show that she’s an adult and a strong, mature singer with real ability. So lesson three is – if you have used the same formula for a while, consider how you can branch out and make the most of what you have.

4. Toxic –Britney’s 2004 hit showed that she could deliver a seriously good tune, which became a dance anthem – reassuring her fans that she had what it takes to be a star and not just a diva. So lesson four is – despite your challenges and failings/failures pick yourself up and do what you are good at – now is not the time to be a fundraising diva, it’s time to deliver.

5. Gimme More –That’s a fundraising tagline that you probably won’t be using – at least put as baldly as that. However, Britney was ramping up her raunch factor in 2007 and capitalising on her strengths. So lesson five is – now is the time to turn up the dial on your fundraising efforts. If you need more, ask for it.

6. Piece of Me – December 2006 was disastrous for Britney – her parenting was questioned, her fan site closed, she was voted worst dog owner, and she broke up with Paris Hilton. Apart from that she kept forgetting her knickers. Britney turned to music in 2007 and she made lots of money. So lesson six is – ensure your donors know you don’t just want a piece of them – let them know that you value them. It’s time for some donor care.

7. Womanizer – a naked Britney in a steam room? Seriously, I can learn from this? “I know just what you are,” Britney sings – she gets it in one. So lesson seven – do you know just what and who your donors are? Segmentation –also known as ‘community building’ –works.

8. 3 (That’s the name of the song, just ‘3’) – After 11 years in the top searches on Google and with more than 4 million followers on Twitter (in 2009), Brittany decides to go back to basics – 1,2,3.

  1. The focus is on her
  2. She sings a catchy tune, and
  3. She puts her best ‘foot’ forward.

So lesson eight – what are your charity’s three basics in fundraising? Identify them, stick to them and promote them.

Britney Spears on a downward trend

9. Hold It Against Me – Britney has two personas by 2011 – the sweet innocent that fans loved when she was 16 and the raunchy diva of 2011. She offers up both in the lyrics and music video with this hit. She has also learned the art of merchandising and cross promotion and the video features her perfume and make-up. So lesson nine is – are you merchandising, do you cross promote and are your charity’s personas tailored to each community?

10. Till (sic) The World Ends – even Britney needs a good copywriter, as the title of this song shows (it should be ‘Til as in ‘until’, not Till – which is either a cash register or something farmers do to soil). In this post-apocalypse anthem Britney is still singing and, with more than 113 million hits on this December 2012 video, why wouldn’t she be?

So lesson 10 is – while your hits might be trending downward (just like Britney’s), it’s not over until the world ends. See what a good copywriter can do; let us help you trend upwards again. Come visit us here or there or what about this place?, or even somewhere else or maybe, even here.