Miley Cyrus as Marketing Genius and What You Can Learn for Legal Marketing

Image courtesy of Vlado/

Image courtesy of Vlado/

I am not a huge fan of Miley Cyrus or her music, but my taste runs to the classic rock genre.  However, don’t let the fact that her music or her antics may not be your taste distract you from the fact that she is actually a marketing genius.

When Miley (as I call her), was interviewed about her raunchy stage act at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in a documentary she filmed around the same time she said she “wanted to make history” with her performance.  Now, while we can debate whether it has already been done by other stars like Britney Spears, Madonna, or even Cher, the fact is that it is more than a month later and the press are still talking about her performance.  She is number one on the sales charts for her new album, she has been on Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon, and all over social media.

Don’t be fooled – she knew and knows exactly what she was doing.

How does this performance relate to legal marketing and rainmaking?   Well, there are some great takeaways from this:

Create your own brand.  While I am not suggesting that you cultivate a brand like Miley’s, you can cultivate a brand worthy of being talked about. Think about Steve Jobs and the Apple Brand – this is also a carefully crafted brand designed to not only get us talking about products but lining up at Apple Stores to get the newest IPhone even though you just bought your last one 6 months ago.

Stop just being a “lawyer” there are too many “just lawyers”.  Be a lawyer who knows his own brand and is able to convey it.

Find your target market:  I will never buy a Miley Cyrus album, I will never go see her concerts, but then again, I am in my <ahem> 40’s and her target market is kids who are trying to grow up with her from the time she was Hannah Montana – a clean cut secret pop-star (ask your daughters who are in their late teens).    She is targeting late teens and early 20 year olds who are trying to grow out of their tweens and into adult hood.  While I disagree with her message, the fact is, she has a specific market she targets.  You should have one too (although please keep your clothes on).


Be accessible and available:    Miley Cyrus is all over social media.  Again, she’s not my cup of tea, but she is out there and accessible to her followers, friends and fans.   If you are not using social media to be available to your target market, then you are missing a very big part of your legal marketing and rainmaking strategy.


Timing is everything:  Miley carefully crafted her appearance on the VMAs and Saturday Night Live to coincide with the release of her album and singles.  As a result, she has been at the top of the sales charts ever since.

Time your messages well.  If you have something you want to promote to your niche, wait until they are ready for the message to be sent.

So while I don’t necessarily like Miley or her music, and I am certainly not a fan of the message in light of the fact that children who adore her, I do think she has a knack for marketing.  Indeed, I am curious what her next marketing move will be when this one plays out.  And hopefully she will keep her clothes on.


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