Julie Guest Direct Response Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, Best Selling Author

Why Watching NBC’s “The Voice” is a Great Lesson in Marketing

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve likely heard of NBC’s surprise hit show “The Voice.” Starting back in the fall of 2011, The Voice is like American Idol – except it's not. It’s a talent contest but based on actual talent rather than looks or age. Also, it’s an extraordinary music mentoring and coaching program. Each of the 4 coaches from 4 different music genres (mega superstars in their own right) pick their team, then take their contestants under their wing to grow and develop them at lightning speed, hoping America will vote them as the winner. Each week the two lowest ranking contestants get sent packing. The winner gets a $100,000 recording deal with Universal Records and life-long bragging rights. So, how exactly does a contestant win The Voice (and their winning Coach beat out the other three?) It all comes down to marketing.

Here are the five key marketing lessons:

1) If you’re competing, yes you need talent, but you’d better have a darn good story to help America really fall in love with you. The same goes for your business. Having your origin story is one of the critical selling points that can help you sit apart from the competition.

2) You need to be able to quickly identify what kind of singer you are and who your audience is. Are you a cute little country singer with great pitch and a dose of attitude? That’s also likely going to be your fan base so make sure you stay true to them in the songs you choose. That’s just like you selecting your target market and making sure there’s a good match with the services and products you offer.

3) When you get onstage, live on national television – you’d better look, sound and act every part of the mega super star you’re wanting to become. It doesn’t matter if you were cleaning out horse stalls the week before you arrived. “You’d better walk your talk.”

4) The Voice contestants leverage multiple forms of media to get support. Yes they’re on live national television but votes get collected via phone, texts, iTunes downloads and the Internet. And contestants and their coaches are tweeting and posting all week long. Similarly in your business its very smart NOT to rely on 1 or 2 forms of media to get your message out. Your marketing should be happening all the time (not sporadically like a series of random one hit wonders).

5) Never underestimate the power of a great mentor. Blake Shelton, the 6' ft 3" soft spoken country superstar has coached two of his team members to win the Voice so far – obliterating Christina Aguilera and putting Ceelo Green to shame. He makes the competition all about his team, not all about himself. The same with your customers. Your business needs to be all about them, them, them, not you, you, you. Sometimes that’s easier said than done.

So, if you haven’t watched The Voice yet, tune in live on Monday and Tuesday evenings on NBC – and you can justify your seat on the sofa because watching it can help YOU get more customers!


The Voice is an American reality television singing competition broadcast on NBC. Based on the original The Voice of Holland, the concept of the series is to find new singing talent (solo or duets) contested by aspiring singers, aged 15 or over,[1] drawn from public auditions. The winner is determined by viewers by voting through telephone, Internet, SMS text, and iTunes Store purchases of contestants' performances; they receive US$100,000 and a record deal with Universal Music Group. There have been three winners of the show to date: Javier Colon, Jermaine Paul,[2][3] and Cassadee Pope.

The Voice began airing on April 26, 2011 as a spring TV season program. The show proved to be a hit for NBC and was subsequently expanded into the fall cycle when the third season premiered on September 10, 2012. The series employs a panel of four judges who critique the contestants' performances. Each judge also serves as a coach, guiding their teams of selected contestants through the remainder of the season. They also compete to ensure that their act wins the competition, thus making them the winning coach. The original judging panel consisted of Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton. The lineup for the fourth season included Levine, Shelton, Shakira, and Usher. The former panel will serve for the fifth season, while the latter lineup will be featured for the sixth season.[4] The series is hosted by Carson Daly, with Christina Milian serving as a social media correspondent.