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I love analogies, idioms and phrases that capture complex ideas in a clever way. Common phrases occur across many cultures, but sound more pleasing when spoken in certain languages. Since music is the universal language, let’s take a look at borrowing musical words to frame marketing concepts!

I call it, Musical Marketing!!!


Harmony occurs when the individual parts perform at maximum without sacrificing the strength of the group. Where contrast highlights a difference, harmony complements balance. Blending key points into a well-tuned marketing message provides harmony across multiple channels. As a proper cluster of music notes makes a chord, alignment of marketing messages allows us to use a multi-channel strategy like a conductor uses an orchestra.


Like an invisible leader of the pack, rhythm is the most powerful musical quality. Rhythm has played a primary role in communication since the first animal skins were stretched over a hollow log. Tribal drums unite the group with a beat. Soldiers march to a snare drum… and successful marketing has rhythm.
Rhythm captures the space between events, defines a pattern and tries to eliminate guesswork when the next event occurs. Marketing campaigns rely on cadence to build awareness, a schedule to maintain the interval and keeping the rhythm to effectively tell the story. March to the beat of the marketing drum!


Melody is the part that sticks with us — the earworm we can’t stop singing. In marketing, the message is the melody. Our melody. All the marketing channels are like instruments in an orchestra united by a well-written melody. In the symphony of marketing, we need a melody we can easily hum. Simplifying marketing messages is like crafting memorable melodies — short and sweet. Distilling marketing messages is like producing the perfect pop hit, with the audience singing along.


Tone is the way the sound actually sounds. Tone has implication and provides context for the listener. The audience hears the words from a monotone voice and immediately accepts the speaker as being boring and/or robotic. Raising the volume of our voice presents and aggressive tone. We change tone + voice across a variety of environments — helping define unspoken details with spoken inflection. Face-to-face sales relies heavily on managing tone + voice, as well as developing multi-channel marketing.


Resonance is similar and is a popular word in marketing — resonance occurs when an object is vibrated at a specific rate to produce harmonic frequencies. The same powerful principle that makes wine glasses sing and bridges collapse is present in marketing messages — exciting the “frequencies” that resonate with our audience!

What’s your favorite example of borrowing words?