As marketers, we all give in to "budget envy" once in a while. We'll see some incredibly cool campaign a large company's run and think, "Sure, I could do that—if only I had X dollars in marketing budget." But budget's not a prerequisite for "record-breaking" marketing!

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According to Damian Keyes, creativity is the key to marketing success. No stranger to creative pursuits, Damian's a musician turned entrepreneur, marketer, speaker, and author. After founding the British Institute of Modern Music (BIMM), he built several other businesses, including DK Music Management, Warble Entertainment, and Black Rock Media; and, though he still tours as a musician, he also delivers keynote presentations and helps companies to build their brands using social media and digital marketing.

Success is all about how you value the audience, Damian emphasizes. In his view, people see social media the way they used to see TV advertising—as one audience. But it isn't one audience. It's interactive. "Every comment, share, or review is an opportunity to look after people in a way they've never been looked after, and make them a fan for life," he explains.

I invited Damian to Marketing Smarts to talk about his new book, The Rule-Breaker's Guide to Social Media. Along the way, we talk about how promoting bands taught him to maximize marketing impact for companies.

Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:

This is "The Creative Age," and creativity is more valuable than ever (06:15): "We live in what I would call 'The Creative Age.' We've gone through various ages, Ice Age, Stone Age, and with where technology is at, and the use of Internet, we're living in an age now where creativity is not just a powerful tool but it's a tradeable commodity. You can now get ahead, you can be successful through nothing but creativity which is such an amazing thing. A creative can make something for free and achieve their dreams through just finding different ways around solutions and just making cool stuff." 

For marketers, everything's different, but nothing's changed (08:15): "Everything's different now, but nothing's changed. We've come through a stage where we're still doing all the same things. We still have to advertise, we still have to market, we still have to tell stories. Nothing's changed over the last 50, 60 years (or longer than that), but the medium of how we do it has changed and, what's the most important thing, is the consumption has changed.

"Now we have so much branding all around us, so much advertising, so much marketing...that it's very difficult for us to avoid it. As marketers and advertisers, our job is to find our root, as it were. Social media is all about creativity. The more creative you can be, the better."

Don't cross-post the same content to different social channels: context matters (15:26): "The biggest thing for me, whenever I'm talking to businesses, bands, or brands about their social media: People are always trying to be on every social media because they think that's the thing that they should do because it's free, so therefore it's more, more more. But every single social media platform is consumed in a different way. So, if you've got Twitter, it's a full-time job, because if you really want to be good at Twitter, then you have to have a conversation in a certain way on Twitter.

"I would liken it to if you were having a conversation with a person in different environments. If you go into a club and the music's really loud, then in order to get your point across you have to give statements and you have to shout. You're not having a proper conversation. Whereas if you go to a library, you're whispering, and again you don't want to talk too much.

"If you're in the pub, conversation is absolutely flowing, backwards and forwards. It's very similar with social media. Each social media platform does a different job, but people are trying to crowbar the thing that they do into all the different platforms in social media. That's the downfall."

Break records with your marketing (seriously!) (19:48): "One of the things we came up with...was we were going to break a world record. The problem was we didn't have any sort of world record talent, but we thought it would still be a really fun thing. The way it works is, if you try and break a world record, everyone gets involved. And even if you completely fail, everyone still gets involved. So it's still a really fun thing. You can still get press, you can still get social media involved. Your audience still wants to be a part of it. It's kind of a fun, almost celebration, and even if you completely fail, everyone just goes, 'Aw, that was fun,' and everyone just carries on as usual.

To learn more, visit or follow Damian on Twitter: @DamianKeyes. And pick up your copy of The Rule-Breaker's Guide to Social Media.

Damian and I talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

This episode brought to you by GoToWebinar:

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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

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