Marketing Lessons from the Adult Entertainment Industry

 By Luke Sklar and Amber Hudson

We’ve written about sports, video games, Justin Bieber, movies and food.  Well, it’s obvious isn’t it; the next topic that is just begging to be covered, a topic that will perfectly round out the “everything” in Everything is Marketing…

PORN

A widely known, yet little discussed, nugget of knowledge is the porn industry is on the forefront of technology, continuously innovating on behalf of their customers…who consistently open their wallets.  Being one of the most competitive industries in the world, purveyors of sexy-time products are forced to be innovative in their marketing approach.  In the 80s telephone (phone sex), recording technologies (VCR) and Cable TV (pay TV porn) are just a few  examples of the heavy influence of the adult entertainment industry.  Then they became pioneers in online videos, paid web downloads, email marketing and, who can ever forget being jolted out of your seat by graphic pop-up advertising.  The porn industry hones and tests different approaches until they are highly effective…and then other industries snap them up.

That said, the porn industry isn’t immune to changes in the marketplace.  Just like the music, TV and movie industries, the adult entertainment industry is also feeling the profit-killing effects of free, user generated material.  It was obvious once YouTube caught on that user-generated video sites with people getting their freak on wouldn’t be far behind.  Sites such as Youporn and Pornotube (oh stop giggling) sprung up and changed the online video business model. Users could see all content, all the time, all free.  There is little doubt the porn industry will crack the code and find a way around this.   Other industries should be (and probably are) keeping a close eye on where they end up.

So, what can we learn from the porn industry other than, oh never mind, here are the marketing lessons:

  1. Invent on behalf of your most passionate users:  they don’t know what they don’t know, you can lead them down any path and they will follow (think Apple)
  2. Take risks:  what can you do to optimize your distribution model?  Your communication strategy (what % of your budget is in old school, trad media vs. new media?)
  3. Embrace technology:  if your users are using it, so should you
  4. Find innovative ways to reach your target:  be available anytime, anywhere, anyhow

This is the Everything is Marketing blog.   We are here to prove that every single issue in life, every person, story or event, has a marketing lesson.  And we want you to join in the conversation.   So crack those knuckles and weigh in on the discussion, share your thoughts and ideas, agree or disagree.  Bring it on; we want to hear from you!