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Marketing Tips From Comedians


Stand-up comedians are the ultimate A/B testers.

They pull together some ideas, draft out some jokes, test them out first on mates and then small stages in comedy clubs. They see what jokes land and what jokes result in crickets. They adapt. Some jokes get scrapped, while others get major or minor tweaks. Then it’s off to another stage, more retooling, a change to tone here, a word update there.

The process repeats over and over again until it’s a set worthy of a major tour.

By the time you’re on your couch watching that Netflix special, they’ve told variations of the same joke dozens of times. There’s a reason why big comedians still spend time in small comedy clubs, and why I was lucky enough to fluke seeing a new Iliza Shlesinger set in a small LA club on a Monday night. That woman is my spirit animal.

Jokes aside, a comedian’s success is tied in part to their ability to run a series of little experiments to continuously improve their performance over time. Digital marketing is also a series of little experiments; only the applause sounds different.

With this in mind, there a few lessons you can take from great comedians and apply them to your digital marketing:

  1. Not every line is a smash hit. Adapt, learn and move forward.
  2. Success is only possible with the time to get it right.
  3. What seems like improv is more like science. There is a lot of testing, tweaking and editing before big audience success.