Work and play can mix. Sometimes the product is a nutso essay.

Mike Lieberman and Eric Keiles’ book , Reality Marketing Revolution, includes a little small business marketing strategy that involves relieving a customer’s pain.

The book suggests a strategy where a small business’ marketing tactic should:

  • identify a customer’s acute pain
  • provide a solution to the pain
  • prescribe the best provider of the solution (typically the business)

I can’t help but see an inverse version of the strategy in B.o.B.’s “Nothin’ On You.”

In the song, B.o.B. declares that the woman of his dreams can, in fact, identify his acute pain, provide him with a solution to said pain, and demonstrate how she’s the best provider.

“Are you joking? What in the world are you smoking?”

I kid you not. As B.o.B. and Bruno Mars croon about their perfect woman, the song reveals an inverse usage of Lieberman and Keiles’ strategy.

On their relentless, worldwide quest for the perfect woman throughout the song, B.o.B. and Bruno Mars express their pain (how they cannot find their respective true loves), a potential solution (a woman who brings quite a bit to the table), and finally who the best provider could be (the woman).

Before we explore, refresh yourself to the music video and the lyrics. Ready, set, GO!

The Pain:

Lieberman and Keiles’ marketing strategy recommends identifying an acute consumer pain—i.e. a problem the consumer has in their life.

Consider the lyrics,

“I know you feel where I’m comin’ from, regardless of the things in the past that I’ve done…” “…and though I had lost more than I had ever won, and honestly, I ended up with none.”

B.o.B.’s pain as acute, where he’s experienced all types of loss because he just can’t quite find that right woman.

In an inverse use of the strategy, he implies and implores that the subject of the song should understand his pain.

The Solution:

The next step of the strategy is to recommend a solution to relieve said pain.

B.o.B. wants to assuage his love sickness with this mystery subject. Fair enough.

“Hands down there will never be another one. I’ve been around and I’ve never seen another one…” “Baby, you the whole package, plus you pay yo taxes, and you keep it real, while them others stay plastic…”

B.o.B. believes that the subject woman can relieve his pain, as she brings him many traits which he needs, desires, and seeks in a woman.

The Best Provider:

The final step of Lieberman and Keiles’ strategy is to identify why your business is the best provider of a solution to customer pain.

In the song, B.o.B. and Bruno Mars explicitly detail how they’ve been worldwide, unable to identify a better solution:

“I’ve been to London; I’ve been to Paris, even way out there in Tokyo…”

This helps hone the best provider to a much more feasible geographic location—perhaps a woman right in front of them.

The hook provides the most powerful evidence that the subject of the song is the best provider with the lyrics,

“Everywhere I go, I’m always hearing your name. And no matter where I’m at, girl you make me want to sing. Whether a bus or a plane, or a car or train—no other girl’s on my brain and you the one to blame.”

B.o.B. inversely recommends that the subject of the song is the best provider to help satisfy his needs.

“Where the heck are you going with this?”

All I’m saying is that it’s remarkable that such a strategy can be found in popular music touching on a theme of love, though the roots of the strategy reside in marketing and capitalism.

B.o.B. found a remarkable way to tell the woman of his dreams that she’s all that he needs.

In a world where consumers rapidly inform themselves about products and services (thickening their skin for traditional marketing and advertising), we need to utilize a similar intensity of tactic for the people we want to touch. Just saying.

We’ve all loved, lost, loved again. What’s your particular strategy? You probably have one and might not know it, or really don’t. Let’s share.