“The simple but effective strategies that bands employ for customer-relationship management could serve as a lesson for brands,” says writer Rupal Parkeh in a Feb. 23,2012 Advertising Age article titled “What Brands Can Learn From Bands About Social Marketing.”
The article cites London-based folk/pop singer Ellie Lawson’s creation of a fan panel to evaluate her new material as it’s being created. For “the cost of three trips to Starbucks,” supporters can become part of this elite group which also insures a liner notes credit and copy of the finished album before it is released. “It’s a big experiment,” Lawson tells Ad Age. “I just love them engaging and getting back to me and telling me which bits of songs they like and which they don’t.”
Parkeh notes that, “The music business has flipped from a one-way, passive relationship with fans to a two-way collaborative dialogue.” He also applauds the entertainment industry for learning some of these valuable marketing lessons before many larger brands. In fact he advises the brands to pay attention and start experimenting in similar fashion.
New York-based Ryan Starr is another highlighted artist in the article who posts photos on Facebook from each city on his tour. He then asks fans to tag themselves in the photos. This not only engages fans, but the tags add a viral aspect to the experiment. Florence and the Machine searched for the band’s most influential fan. Friends and followers were asked to share the group’s new video. Those posts were measured for clicks and comments, points awarded and a winner chosen.
“What’s in it for the fan should always be top-of-mind,” says music industry vet Jeff Kempler now at agency SubRosa after spending time at Virgin and EMI Records. According to Kempler, artists need new tool sets to properly wield star power. “It began to matter whether they could also engage socially,” he states. “Do they update their Facebook page and populate content? Can they be as creative in the social-media space as they are in the studio?”
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