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Jonny Dawson From The MMF Team Sends Us His ‘Letter From America’ Number 4

20 February 2019

Dear Managers,

As a continuation of the Manager Meetup series in the US – We hosted the first event of the year for a two-part NYC/LA discussion;

NYC MANAGER MEETUP JANUARY 2019: EVERYTHING YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT DIGITAL MARKETING IN MUSIC
The Kobalt hosted event had the following panelists;

Jessica Page –  Head of Digital Marketing at Mom+Pop (Moderator)
Evan Weiner  – Marketing Director of PopGun Presents & Elsewhere
Courtney Marr  – Sr Director of Digital & Marketing Strategy at mtheory
Lallie Jones –  Marketing Director at 300 Ent

As before, I will give you recap of key takeaways from the event, and use this as a foundation for the following LA event at the end of the month – hopefully offering some useful insight into digital marketing for all that could not attend.

There are some views here that you are maybe already familiar with – but I think worth repeating nonetheless – and hopefully some observations and tips that add new perspective and value.

A repeating theme of the panel was just how effective a superfan fanbase can be in today’s digital age. A superfan can act as powerful marketer if given the right tools and motivation. Although perhaps less relevant for a new artist, I think the panel’s recommendation of segmenting digital marketing plans around different levels of fan is a great approach – And a good way to think as you try to scale an artist’s audience.

Rewarding super fans is a worthwhile cause – Free tickets, free vinyl, etc. The ROI here is absolutely worth it. And the data plays into this. Try to know your superfans, and have a way of contacting them – be that via email blasts, facebook groups, texts, emerging technology, etc

A suggested segmentation approach;

  • Potential fan
  • Passive fan
  • Super fan

The panel discussed focusing on your existing fans as you try to gain traction – and the value in really understanding where those fans are, which as always comes back to understanding your data. Another related tip – tailor different marketing plans for each partner or group. They are all slightly different and the approach on engaging fans should reflect that.

As with our last topic – Music Videos and Beyond, Content Strategy in The Age of Social Media – content played a big part in this discussion. Keeping up with the appetite of Gen Z fans for content is key. And having that content ready and a strategy in place around it before the gun is fired is absolutely essential. ’Nobody is Waiting for your Music’. This also isn’t about a build to a music video and then nothing for a month… regular strategic content shaped for different platforms…The content itself needs to be authentic, and they discussed moving the fans along through thoughtful storytelling – with clear goals in place.

When to start then? The panel felt that priming algorithms 4/6 weeks out is still necessary – but it’s not about first week ’sales’ anymore – having an ongoing strategy and content 3/6/9+ months out is essential. People are discovering music all the time, as there is so much out there….all the time.

A particularly poignant comment by one of our panelists: ‘a Spotify playlist is not marketing – it’s a moment.’

Offering fans a different way to engage can be very effective. Try to identify interests with your artists outside of music and then engage with those verticals – cooking on YouTube for example. How do you tap into a culture that your artist is interested in?

Best in Class: Travis Scott – Astroworld – an incredible roll out….connected all the dots.

Today’s online conversation is like a river – Find a way to jump on it!

A few suggested digital tools:

  • TikTok–  Chinese originating media app a la Vine and ly for creating and sharing short videos. Nearly 1B global monthly active users
  • Music Maker JAM– Just Add Music…. Upload stems and anyone can be a remixer – competitions – great engagement. Diplo etc on it
  • BEAT FEVER– Like guitar hero on phone
  • Instagram Stories  – An obvious one, but very effective. Great backend data for ticket links etc…
  • Twitch– Useful conduit to the video game world – interesting to see diff types of fans and what they are interested in. Any artist obsessed with video games should check this out.

(More to follow after LA’s discussion – where we will lean into subjects such as Media Buying….)

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