Modern Marketing

Your most important team member is your Webmaster.

Most marketing is done to intermediaries.  Radio stations, television, radio shows.  Whereas today it’s about establishing a direct relationship with your FANS!  Via your Website.

You should have an update on your Website EVERY DAY!  You should have a message board.  You should have free music, whether streaming or downloadable, hopefully all downloadable, but at least recorded streamed and live downloadable.  And you should retrieve mailing addresses.  This is the ultimate goal of your Website, to establish a PERMANENT relationship.

This is not like fan clubs of yore.  You don’t want to charge people.  And it’s not like the fan clubs of today, wherein you pay for the privilege of buying supposedly good tickets.  Rather this is about cementing a bond with your fans, making sure they never leave you.

Imagine a marriage wherein the husband never talked to the wife.  Where she saw him on TV and in Best Buy, but never felt any personal contact.  Well, that relationship wouldn’t last too long.  Best to make regular contact.  PERSONAL contact.

The days of artists being superior is over.  Stardom is something completely different.  Oh, don’t pay attention to the one hit wonders hyped in the media.  In their case, it’s about making fun of them.  Even if they’ve had more than one hit.  People might like Christina Aguilera’s music, but they laugh at her boob implants and chicken legs.  But if each and every one felt connected with the real her, it would be different.

Go to see one of those bands who survive on the road.  Over by the merch table, there’s a clipboard, garnering e-mail addresses, for their mailing list.  Which is why, after the hits dry up, if they come at all, these bands can still work.  They’ve established a club, a cult.  And EVERYBODY wants to be a member of the group, feel like an insider.  Your job is to make them one.

Don’t make your site pretty, make it a fount of information.  Somewhere people can find out EVERYTHING about you.  And want to come back to to find out more.  A place where they can not only meet you, but OTHER fans.  Community is key.  Everybody’s looking for like-minded people.  For friends, for love relationships.  An artist’s Website is a much better place to start than match.com or craigslist.org.

Your site should have minimal Flash work.  No entrance page.  It should be UTILITARIAN!  As in USABLE!  You should be THRILLED that anybody comes at all, and if they do, you want them to feel welcome.  You don’t want them to have to go through so many pages, waiting forever for them to load, that they get frustrated, so they never come back.

But the ultimate goal of your Website is to garner contacts.  To get the name of every fan you have.  So you can e-mail him or her and tell them you’ve got a new record, that you’re playing in their town.

Fuck those scrolls of tour dates on television.  Even radio announcements.  Most of the people who hear them could give a shit about the act.  It’s about reaching those who DO care, directly.  This is what the Web affords.

Cement and serve this relationship.  If you do it right, you’ll never have to get a day job.

7 Responses to Modern Marketing »»


Comments

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  1. Comment by Vickie Strate | 2006/06/16 at 17:37:31

    Bob: I work for Metallica – yep that’s my FULL TIME job – working for one band! Most of my day is spent working with a staff that makes sure that the band’s fans feel connected through various web sites, the fan club (we do charge a fee – they get a shirt and 4 magazines a year among other things), answering e-mail, responding to message board posts, and we handle our own online stores selling Metallica merchandise.

    As you said, our webmaster is an MVP – managing all the things you mentioned – news updates almost every day, message boards, streaming music, free downloads and an e-mail list of almost a half million people. Right now the band is on tour in Europe and our webmaster is there with them posting diary entries, photos, and videos . . . check it out at http://www.metontour.com – you can get there through the main site (www.metallica.com) too . . . we do ask for your e-mail address when you sign in.

    I guess my point is that a band as successful as Metallica is still is working every day to cement the fan relationship – it never stops no matter how many albums or tickets you sell, the fan is still king and deserves that personal touch. We’re at it every day and I couldn’t agree with your e-mail more!

    Best Regards,
    Vickie Strate
    Metallica HQ

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  3. Comment by Noah Dinkin | 2006/06/16 at 17:38:21

    Bob,

    I tell every band our company meets with that when they play a show, getting email addresses is the SINGLE MOST VALUABLE thing they can do (after playing a great show of course).

    To developing (and even established) bands, that email is more valuable than any piece of merch a band could sell at the show. If the band is smart and does it right, the amount of times through email in the future that they will be able to offer that fan an opportunity to buy something (concert tickets, downloads, new cd, new merch, whatever) FAR outweighs anything the band could be selling at the show.

    Most bands think it’s just a stupid email, but if bands are smart and target their emails and make them full of info, exclusive offers, or anything else fans would be interested in, that email list is one of the most valuable assets a band owns.

    I would much rather sign an indie band with a big and active email list than a band with some radio airplay, because I know there is a direct (and free) way to reach that band’s most valuable fans…and the people on that list will likely be fans of the band for years to come, rather than some fickle "fan" who liked a song they heard on the radio but will probably move on to the next new artist when they come along.

    It’s only a matter of time before more bands (and labels) learn to start making existing fans more profitable (and career sustaining), rather than spending a ton of money trying to acquire new ones. That doesn’t mean bands should put a cap on their fanbase…if the band is good, more fans will certainly come (and signup for the list) based on word of mouth, touring, etc, but in many cases it doesn’t make sense for labels to spend the stupid extra money to try and get a lot of fickle short-term (less profitable) fans.

    Best,
    Noah


    Noah Dinkin
    United For Opportunity

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  5. Comment by Dan Millen | 2006/06/16 at 17:38:38

    And frankly…

    You should have a whole bunch of pictures and bio info that is easy to find and easily grab-able by your friendly neighborhood concert promoter so that when he updates his site at 3am in the morning he doesn’t rip his hair out that there’s no hi res promo picture or usable low res picture that you can copy on the site and that it takes 2 minutes at broadband speed just to get past the front page’s lame flash movie.

    Flash sucks ass. All bands should have a PROMO TOOLS page with High res photos, bios and blank posters/flyers that even fans can grab.

    The bands who do this the smartest are the ones who stay on the road!

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  7. Comment by Vince Bannon | 2006/06/16 at 17:39:13

    Bob it’s your CTO. At any major happening media company it’s The CTO who knows where’s it all going!

    At the labels. They need it badly. They need someone to tell them where the latest places where technology and media are all going.

    It should be the #2 guy on the label food chain. Not a promotion executive!

  8. comment_type != "trackback" && $comment->comment_type != "pingback" && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content) && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>
  9. Comment by Jim Ahearne | 2006/06/16 at 19:32:15

    Bob,

    I think I’ve sent this to you before, but it’s so appropriate to this discussion that I have to forward again. What got me going was Dan Millen’s comment, "Flash Sucks Ass." Right on! Have Dan send me his email address and I’ll paypal him a beer (well, $5.00).

    Anyway I lifted this off of Merlin’s 43 Folders site. Here’s the direct link: http://www.43folders.com/2004/12/06/five-mistakes-band-label-sites-make/
    Cheers,
    Jim Ahearne

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  11. Comment by thund3rbox | 2006/06/21 at 23:20:30

    To Noah,

    Email is still important, but not as important as it used to be. Young people use email less and less (1), if at all. SMS/Text messaging/Myspace messages/etc are extremely popular. RSS feeds are also important, due to the portability and reusability of the rss standard.

    Would you sign a band if they had a good website, decent email list, or a band that DIDN’T have their own site, but had a HUGE MySpace presence? (Actually, I’d just sign a band if I thought their music was good, but that’s just me…)

    Bob hit the nail on the head about the importance of a good webmaster and effective web presence. That’s why it’s important to not only have a webmaster, but a GOOD webmaster who is always on top of the latest trends, technology and doesn’t get complacent with routine new media production methods.

    (1) http://www.newmediamusings.com/blog/2006/06/teens_turn_away.html

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  13. Pingback by Yoosic – Blog » Just the truth | 2006/06/26 at 03:13:15

    […]   Nicht kategorisiert     This fantastic article.     […]


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  1. Comment by Vickie Strate | 2006/06/16 at 17:37:31

    Bob: I work for Metallica – yep that’s my FULL TIME job – working for one band! Most of my day is spent working with a staff that makes sure that the band’s fans feel connected through various web sites, the fan club (we do charge a fee – they get a shirt and 4 magazines a year among other things), answering e-mail, responding to message board posts, and we handle our own online stores selling Metallica merchandise.

    As you said, our webmaster is an MVP – managing all the things you mentioned – news updates almost every day, message boards, streaming music, free downloads and an e-mail list of almost a half million people. Right now the band is on tour in Europe and our webmaster is there with them posting diary entries, photos, and videos . . . check it out at http://www.metontour.com – you can get there through the main site (www.metallica.com) too . . . we do ask for your e-mail address when you sign in.

    I guess my point is that a band as successful as Metallica is still is working every day to cement the fan relationship – it never stops no matter how many albums or tickets you sell, the fan is still king and deserves that personal touch. We’re at it every day and I couldn’t agree with your e-mail more!

    Best Regards,
    Vickie Strate
    Metallica HQ

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    1. Comment by Noah Dinkin | 2006/06/16 at 17:38:21

      Bob,

      I tell every band our company meets with that when they play a show, getting email addresses is the SINGLE MOST VALUABLE thing they can do (after playing a great show of course).

      To developing (and even established) bands, that email is more valuable than any piece of merch a band could sell at the show. If the band is smart and does it right, the amount of times through email in the future that they will be able to offer that fan an opportunity to buy something (concert tickets, downloads, new cd, new merch, whatever) FAR outweighs anything the band could be selling at the show.

      Most bands think it’s just a stupid email, but if bands are smart and target their emails and make them full of info, exclusive offers, or anything else fans would be interested in, that email list is one of the most valuable assets a band owns.

      I would much rather sign an indie band with a big and active email list than a band with some radio airplay, because I know there is a direct (and free) way to reach that band’s most valuable fans…and the people on that list will likely be fans of the band for years to come, rather than some fickle "fan" who liked a song they heard on the radio but will probably move on to the next new artist when they come along.

      It’s only a matter of time before more bands (and labels) learn to start making existing fans more profitable (and career sustaining), rather than spending a ton of money trying to acquire new ones. That doesn’t mean bands should put a cap on their fanbase…if the band is good, more fans will certainly come (and signup for the list) based on word of mouth, touring, etc, but in many cases it doesn’t make sense for labels to spend the stupid extra money to try and get a lot of fickle short-term (less profitable) fans.

      Best,
      Noah


      Noah Dinkin
      United For Opportunity

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      1. Comment by Dan Millen | 2006/06/16 at 17:38:38

        And frankly…

        You should have a whole bunch of pictures and bio info that is easy to find and easily grab-able by your friendly neighborhood concert promoter so that when he updates his site at 3am in the morning he doesn’t rip his hair out that there’s no hi res promo picture or usable low res picture that you can copy on the site and that it takes 2 minutes at broadband speed just to get past the front page’s lame flash movie.

        Flash sucks ass. All bands should have a PROMO TOOLS page with High res photos, bios and blank posters/flyers that even fans can grab.

        The bands who do this the smartest are the ones who stay on the road!

      2. comment_type == "trackback" || $comment->comment_type == "pingback" || ereg("", $comment->comment_content) || ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>

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        1. Comment by Vince Bannon | 2006/06/16 at 17:39:13

          Bob it’s your CTO. At any major happening media company it’s The CTO who knows where’s it all going!

          At the labels. They need it badly. They need someone to tell them where the latest places where technology and media are all going.

          It should be the #2 guy on the label food chain. Not a promotion executive!

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          1. Comment by Jim Ahearne | 2006/06/16 at 19:32:15

            Bob,

            I think I’ve sent this to you before, but it’s so appropriate to this discussion that I have to forward again. What got me going was Dan Millen’s comment, "Flash Sucks Ass." Right on! Have Dan send me his email address and I’ll paypal him a beer (well, $5.00).

            Anyway I lifted this off of Merlin’s 43 Folders site. Here’s the direct link: http://www.43folders.com/2004/12/06/five-mistakes-band-label-sites-make/
            Cheers,
            Jim Ahearne

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            1. Comment by thund3rbox | 2006/06/21 at 23:20:30

              To Noah,

              Email is still important, but not as important as it used to be. Young people use email less and less (1), if at all. SMS/Text messaging/Myspace messages/etc are extremely popular. RSS feeds are also important, due to the portability and reusability of the rss standard.

              Would you sign a band if they had a good website, decent email list, or a band that DIDN’T have their own site, but had a HUGE MySpace presence? (Actually, I’d just sign a band if I thought their music was good, but that’s just me…)

              Bob hit the nail on the head about the importance of a good webmaster and effective web presence. That’s why it’s important to not only have a webmaster, but a GOOD webmaster who is always on top of the latest trends, technology and doesn’t get complacent with routine new media production methods.

              (1) http://www.newmediamusings.com/blog/2006/06/teens_turn_away.html

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              1. Pingback by Yoosic – Blog » Just the truth | 2006/06/26 at 03:13:15

                […]   Nicht kategorisiert     This fantastic article.     […]

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