The quintessential “What B2B can learn from B2C” blog post never gets old. Consumer focused brands can and do teach us a great deal about how to improve our engagements. But B2C, namely entertainment, also is looking to its B2B counterparts for more data-driven insight marketing.
The New Music Seminar came to New York City this week, where music-minded marketers, business, artists, and label pros came together to discuss the industry’s latest innovations and goings on.
In his opening remarks, New Music Seminar founder & CEO Tommy Silverman came out of the gate with an optimistic attitude about an industry that, let’s face it, has seen some hard financial times (digital downloads already are down 12.5% in 2014, according to Nielsen). But, according to Silverman, we have ourselves to blame! “Every time we see a decline in our business it is because we have stopped thinking about ‘what’s next’ and allowed consumers to veer away from music spending,” he noted.
Ironically, in an effort to get attendees amped about what he refers to as “the most exciting time in music since the 1950s”, Silverman referenced a slide of “words and terms” that music industry pros will need to get to know moving forward.
The kicker? B2B marketing already has this nomenclature down pat. Check out some of the terms:
- Conversion Rate
Look familiar? You got it—the music industry is latching on to data-driven terms and more analysis-focused results to compete in today’s climate. “We need to completely change the way we measure our business,” Silverman said, “And shift from unit sales model to a basic attention model.”
Because record sales are no longer a viable sole measure of success, the industry needs to innovate and story tell to enhance brand awareness and loyalty. Marketing pros can learn from the music industry’s commitments to innovation. Here are three inspiring tips from the Seminar sessions:
1. Don’t follow trends. Set trends! While FM radio promotes songs and support artist awareness, it doesn’t necessarily support the greater growth of music business’s bottom line in the most optimized way. The bigger point is, that without music, there would be no FM radio. It’s easy to go with your industry’s flow and produce content that speaks to the themes of interest to your existing audiences, but consider how your brand is setting new trends in your industry to create varied groups of fans for life.
2. Maximize your reach with partnerships. “The brand as the benefactor” was a topic explored during the panel “Branding Cool” with execs from Clear Channel, Pandora, Group M, and Insomiac Events. While branding partnerships typically had a stigma attached to it for artists, it’s now becoming viewed as a beneficial branding boost to help break new artists, as well as to support existing artists. Pandora is taking a data-driven approach to target consumers and find out what’s trending with demographic descriptions. They spend a great deal of time explaining the partnership value in the program to ensure the artists and brands are comfortable with its focus. How are you leveraging your partners as your campaign comrades? Run something fun! Focus your program on the value your joint customers get. Tell a story and maximize your budgets and bandwidth. Hey, it may not carry the mainstream impact of a program between Pepsi and Beyonce, but this could be fun.
3. Subscribe to the “fan for life” philosophy. “Customer Lifetime Value” was one of the terms listed in Silverman’s “phrases to know” list above. Engage the fan, with the objective of having that fan’s loyalty for life. The music industry is focused on engaging millennials, who are uniquely oriented around playing a more active role in the brand experience. Take, for instance, Motorola, which built a huge LED tower that shoots fireworks off the top for the EDC (Electric Dance Carnival) festival. The fixture is orchestrated as part of the show, and at 11 p.m., it becomes a light-up hub for fans to take photos and project themselves up onto the big screen. Fans also could visit the “Kandy Store” to make bracelets (or Kandy, as it’s lovingly referred to by the EDM crowd). The hub became “the hottest place at the show.”
Creating “fan for life” content is not relegated to millennials, or to a live event. Digital makes more experiential-based programs possible, and social media helps bridge the gaps of face-to-face.
How are you creating fans for life?
Follow the New Music Seminar event discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #NMS14