Posts Tagged ‘Advertising Age’

WISDOM FROM SETH

July 26, 2012

In the last newsletter, I mentioned that marketing guru Seth Godin would be giving the Keynote at Pollstar’s conference early next year (Advertising Age named him Marketer of the Decade). Thought his post today was worth sharing with you.   

Feet on the street

The complement to the brilliant strategy is the thankless work of lower-leverage detail.

An organization with feet on the street and alert and regular attention to detail can build more trust and develop better relationships than one than hits and runs.

  • Contact every user who stops using your service and find out why.
  • Create a newsletter for every journalist who covers your space, and deliver it every three weeks, even when you’re not asking for anything. Just to keep them in the loop.
  • Eagerly pay attention to people who mention you online and engage with them in a way that they prefer to be engaged.
  • Sponsor industry events and actually show up.
  • Write a thank you note every single day, to someone who doesn’t expect one.
  • Build your permission asset by 1% every day. Every day, 1% more people are eager and happy to hear from you.
  • Write a blog every day, not to sell, but to teach.
  • Connect people in your industry, because you enjoy it.
  • Host community meetings in your store.
  • Put a lemonade stand in front of your business and let the local kids donate the money to whatever charity they like.
  • Hand out free samples every chance you have.
  • Keep in touch with people who used to work with you and continue to help them get great gigs and new business, even years later.
  • Put together an honest buyer’s guide, pointing out in which instances your competitor’s products are a better choice.
  • Run classes for your customers.
  • Run classes for your competitors.
  • Build a recruiting pipeline that is in place more than a year before you need to hire someone.

None of this is sufficient. Your product and your strategy have to be brilliant. But a lot of it is necessary. Hearts and minds…

Coachella Cruise News

So, you should also get a follow-up on the Coachella Cruise.  Word from Goldenvoice is that the on-sale was strong and it should sell-out.  Keep looking outside your comfort zone.  You are bound to find new ways to make money. 

Irving  Speaking At Billboard

Billboard has announced their Keynote speaker for this year’s Billboard Touring Conference as well and it is none other than Irving AzoffRay Waddell is also bringing in the trio who produce Coachella Skip Paige, Bill Fold and Paul Tollett to discuss, fans, bands and more.  The event will take place in New York November 7-8.  Find out more here http://www.billboardevents.com/touring

Happy Hunting!

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INNOVATION WINS EVERY TIME!

August 3, 2009

In a recent article in Advertising AgeJack Heff writes  about a new product from SC Johnson that exceeded sales expectations by 400%…in a recession…with a really high price point for what it is…insect repellent.   The Off Clip-On Fan’s suggested retail price is $9…if you can find it as it is sold-out almost everywhere.  But Neff’s article says that Amazon (who does have it in-stock) “is charging $12.89 for a starter kit and $8.49 for refills…”  Can you imagine a fancy bug repellent dispenser selling in this economy while we can’t give our tickets away (it still costs too much to park, eat, drive, get a sitter, etc)???  Someone needs to turn us upside down and shake us!  We need to get the innovators from our business out there innovating!

We have seen what C3, Superfly, Goldenvoice/AEG Live, AC, Coran Capshaw, Kevin Lyman, CAA, and William Morris (among others) have been able to create in the past on the festival front.  It has built new businesses for many of our clients and changed the landscape of the U.S. concert business.  I know that many of you reading this wish you were in business with several if not all of those above.  I do!  So what’s next?  Where is the next Cirque?  How about ice shows?  Remember when they were the rage?  We need a good swift kick in the… innovation!

DINNER CLUB – NY

It seems that most cities are taking August off from Aspen Dinner Club Meetings (if you haven’t been to one yet, you really should go)…but not our die-hard New Yorkers!!!  You don’t have to be in the music or live businesses to come.  You just need to have a brain…and a little cash to chip-in.  Please forward to anyone you think should come.  RSVP is preferred as Gayle Miller has reserved a private room …email @ rockinhorse@mac.com.  Anyway, the information is below.  Have Fun!!!

Stitch was voted the Best Afterwork Bar by CitySearch.com, offers food & drink, & will give us a “happy hour” deal. 

Date:  Wed, Aug 5

Time:  7 pm – 9 pm ish

Location:  Stitch Bar & Lounge

                         247 West 37th Street (between 7th & 8th)

                         (212) 852-4826

 

 

 

                        http://www.stitchnyc.com/

Speak with you soon…

Jim

BRING THE SUNSHINE WITH SUMMER!

March 24, 2009

I read an article recently (don’t remember where but think it was Brandweek) about how all of the negative stories Americans watch, read, and talk about on the economy each day are effecting depression levels.  No surprise, they are up dramatically.  The bad news is just about impossible to get away from.  Even if you try and hide, it pops-up on your IRA, 401K, mortgage statement, or even a phone call with a friend.  So how can Live Entertainment help bring the sunshine to consumers, media, and brands this summer?

In the March 23rd issue of Advertising Age, author Bob Garfield tells us that “the future is bright…but the present is apocalyptic.”.  He is speaking about media.  Newspapers saw a “20% drop in circulation…amid 23% population growth” in the same period.  Magazines have seen ad pages drop off “22% so far in 2009”.    Broadcast radio, TV, and billboard giant Clear Channel that “was going to destroy our very democracy”…well now so much anymore.  Network television’s audience continues to erode in the double digits.  Garfield says that “cable has problems of its own…as it’s no more DVR-proof than broadcast.”  Even online publishers like Yahoo! are taking a hit. 

So as marketers look for ways to reach consumers… and media try to attract business…and consumers look for a way to come out of their depression…in walks the answer to everyone’s prayers…BRANDED LIVE ENTERTAINMENT!

Walt Disney built Disneyland to make his world of imagination come to life.  That’s what we have the ability to do in Live Entertainment.  Right now, people are hurting.  Everyone is looking for an escape and we can provide that.  It is really simple…so lets do a quick brainstorm to show how easy it really is.  I’m going to turn on the TV and the first brand I see, we are going to create a Live Entertainment event for them that also solves the above issues.  Shit…ShamWow…ok.

1) TALENT – We have to have Vince from the commercials, he is amazing! 

2) EVENT – How about a car wash that uses only ShamWows to wash, dry, and detail your vehicle…the car wash is free with your ShamWow purchase.  We can use NASCAR pit crews to do the washing, make it a race, more exciting…even help out NASCAR who’s numbers are down as well. 

3) MEDIA – Tie-in print, radio, TV, cable, and web partners.  Do ad buys with all that have promotions circling back to the event.

4) GIVING BACK – Water from car wash should be recycled…hoses should have the latest water saving nozzles…soap is all biodegradable…and a portion of the money should go to local charities.

5) MORE – Maybe the car wash is tied to filling the city swimming pool for the summer…or maybe the event is actually using ShanWows to clean-up your city.  How about Mayor Bloomberg gets bankers, traders, and the like to use ShamWows to clean-up Wall Street and show America that not every NYC banker is corrupt. 

Well, you get the idea.  Brands need ways to communicate directly with consumers, as their usual forms of message distribution fall-off (see above).  The media need to sources of income and ways to drive traffic.  Consumers need cheering up.  Let’s help everyone out this summer and BRING THE SUNSHINE BACK!

Speak with you soon…

Jim

TOP 10 LESSONS FROM THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN

December 18, 2008

First, the news coming from record company land isn’t good.  Friends of yours have either lost their jobs or are about to (EMI, Sony and now Interscope).  Always nice how these things happen around the holidays, isn’t it.  Show support and help anyone you know if you can.  There will be a lot of really good talent out of work.  Remember change brings opportunity!!!  Speaking of opportunity…

Advertising Age titled their December 15th issue “Book of Tens 2008”.  It covers top ten lists from “stories of the year” to “top tech toys” to “lessons from the Obama campaign”.  Since LiveWorks Newsletter subscribers have read the “Political Marketing” newsletter so many times, I thought it would be fun to use Ad Age’s Top 10 “Lessons From The Obama Campaign” and add a live entertainment twist.  So, here we go…

•1) IT’S THE PRODUCT – Ad Age’s Ken Wheaton (who wrote the piece) says that at the end of the day, “it’s likely that Barack Obama won because he is Barack Obama.”.  Or to put it another way, he doesn’t suck.  If everything is marketing, start with a great product and you are more than half-way there.

•2) KISS – No Gene, not you.  “Keep it simple, stupid” (ok Gene, maybe you).  You have heard this a million times, but always worth repeating.  The Obama campaign’s message was simple and never changed.  As Ken Wheaton wrote, “The product may have been complex, but the branding was simple and consistent.”

•3) DON’T PANIC – Although it is important to be limber in these times of change, it is also imperative to think before acting.  Shooting from the hip could get you shot in your own foot.  When Obama went through the Reverend Wright controversy, he never blinked.

•4) LET OTHERS BUILD BUZZ – Give fans the tools they need to spread the word for you.  Provide them with “all the proper fonts, logos and talking points”… and then sit back and watch it go.  For instance, you can’t get into the “KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas” concerts unless you are a “KROQ street team member”.  Get in the club, and you have access to purchase tickets.  No club membership, no tickets.  This policy gets people to tell their friends and it builds buzz…along with a database for KROQ.

•5) GET OPRAH ON YOUR SIDE – I don’t think there is anything to add here.

•6) PUT ON A SHOW – Ad Age’s list talks of Obama’s nomination acceptance speech at Invesco Field in Denver in front of a crowd of 80,000…then doing it again in Germany and St. Louis.  We all know how to put on a show.  How about putting on a show to announce your show?  I bring up Ringling Bros. circus parade again to you as an example.  We need to be doing more parades.

•7) GET THE MEDIA IN THE TANK – My parents always taught me that if you treat the media with respect, they will do the same for you.  Obama was treated like a rock star by the media.  Think about it, we actually have rock stars.  Now we just need them to be nice to the media.

•8) DON’T FORGET THE BASICS – Ken Wheaton points out that “For all the talk of change, for all the rhetoric about new media, Obama rode to victory the old-fashioned way: He outspent his opponents, and much of it went to TV”.  TV is a visual medium and we in live entertainment just don’t do a good job marketing our products on television.  Time to step it up.

•9) EMBRACE WEB 2.0 – Although the Obama campaign didn’t do much in the way of traditional web advertising, their use of social networking will be studied for years to come.  Figure out how you can start a movement like that online and you are headed down the Yellow Brick Road.

•10) NOTHING – After all that, writer Ken Wheaton points out that a political campaign “has almost nothing in common with a marketing campaign.”  Of course he is right.

I guess the big message here is to have a great product and then do all your homework three times.  As the saying goes, “good luck comes to those that work hard”.

Talk with you soon…

Jim

Drop Your Price Already…

November 8, 2008

Well I must start with another disclaimer.  You see my brother writes a blog very similar to the LiveWorks Newsletter and today, he talked about what’s covered below…and we post on the same site.  So here is a link to Joe’s stuff so you know there is no plagiarism on either of our parts. http://joelewi.wordpress.com/

For weeks we have been talking about embracing the recession and finding ways to use our Live Entertainment to pull consumers out of their funk.  We’ve covered customer service, partnerships versus sponsorships, using examples from political marketing to move an audience, and all the positive psychological and financial attributes of selling-out shows.  What our business needs to fix immediately is ticket prices.

Burlington, VT concert promoter Alex Crothers pointed to gas prices as having a much more noticeable effect on ticket sales than the stock market or bad news about the economy.  There has been story after story reported in the media about retailers perceived as bargain or discount merchants sales going up, while those catering to design and style sales are declining.  Case in point, Wal-Mart and Target.  Target is down, Wal-Mart is up.

Of course there is always the consumer that had the perception that if things cost a lot, they have to be worth it.  There is case after case study of events attendance actually going down as ticket prices fell year-to-year and the opposite happening if ticket prices rose.  That was not in a 2008 economy.  Now even luxury brands normally immune to market fluctuations are feeling the hurt.  In Forbes annual “Richest People in America” issue, even the boys from Google took it hard seeing  their “stock down 40%  since all-time heights last November.”  Why are we in the live business ignoring this trend?

It is time for all of us in live entertainment to knock-off the “pomp and circumstance” around what we do and see it as any other business would.  Yes our talents need to eat.  So do managers, agents, promoters, techs, stagehands, venue people, and everyone else associated.  But everyone needs to eat a little less to get a lot more.  The live and music businesses are special.  But I’m sick of hearing that what we sell is so different from what everyone else sells.  Selling is about emotional connections.  So the fact is, we have a leg-up on all the other entertainment distractions out there.

In the November 3rd Issue of Advertising Age there is a story about ranking brands based on “best bang for buck”.  Interesting stuff.  Consumers were asked to rate best ans worst by category based on “providing the best value for the dollar”.  For Domestic Airline, Southwest was best, United worst.  Carbonated beverages, Coke best, Red Bull worst.  Credit Cards, Visa good, Discover bad.  And no surprise here, in Financial services, Fidelity was ranked best while Goldman Sachs got a negative rating.  Another great group of stats from the article where the “Bottom 10 Brands”…brands with the lowest scores.  10) Starbucks, 9) BET, 8) Neiman Marcus, 7) 7-Eleven, 6) Perrier, 5) Abercrombie & Fitch, 4) AIG, 3) Red Bull, 2) Hummer, and # 1) MTV!!!! No live brands in the study.  Btw, Craftsman was the #1 brand for value.

Why is this all important to you?  Because if you are Live Nation, AEG, MSG, Feld, Momentum, GMR, or Chrysler, you are creating live brands of some kind.  Building value into everything you do defines your brand.  Ticketmater Entertainment will have a hard time getting over its old “TICKETMASTER” reputation.  Hiding the fees is not going to change anything.  The artists and shows will always have their names.  What we need to do is drop our prices and explain to consumers what they are getting for their money.

We do a bad job of marketing the experience of live.  Let’s take a look at that.  Volume will do more for our business than raising prices.  Lower your prices $2 on everything (tickets, merch, food, beverages, parking, venue charges need to go away all together, etc) and tell the consumer all the amazing things they will see, hear, feel, and do at your event, show, or attraction.

So drop your prices and watch as the money comes in.

Talk to you soon…

Jim

Political Marketing

October 22, 2008

The October 20 issue of Advertising Age announced that Barack Obama was the “Marketer Of The Year”.  His “electorate” were hundreds of marketers (at CMO level), agencies and the like who had gathered for the annual Association of National Advertisers.  Obama not only creamed his political competitor John McCain(who still made the list), he beat out mega-brands like Nike and Apple who are know for their marketing.  It all started (and ends) with passion and world-of-mouth.

In 2003, my friend and artist manager Ann Marie Wilkins called and asked me to contribute money to a politician I had never heard of named Barack Obama.  Because it was Ann Marie, I did it first and then did the research (she manages my friend Branford Marsalis who I’ve been friends with for over 20-years).  Turns out she could not have been more right about Barack and I became what Malcolm Gladwell would call a “Sneezer” or early adopter….and game on.

As Ad Age pointed out, the Obama campaign has won over voters with a mix of “grass-roots appeal and big-media-budget know-how”.  THAT MY FRIENDS IS A MOUTH FULL!!!  To put it in artist and record label terms for those in the music industry, Obama has marketed like an artist on an indie label with major label money and staff.  Of course, it starts with grass-roots and that’s where a lot of us go wrong…by starting big (like Hilary Clinton’s campaign).

Barack Obama started out as a community organizer and boy can you tell.  There are “Ann Marie’s” all over this country spreading the word one person at a time.  In Pennsylvania alone, there are now 80 Obama campaign offices…thousands of kids on the street.  Everyone involved feels empowered and part of the process.  Obama has used a combination of social networking and other 2.0 tactics along with traditional political organizing on the ground, to go for virtual unknown to one of America’s best known brands.

By breaking traditional with typical campain fund-raising and marketing, the Obama Camp has been able to not only out market and probably out spend his competitors (Democrat and Republican), but create a real passionate army of disciples to spread the message.  And that message has been clear from the start and has never changed!  This is another important lesson and what makes a great brand (staying on message).

Of course to reach those voters needed to win the election, mass-media (TV, Radio, Print, Outdoor, etc) was incorporated into the marketing mix.  Again, the campaign’s message stayed the same and the mass-marketing re-enforced everything coming from the street.  The Ad Age article points out that as the economy became most important to potential voters, the McCain campaign changed their ads and messaging.  “While Team McCain threw up ad after ad and tried to carve out a position during the financial crisis, Team Obama seemed to move at a slower pace, content to let Mr. McCain flail and then use his own words against him”  Consistency pays off.

As many have said before me, you can’t really market something you don’t believe in.  Since Ann Marie’s call in 2003, I have been a supporter, “sneezer”, contributor, and sometimes stalker for the Obama brand.  After his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention, many more bought into the brand (mass marketing).  This was followed by great grass-roots marketing, organizing and ultimately fund-raising that fueled the Obama becoming a household name…and the marketer of the year.

See what you can learn from the Obama campaign to help put butts in seats for your next event.

Talk to you soon…

Jim