On April 11th 2017 in London UK, the BPI held their Direct to Consumer Marketing and Data and Insights training session in London. This session was hosted by Music Ally, a company that cite themselves as a ‘knowledge company’, they advise new music businesses, bands and labels etc. We went along to gain some more knowledge of the direct to consumer marketing business models available.
The first section of the training session was Direct to Consumer Marketing and was a session in which to learn about the shifting business model in the music industry, learn about fanbases, how to create high value content and strategies in email, mobile and other direct marketing platforms.
The first thing we were introduced to was the ‘Six Steps of Direct to Consumer Marketing’ which were:
- To create value proposition for existing fans (exclusives, meet and greets, albums etc.)
- To onboard existing fans
- To convert existing fans
- To show unconverted fans value
- To show potential fans value
- Rinse and repeat!
We were then introduced to the four things that (very simply) fans want:
- Easy Access
- Acknowledgement (Building Relationships)
- Premium Content (Exclusives)
We then began to talk about specific examples of direct to consumer marketing being used in alignment with new technology.
Superphone is an app available worldwide on IOS created by Ryan Leslie that claims to “turn social media followers into real people” by allowing fans to have a direct connection with artists, celebrities etc. through SMS. The app initially targets highly involved fans with the aim then being to create hype and jealousy from unconverted fans. Twilio, a programmable messaging service, was cited as a competitor, however this isn’t marketed as a ‘fan service’ product in the same way that Superphone is.
Links can be shared through the messages such as links to merchandise sites, downloadable or purchasable content including music and all these links are tracked by Google. Relationships between the artist and fans are rated based upon the frequency of messages and the click through rate of the links shared. This gives the artists an idea of which fans are most involved and worth investing time into.
Superbot is an additional tool for Superphone which allows you to create automated responses. For example, if a fan messages an artist asking about merchandise the word ‘merchandise’ or ‘merch’ can be set to trigger an automatic response with a link to the merchandise store. These links will take the customer to Shopify, an ‘ecommerce platform’ that can be tailored for each user.
The Bot Platform
The Bot Platform is a Facebook Messenger tool that creates a ‘personalised bot’ to answer customer service to fans of specific artists. Users are able to set automated messages and responses but can also choose to answer personally. The settings allow users to opt in and out of notifications which makes it easier to have personal conversations. The tool also allows users to set reminders, polls and sell merchandise. Like Superphone the messages are tracked. The tool is controlled by the fans as they have to open the message in order for the user to contact them again.
Direct to Consumer
The second half of the training session focused on Data and Insights from sales and streaming to social media insights to help us understand what types of data each service collects on your fanbase and how you can best interpret its meaning. The session included tips about the best practices for cross-platform data management, and how metadata advancements, transparency and data protection have been changing the industry.
Firstly, we looked at what data, in theory, can tell us:
- Who fans are
- Where the fans are (online and offline)
- What else these fans like
Then we thought about what each platform allows us to know:
- Radio – Amount of plays, territories (roughly).
- Live Gigs – Mailing list, tickets sold (roughly), merchandise sales.
- Charts – Sales.
- Third Party Tracking (Neilsen Soundscan, Next Big Sound, Entertainment Intelligence, Relevator, Soundcharts) – Sales, airplay, fan demographics etc.
- Social Media – Fan demographics, feedback/reception.
In summary, the takeaway from the session was to:
- Identify your goals
- Identify what data you have at your availability
- Build a data strategy that accounts for the whole ‘’fan journey’ – where they spend their time online and offline
- Understand where you receive the most value from for growth
- Increase efficiency in marketing, product development and distribution of resources