Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ten steps artists are taking to create a brand, a longterm fanbase, and a sales machine

John Mellencamp
John Mellencamp, free songs via Vanity Fair

Thinking about social advertising and targeted marketing perhaps we should take a leaf out of the book of the rock stars. The biggest story last year in the music world was how Radiohead bucked the recording industry’s distribution and marketing system and gave away their new album. The short story is that they simply told their fans that they could go to a Radiohead web site and pay whatever they liked to download the album, with $0.00 being an acceptable amount. It was an extremely successful campaign - not only did most people pay for the files but the band received unprecedented amounts of positive media coverage around the globe.

Other bands have followed the model not least Trent Reznor and his band Nine Inch Nails. The band released a limited edition 2,500 units of a coffee table book that included multiple CDs and DVDs. It was exquisitely packaged, signed and numbered and cost $300.00. It sold out in two days.

I believe this form of social marketing could serve as a model for companies that have customers who are literally fans of their products. And I don’t mean Apple.

If we think of the bands mentioned above as companies that sell product then we can take a look at what these companies have been doing to increase sales of their product. Here’s what they do online:

01. They have blogs to which actual band members [think executives] post regular updates.
02. They ensure that the blogosphere is alerted to any new and breaking news or important posts.
03. They offer early access to special offers and discounts for their customers loyalty.
04. They give away free samples of their product.
05. They are active in their customers communities.

For the rest of the list visit

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