Wednesday, June 21, 2006

True marketers

I'm tired today. But probably not as tired as these guys, and these guys. I go to a lot of concerts - big and small. It's something I absolutely love. Last night's Rogue Wave/The Stills show at one of my favorite venues - Lawrence's Bottleneck - was amazing. High energy, big talent. I've seen Rogue Wave before, and was impressed, but last night both bands brought a level of energy that truly impressed me. More than their playing, I realized what great, energetic, devoted marketers they are. And have to be.

Today I've been thinking about how up and coming bands are a wonderful marketing model for companies to emulate. Here are my observations from watching two great bands work their marketing magic, which was secondary, mind you, to their true purpose for showing up.

Be early: Band members were sitting at the bar, selling T-shirts, walking around, talking. They were ready to play, but spent time to build relationships.
Be energetic: Though the Bottleneck wasn't close to capacity, both bands performed as if it was their last show on earth.
Be humble: Rogue Wave is on its way to open for Ray Lamontagne and Guster in large arenas later this year. Still, they sell their own products, strike their set and spend time talking to the audience. This humility offers an accessibility that builds relationships.
Be relentless: Up and coming bands live and die by ticket and record sales. Thus, they have to generate buzz, then build loyalty. There is no better example of that relentless pursuit for fans than a small-venue gig where every song, chord, eye roll or handshake can make or break interest. They can't stop. They can't afford to be backstage.

If you get a chance to see either of these bands, do. I should add a couple more concert notes, if for no other reason than to put a smile on the faces of my friends in attendance.

You know it's going to be a good night when a girl with a tatooed chest buys you a drink.
Joel, you should have learned that betting me to do something will result in you losing money.
Nicolletta, it was so good to catch up. I'm coming by for coffee.

Listening to: The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free


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