Lessons learned from music festival marketing
It is my absolute favorite time of the year. This is when all the music festivals of the upcoming year start sharing their lineups and offering great deals on tickets. The energy is infectious. All the feelings of what an amazing experience a festival will be permeates through my entire body. New bands to check out, new experiences to fantasize about, new contests to enter… It is exhilarating!!!
Festivals leverage a unique experiential event to not only maximize the user experience, but to leverage collective energy so that their brand is part of consumer cultural landscape. The more that they can generate excitement around the festival the better results they achieve. More ticket sales, more publicity that leads to better sponsors, more exposure on multiple media outlets. It is all a waterfall of promotion that is centered on getting people excited about the event. Here is how they do it:
They set a date
I know, it sounds dumb right? Setting a date in the most crucial step in being able to generate excitement. People need to look forward to when something is happening. Whether it be a music festival, iPhone launch or movie release, people need to know when something is going to happen so that anticipation can build and it can culminate in a single moment of payoff.
They communicate frequently with their audience
If you want to learn how to engage with your audience, sign up for a music festival newsletter and you will be exposed to an amazing world of excitement generation. First, they announce the festival date through all their channels: e-mail mailing list, social media, radio, etc. Then they announce when early bird tickets will go for sale (these are tickets that can be purchased at a discount prior to a lineup being announced). Then they announce their line-up. Then they set up the countdown to the event date. Through it all they keep their brand and event top of mind to their audience and with every touch point the consumers get more and more excited!
They provide incentive for their audience to engage
Every single promotion provided by festivals are done with the intent of engaging their audience. “Sign up for newsletter and win a chance to get VIP tickets”. “Share a post and you could be invited to meet artists backstage”. “Tell us who you would like to see next year for a chance to win some merch”. This is not only done for the sake of advertising. Allowing your audience to engage makes you message stickier. This means that if people take action to participate in what you have to say, the chances of them remembering, and CARING about it, increase exponentially.
They deliver on an amazing experience that consumers will always remember
After months of anticipation and communication with the intended audience it is time to deliver. Proof is in the pudding! The reason why event marketing has seen a dramatic increase in popularity is because people are craving memorable experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime. Deliver on that experience and you will not only have satisfied customers, but advocates of your brand and product. It’s not enough to hype it up, you also need to deliver. Yes, I am talking to you Fyre Festival!!
HOW TO APPLY THESE TACTICS
Now that you heard some of the ways that festival marketing can be successful, it is time to use that info for your advantage. The tactics listed above can also be used be used by you as a leader.
Let’s say you are a sales leader. I am sure you have quotas that your sales people need to hit. Why not make your sales goal into an event, much like a festival? It could go something like this:
- Set a date that will allow all your efforts to culminate.
- Created a theme and constantly communicate it to your reps.
- Make sure to engage them and have them contribute to the efforts (success stories, monthly prizes, etc.).
- Deliver on the celebration. Make the reward so enticing that people will be salivating just by hearing what it is.
Being able to do this will generate a waterfall of engagement and publicity amongst your team that will lead to better results and great team morale.
Your team is no different than the consumers of music festivals. These are people who want to reach their goals and have memorable experiences along the way. Leverage that notion to bring people together and deliver on a unique experience.
Andre Mello is a Business Coach and a festival junkie! He has been in marketing and leadership for over 17 years. If you would like to connect with Andre please visit www.wysecoaching.com