Well it’s the week after our third “First Tuesday Monthly LA Marketing Analytics Group” speaker discussion in beautiful Santa Monica, CA where eSage Group together with the American Marketing Association Los Angeles brought us an event brimming with hopeful marketers, ready to take on the challenge of a fresh new year. The subject was Story Telling to Engage (and Measure!) with Doug Barasch of Universal Music Group. Held at the whimsical Areal Restaurant in the beachside area of Main St. Santa Monica, attendees enjoyed glasses of wine, pitchers of beer, margherita pizzas and assorted other appetizers compliments of eSage Group.
Seems you can’t attend any kind of sales or marketing event these days without hearing about story telling. Whether you are promoting a new soft drink to consumers or a new cloud storage system to large business, stories that resonate, engage and make your product memorable to your audience are valuable tools. But great stories don’t happen in a vacuum. A good story teller knows his/her audience, knows their pain, and understands what will make them smile, nod their head and connect with the storyteller and her message. That detailed knowledge of your audience, when they number in the 100s of thousands or millions can’t be one-on-one. You need to augment insight, tribal knowledge and hunches with concrete data about your audience, from basic demographics to specific sentiment and sensitivity around key issues.
Our speaker this month, Doug Barasch presented a riveting tale of how he uses these deep audience analytics and relevant content to engage his audience, and sell more music. Using tools like Facebook games where users are challenged to find 13 Zombie Cats on Rob Zombies Facebook page to unlock a new track from his latest album for free. Or asking fans to submit pictures of themselves with lyrics to Lenny Kravitz song “Are You Gonna Go My Way” to ultimately be chosen and incorporated into a music video showing only fan submitted pictures. Another great success was when Doug and his team at UMG created a cross channel campaign for KISS. They created a mobile app that enabled fans to contribute stories about their first KISS concert, first album or first song (and they got some doozies!). The app created an environment for the sharing of stories to users’ personal Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and email accounts driving traffic back to the app. The app lead to the discovery of the larger KISSS catalog of music, and across the board increase in sales. This is how Doug attracts and retains customers, and he’s not even paying for content because it is user submitted, and ultimately owned by UMG – brilliant.
Another key to Doug’s success is that he is brave. One of the biggest takeaways for the evening was to not be afraid to experiment. Creating content that fans are excited about is a very creative activity and not all campaigns are going to be earth shattering. But you won’t know until you try. Also, don’t forget to measure your results: Doug uses smart URL’s to track his audience’s every move. This ultimately tells him what’s working and what’s not. This process of marketing using content is an ongoing process that is a part of an overall marketing strategy. By consistently creating and curating relevant content one can keep the audience engaged and coming back for more, and ultimately lead them to convert, whatever you are selling.
Last night’s event was a success. We had a packed house, great food and drink, interesting conversation, networking and a very relevant talk provided by a professional in marketing. I don’t know of any better way to kick off the New Year from a career or professional perspective than this type of event. If you missed it, fear not. We will be doing these every first Tuesday of the month into perpetuity. That means, you can sign up here: http://www.meetup.com/Los-Angeles-Marketing-Analytics-Group and always be aware of our next event. Hope to see you at the next one.
Speaker: Doug Barasch is a Digital/Social Media Storyteller as well as Senior Director Digital Marketing and Strategy at Universal Music Group.
Author: Rob Lawrence is Business Development Representative in Southern California for eSage Group, President Elect 2014-15 for The American Marketing Association and Organizer of the monthly first Tuesday LA Marketing and Analytics Group.