When it comes to marketing, some things are obvious: Twitter is important. Facebook is more important (at least so far). Holding onto those “follows” and “likes” are important. And authentic consumer relationships? Those are important too. But once you establish these generally accepted ideals, how do you use them to build your marketing strategy? Panelists at the paidContent Entertainment conference explored at a panel moderated by paidContent staff writer David Kaplan.
Facebook as the platform for consumer relationships: No one denied the value of establishing a Facebook fan base. But Dan Pelson, EVP, global “direct to consumer” operations, Sony (NYSE: SNE) Music Entertainment and Jay Samit, CEO, SocialVibe clashed with regards to how valuable it ultimately is. Samit said, “Once you have a fan page, you have the ability to reach out forever unless they un-like you. It becomes stale over time but the likelihood anyone will leave Facebook soon is slim.” But Pelson says, “At the end of the day, it’s Facebook who owns that customer.”
The importance of being honest: Courtney Holt, COO, Maker Studios says the more consumer data you have, the better. But it needs to be a direct relationship with your consumers — the more intermediaries you have, the less authentic your relationship becomes. As a result, anything based on social distribution needs to be authentic. Bryan Perez, president, digital and ticketing, Media, AEG adds that it ultimately boils down to trust; it’s not about the phone, e-mail, Twitter, etc.”
Referring to social media, Pelson said having a team of community managers works, but for brands. It’s more difficult to tweet on behalf of another human being, which is why it’s so rarely done, if ever. “A lot of the younger artists who are becoming very famous do it themselves because they don’t want anyone else touching it.”
How do you establish the relationship? Samit raved about the value of reaching your exact audience, citing a study Disney (NYSE: DIS) recently did on its ticket sales as they were advertised across various platforms. It found 64 percent of people who saw the particular ad bought tickets. Thus, he said, “You don’t have to own the specific vehicles as long as you know which ones they are.” When asked how to latch onto those specific vehicles, which ones are key, Pelson said, “In terms of being able to monetize a tweet, it’s lower on the food chain than Facebook.” Holt says connecting those dots are difficult because people can be lazy. A challenge is finding the passionate fans, the ones so gung-ho about a product, they record themselves un-boxing it.
Why the concert ticket business still sucks: “The whole ticket thing is so screwed up,” Perez put it bluntly. “It’s 2011 and it’s essentially the same buying process as in the 1970s. You line up at the record store — but at least back then it was like a party. Now, everyone shows up at the store at 10 a.m. on a Saturday; there’s no party. We need to change that. The second we announce the show, people already know whether they’re interested. Why not package this in a better way?”
Perez also proposed an interesting idea: the digital shoebox. “No one’s cracked the code on the post-event experience. Where is the digital shoebox that has ticket stubs, photos, and connects you with the people you were with?”
Possible lessons from the upcoming election: Samit says the upcoming presidential campaign will prove an interesting lesson for social media and marketing. “I think we’re going to learn a lot about what brands should be doing. They won’t have 10 years to make it as a rockstar, or 100 years to make it as a cola. You have 11 months or you don’t get the job.”