“My whole philosophy is to broadcast the way a fan would broadcast.”
How many times have we been inundated on Facebook with “spray and pray” wall messages from “friends” promoting their music or tagged in photos and videos that bear no relevance to us? How many times have “Tweeple” tweeted us to watch music videos that we didn’t ask for and don’t have an interest in. It’s annoying isn’t it?
This happened to me recently (again) whereby I received a charming rock video that involved all kinds of torture, sex and death imagery (evident within the first ten seconds you could see where it was going … no major label deal for this band!). They were a follower of mine on Twitter. This video however, was unsolicited and not to my taste. Consequently, I blocked them.
Theoretically, we have permission so why do we find this kind of thing so irritating? Surely, by default, we are fans of our friends’ and followers’ musical endeavours? This got me curious why we feel this way and got me back onto a marketing strategy I am working on based on trust.
With our social networks opening further and further, our beloved Permission Marketing seems to be open to abuse and is becoming a precious thing. We have fooled ourselves into thinking that a connection via a social network gives us permission to promote to others when it hasn’t and doesn’t. Approval on a social network gives you permission to be social. It gives you permission to strike up rapport and then start a dialogue. You might then become better acquainted and form a relationship. When you know enough about the person concerned and have a friendship you might then move to promoting yourself. In the end, it feels a little like when you willingly pay a friend for the work they do for you and the work is of an exceptional standard because both parties care.
The reason we find unsolicited promotion via social networks so annoying is that it smacks of interruption marketing. What I mean by that is “commercials,” think radio, TV and press. In the early days, we used to find commercials irritating. They would come on in the middle of a film or programme we watching interrupting our reverie. Our professional commercials are now targeted entertainment. Therefore, a raw “watch my music video, come to my gig, listen to my track, buy my stuff” message saturating a newsfeed is much like the first round of commercials that came about when the first ad-funded TV stations emerged. It roughly shakes us out of any enjoyment we might be experiencing and demands that we do something for someone else we don’t know so well. As such, we might approach with caution.
Our true friends, however, know us; they know our tastes and preferences and respect them. We are open to what they have to offer as we share plenty in common with them and they will have our best interests at heart. In the spirit of preserving those relationships, they wouldn’t suggest anything to us that they suspect we wouldn’t like. When friends come to us with music they are a fan of it is because they are a raving fan of it. They love it and want to share the love with us.
This means that we are now in the firmly back realm of relationship marketing (we have been here before.) TV will soon be interactive - broadcast is over. Broadcast is “pushing one way” and this doesn’t nurture trust and is definitely not suited to a multi-way digital medium like the internet. The important thing to remember is that without trust there can be no relationship. Trust is our guarantee that a person will deliver to expectation. Without trust, there can in fact be no permission because if I lose trust in you I revoke my permission and I can help revoke the permission of existing fans and potential ones. I would do that because I care about my friends. Trust is an important component of the fan experience.
“Band - To – Fan,” simply is not enough … think about “Fan – To – Friend”. Fans already have their friends’ attention they don’t need to interrupt anyone. Fans have the ears of their friends. Fans have dialogue. Fans have formidable leverage.
Leena speaks all over the country on the subject of digital music business. Events regularly include University of Chester, University of Westminster, The Manchester College, London Metropolitan University, Croydon Council, Southwark Council and Portobello Business Centre. Leena also currently lectures at the University of East London.
Leena’s business “Positively Music “is a coaching business that helps the music industry create communities of raving fan customers. She is writing a new book called “The Fan Experience” focussed on the music fans’ growing role in the music business with the audio visual product and training courses to match.
Read more about Leena Sowambur at www.leenasowambur.com