In the second seminar that I attended today, titled, “Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Madison Avenue and the use of virtual networks to spread influence” the panelists, with entertainment industry backgrounds engaged in a discussion that essentially was a follow up of the previous seminar, “An Update From the Front Lines,” backed up with case studies from their own experiences. (I apologize for the shoddy collection of photos that I put together. I wasn’t able to take a photo at the time.) The panelists from left to right, clockwise, included:
Don Steele, Vice President, Digital Marketing, MTV Networks Entertainment Group
Chris Stephenson, CMO, Function (x)
Ron Faris, Head of Marketing, Virgin Mobile
Jamal Henderson, Senior Brand Manager, Pepsi Co.
Ron (Virgin Mobile) - Virgin Mobile re-branded themselves many years ago to garner a loyal audience, once they realized that targeting 14-year old kids with an affordable phone was in fact attracting a demographic of drug dealers and gangsters.
Be prepared for the holes in your marketing strategies
You have to be aware of the inherent risks in your marketing strategy, and have plans to mitigate these risks. Virgin had partnered with a non-profit and gave away free tickets to a charity concert to the first responders. Yet, what happened next, was something they were not prepared for. Once the tickets were claimed, fans desperate to get their hands on the tickets, began writing threatening messages on Virgin’s social media pages.
Keep your loyal audience close
Virgin keeps at hand, a list of 25 influential bloggers, who regularly receive perks from Virgin in exchange for coverage. The bloggers are not forced or pressured into writing anything that doesn’t fit with their style. Virgin likes to keep things organic.
Create an element of surprise for your fans
Virgin likes surprises. On the day of a Virgin Facebook follower’s birthday, Virgin will send the birthday girl/boy free perks, like free music, etc.
Chris (CMO Function(x)) – Chris worked at Interscope Records prior to co-founding Function(x). He finds that Hollywood artists are in tune with social media and are doing a damn great job at it. Today, artists understand the need for brands, while brands are beginning to understand the need for artists – a topic covered in the seminar from day 1, “Voices in the Head: The Songs That Inspire Advertising’s Top Minds.”
Don (MTV Networks) – Find out where your potential fans are hanging out online
With all the technology out there in the social media space, find out where the potential online fans are and capitalize on that social media platform.
Musebox analysis: If you’ve been on Twitter and Facebook, but have neglected Foursquare, despite the fact that you have potential to find fans on that medium, get on Foursquare, read tutorials and start socializing. There are no excuses.
What I also realized from Don’s talk was that with social media, it’s not about the hype that leads up to a single event, it’s now also about the discussion that follows. If you had a gig the other day, follow up the event with a discussion and keep the chatter going.
Jamal (Pepsi Co.) - Take advantage of the human desire for instant gratification
“Instant gratification is crazy.” If you ask someone to go to a gas station to pick up a reward using Foursquare, they will do it. Jamal found Foursquare, to be extremely effective.