I was in Boston this summer and had the chance to go see a Michael Franti concert. I have to be honest and had never heard of him until a friend mentioned she had tickets, but either way, I was excited. I love live music – even if I don’t know the band. Just a few weeks ago, I was able to join a friend to go see a Paramore concert. I generally don’t listen to Paramore but again, I love live music so I said sure.
I ended up having a great time at both concerts and really enjoyed both of their performances. Michael and Hayley have great stage presence but one thing separated them from other concerts I’ve been to recently. They both have the natural (or maybe just worked on talent) of fully engaging the concert go-er. Michael walked through the main stage audience playing his guitar and then disappeared for a minute or two only to be found on the third level of the concert venue standing, playing his guitar and singing beside a bunch of unexpected fans. As soon as the song was over, he disappeared again only to be found on the second level standing and singing beside other non expecting fans. At the end of the concert, he called up a bunch of folks to the stage and sang with them – yes, with them, not at them. He actually gave the microphone to a bunch of the kids that were on stage. Towards the end of the Paramore concert, Hayley called up to stage fans that had created their own personal signs. Like Michael, she had them sing on stage with her. How could those kids/adults not go back to school/work the next day and tell all their friends? Word of mouth marketing at the finest!
When concert tickets now range between $50 and $75 a piece (and those are the cheap tickets), folks are more selective about what they want to see. And, once they do commit to a show, they want it to be worth their while. Just like companies, artists need to be able to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. It may be with the music and the lyrics but in a consumer based industry such as music, it’s even more important to connect directly with the end user.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies forget this part but it can be easier than you think. I’ve written before about one company in which the sales person sends me personal notes and emails every now and then to let me know of sales or see if there’s anything else I need. Tech companies can easily do this with great account management – either on the Sales side, or via customer service or customer program. Sometimes when there’s not a lot of difference between a group of vendors, it’s the personal relationship that will win deals.
What personal element are you giving your customers?