The Ryan Montbleau Band is an amazing up-and-coming group that knows how to use Marketing 2.0 to build a fan base and sell tickets and music, with almost no money for marketing. Here are 10 Marketing 2.0 lessons from the band for all marketers:
- Love what you do: passion is the center of marketing and propels all tactical components. The greater the passion, the more powerful the marketing.
2. Listen to your customers (fans): Ryan Montbleau hung out after a recent performance, talking, signing t-shirts, and genuinely connecting with fans in the lobby. I had a great conversation with him about some of his lyrics and how he’s so come to be so wise at such a young age. (Which goes back to listening and passion again; he’s in the world.)
3. Make it easy for people to help you: The band makes it easy for people to act as word of mouth advocates, inviting anyone interested to join the Bleau Crew, their street team community.
“What is the Bleau Crew, you ask? We’re a community of fans that do our best to help the band on the road, giving them time to do what they do best: make music! Projects include postering for local shows, handing out handbills, posting banners on our Myspace pages, adding new songs to our profiles, and more! Benefits include free tickets, music, and being part of something truly special. We also get personal teleporters. Awesome, I know.”
4. Go where your fans are online: (Which also makes it easy to help you again.) The band doesn’t just rely on its site or a social network. They’re all the places their fans — and potential fans are — MySpace, FaceBook, Flickr, even a simple message board community aptly named Bleauboards that is thriving.
5. Reveal your points of view and personal stories so people can connect with people in band, not just band. You get a sense of the artist and person Ryan is through his blog, and you get to know all the band members through their quirky profiles. (I especially love band member Ted Wilson’s profile — and that the other members welcomed someone like him.)
6. Keep “old” marketing tactics that work: Want to stay in touch through email? Montbleau also offers a newsletter.
7. Say thank you: When a recent tee-shirt order arrived there was a a handwritten note on the order form, thanking me for supporting the band. Small touches grow fans.
8. Be distinctive, even if people can’t categorize you. Old marketing was that you had to fit into an established category or create a new category. Yet too often trying to fit in to a category blands down the product or service. In today’s super-competitive world, distinctiveness can be a powerful differentiator. So what kind of music is Montbleau? He describes himself as “something of a Martin Sexton by way of Van Morrsion and Stevie Wonder.”
9. Give away free “products”: Giving away free stuff helps people experience the “product,” have something to share as they pass along word of mouth, and builds fan-dom. You can download for free one of the band’s most popular songs, “How Many Times,” as well as tour posters and handbills. The band is also contributing 50 cents from each ticket to Rock The Earth, and contributing 50 cents from each ticket to HeadCount’s “Cents for Sense” campaign until the 2008 presidential election.
10. Make it easy to buy: The band makes it easy to buy music whether it’s on their site or on MySpace, and you can buy concert tickets right on their site.
One of my favorite lyrics from Ryan’s music is:
“It’s time to ease from concentration to focus.”
This is true for so many things in life, and relevant to marketing. It’s time we stop concentrating on the tactics and tools, and flip our focus on earning customers with all the new 2.0 tools.
PS — Montbleau won second prize in the 2007 International Songwriter’s Competition, competing with 15,000 songs written by amateur and professional songwriters from over 100 countries.