Heart & Soul
Faced with increasing opt-outs and declining response rates, it can be easy for direct marketing professionals to lose heart. But not the team at Los Angeles-based Live Nation, a promoter of live concerts, music venues and festivals, owner of the House of Blues brand and operator of the Web’s largest concert search engine. Listening to the company’s Vice President of Direct Marketing Bob Frady speak about marketing activities, you get the distinct impression that “heart” drives everything Live Nation does.
“We’re not just spreadsheet jockeys; we love our product and are excited about what we sell,” says Frady. “We try to transfer our love of music and the concert experience to the customer.”
This unbridled enthusiasm—combined with sophisticated segmentation and practices that put the customer first—fuels a robust direct marketing program. Frady expects Live Nation to send out more than 8,000 campaigns for the whole of 2007, encompassing 500 million e-mail messages in 40 different U.S. markets. As a result of these efforts, the company has built a thriving customer database, increased revenue by 143 percent over 2006 and, importantly, learned some valuable lessons about cultivating relationships with today’s discriminating consumers.
Providing a Service
One of the most striking aspects of Live Nation’s direct marketing program also is one of its simplest: a genuine desire to provide the information customers want in a time frame that is useful to them.
Frady knows from personal experience that nothing is more frustrating to music lovers than missing an opportunity to see a favorite artist or band in concert because of inadequate communication. “My favorite band is the Smithereens,” he elaborates. “They were in town for a show put on by another promoter about a month ago, and I didn’t find out until I read about it in the newspaper the day after the show. That’s what we’re trying to prevent. We want to let fans know when their favorite artists are coming to town and then get them stoked.”