Heart & Soul
Listen and Learn
As one might expect from a company in the entertainment business, intensive consumer research is vital to Live Nation’s long-term strategic planning. But listening to what customers have to say isn’t merely an exercise in product development. Frady says Live Nation’s strong commitment to research also generates important findings pertaining to the company’s marketing.
For example, a recent survey found that customers wanted to proactively tell Live Nation which bands and geographic areas they want to receive communications about. This prompted the company to build an online preference center, which was unveiled in November.
“Now you can go and type in the bands that you want to see or pick different areas of the country that you want to get information for,” Frady says. “Let’s say you travel to San Francisco a lot and you live in Dallas, but you want to get the San Francisco calendar. You can sign up for that.”
When constructing its preference center, Live Nation took into consideration trends in music media consumption and tapped into the latest technologies to make the resource as easy for customers to use as possible.
“You can bring in data from your iPod,” Frady explains. “Your iTunes has a library file, which is a list of the artists that are in your iPod. [Our preference center] scans it and matches it to our database to find out which of your favorite artists are already in our database. You then have the option of including them or excluding them.”
In addition, the new preference center gives customers more options for managing their Live Nation e-marketing subscriptions. For the first time, customers can opt out of specific communications as opposed to having to opt out of everything to reduce contact frequency or type, something Frady views as a normal—even an acceptable—part of the direct marketing game.