Today Spike blogs about a new promotion by the band KMFDM where the band is asking its fans to call into a hotline and tell them what the band means to them. KMFDM will take some of the messages and make them part of their next album. So the fans have a chance to literally become part of the band's music.
Spike then asks the question: "Why are bands so far ahead of the rest when it comes to engaging their fans?"
This one is easy to answer, because the bands ARE the fans. Spike mentions that one of Brains on Fire's other writers, Justin, is a fan of KMFDM's music. Guess what? KMFDM is also a fan of their music. So the band and Justin belong to the same community of fans of KMFDM's music.
I'll defer again to a quote from Creating Customer Evangelists on why reaching out to 'fans' is so important: "They know your target audience better than you because they are the target audience."
KMFDM is part of their target market, their fans.
This is why I continually harp on how important it is for companies to find ways to join their communities of customers. Being able to match your wants and needs directly to those of your customers is terribly powerful and gives your company a huge advantage over your competition.
And you don't have to be a band to reach out to and join your fans. Willie Davidson, grandson of one of the co-founders of Harley-Davidson was once asked if the company did any market research to determine their customers' wants and needs. "Oh sure" answered Willie, "we stay in constant contact with our customers. We ride with them all the time."
The Viral Garden, Marketing, Music Marketing, KMFDM
Great point, Mack. I guess the difference between the terms "customer" and "fan" are too much to overcome for some companies. I guess the cultures are different with bands as well - and their isn't all that red tape BS.
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