Saturday, 7 July 2012

4 genius marketing tricks the Stone Roses used to sell out their tours

4 genius marketing tricks the Stone Roses used to sell out their tours: by Jason Li 2012 ©

They sold out their tours in minutes...

How did they do it when?...

They’ve not made a product for years...

Or placed any ads in newspapers or magazines to promote their gigs?

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the Stone Roses reunion concert at Heaton Park in Manchester. It was amazing and to be fair, I was not sure what to expect when I got there.

All Stone Roses fans know that the lead singer Ian Brown is not famed for his vocals, and the band had fallen out quite badly in the past; so they had not played as a band for years. So was it going to work out was, I suppose, part of the anticipation and thrill of being there.

On top of all this, there were some marketing tactics employed which were pure the band!

1.       Create your own event to capture the market

If any of you have been to a big festival in a field in the middle of no-where, then you know that you’re expecting a different experience from that of seeing a concert in a theatre. So when I got there and saw the set up was more like a festival rather than inside a theatre or big tent I knew they had done something a bit different.

Let’s say the big festivals in the UK are Glastonbury or the V Festival as two examples, what they do is have a big stage with a few different bands playing until the main act comes on around 9pm or so. And guess what, the Stone Roses gig had a few acts playing all day on a big stage, with themselves as the headline act later at 9pm.

Now I went to the Sunday night showing. The Stone Roses also had back-to-back shows on the Friday and Saturday before I went, and the acts leading up to the Stone Roses were different to the ones I saw on Sunday. So in effect, they created their own weekend festival with them as the main act every night.

‘The Stone Roses made more money by holding their own weekend festival rather than being one act playing at a festival’

Genius idea: Now let’s see how you could do the same. Could you hold your own event which your business can profit? It could be anything like a networking event or a business event with your business as the main headline act?

2.       Karaoke singing with the masses

When the Stone Roses were playing there was a sea of people singing the words, a bit like a huge karaoke gathering. You could just make out the voice of the lead singer Ian Brown singing; but hey, even Ian knows not everyone is there to hear his angelic singing.

It doesn’t matter though. These are a hard core of fans that have travelled from all four corners of the earth to be there. So only dedicated fans would know the words and enjoy this event.

Genius idea: Can you create a dedicated following, your own herd or tribe. It doesn’t have to involve everyone. It just has to suit your target market.

3.       Use PR buzz first before paid for advertising

When a lot of the big acts like Coldplay or Madonna launch a tour they spend thousands on advertising. In London I have seen ads on posters at many tube stations. It must cost a heck of a lot of money. But hey, it suits me to look at their posters rather than trying to avoid eye contact with a meaty stranger.

For the Stone Roses, because it was such a big story, all they did was launch a story to the press when they reformed and were announcing the tour. Instantly this hit all the social media and journalists were announcing the information everywhere. The costs were minimal, the impact enormous.

Genius idea: Create a story that creates a huge buzz so that your business is the centre of attention.

4.       Bring out new album

Now you have all your fans actively back on board again. What’s the likely-hood of the fans getting friends on board to listen to the music and listen to how great they are? Yep, very much so; I can’t stop talking about them, I feel like a big kid. The only times I get this excited are when the big Champions League games with Barcelona football club are on ITV1.

As the Stone Roses are now signed up to create a third album, there is a ready market with existing fans. Additionally, as suggested above, the existing fans will convert new fans to start getting into them, and so add to their fan base. And most important of all, a new generation of music fans who never experienced the effect of the Stone Roses the first time around can now get a chance 20 or so years later.

Genius idea: Create more products to sell to your existing client base who will also sell your product with enthusiasm to prospects for you.

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