Supporting local music
As you may be aware, one of Milk Street Marketing’s favorite clients to work with is Connie’s Ric Rac, a music venue located in the historic S. 9th Street Italian Market in South Philadelphia. We absolutely love the higher purpose of Philly’s quintessential small local music venue – helping independent original artists by giving them a stage on which to perform. Music venue marketing can be one of the most fun and rewarding projects, but it can also be one of the most challenging.
Done well, it’s a dank blend of branding, customer experience, social media, public relations, and strategic partnering.
Music Venue Marketing
When it comes to the ever so popular buzz word “content marketing”, one thing we don’t have to worry about is lack thereof. With events every night of the week, The Ric Rac certainly had a lot to talk about! With that in mind, one of the content items we promote heavily is the monthly calendar of events. Of course, it has it’s own real estate on the website, and we share it on social media as it is released at the end of the prior month. We even still use print. That’s right, we use print.
We hang a large format (22 x 34) full color print of the entire month’s calendar inside the venue, as well as in a display case on the front of the building. Smaller versions are printed at 11 x 17 for hanging in local coffee and music shops, and a larger quantity of 5 x 7 cards are produced for drops in those places as well. We had been doing this for about a year and half, and we started to wonder, “Do these things really work?” Is it really driving people into the venue to see shows? Maybe so, maybe not. But as good little marketers, it’s our job to know, and the only way to know is to test it with a tracking mechanism.
Don’t dare say QR code
What is this, 2011? Ok, we did consider using a QR code. We try to think of everything when we brainstorm ways to make our clients awesome. So, with tracking efficacy in mind, we asked ourselves, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if the post cards ______?”
We thought about adding a URL for a landing page to sign up for the mailing list. Then we had the idea that it might be awesome if you could use the postcard to get a free drink, or wait – even better yet, entry to the show! When it comes to music venue marketing, the more people at the show the more all parties involved benefit.
There will never be a way to determine if the cards were working before we implemented this tactic. However, moving forward we will be able to definitively apply an ROI to the amount of money spent on these printed items.
But how do we make it awesome?
Sure, we could have simply stated on the printed calendar card “Redeem this postcard for entry to a show.” Turns out this was a better idea! By incorporating what looks like an actual concert ticket, we created an innovative way of making sure the postcards are working effectively for Connie’s as a marketing tool. Furthermore, it’s perforated so that ticket can be removed and conveniently kept handy as a reference for the weekend shows they are redeemable for, which is laid out so that they are listed on the back (see below).
The initial response has been overwhelmingly positive, and it has quickly started paying dividends with three tickets being redeemed the first night. Three people who may not have come to the show otherwise. Three people who spend an average of $20 at the bar for a total of $60. If we’re spending $150 on postcards, we’re already well on our way to recouping that money in bar revenue. And it’s cool. It’s cool because no one else is doing music venue marketing like this.
We have a lot more awesome marketing in store for Connie’s this year, and we’ll be helping them make some big announcements. Stay tuned!
And go out and see some live original music! There’s so much talent in this city, and it’s not hard to find. Our friends over at Gashouse Radio are a great source to find out what’s going on each night in the Philly music scene.
Maybe I’ll see you out there one of these nights!