Features August 13, 2018

Inside the ever-changing world of marketing tours

Former Staff Writer
Inside the ever-changing world of marketing tours

The teams behind the industry never stop. For every record-breaking tour that hits Australian shores, there’s another development in marketing trends that make the whole process easier, more streamlined and more profitable.

TMN sat down with those people behind the tours to discover how management and marketing are adapting to create a new generation of touring.

Artist Manager and president, John Watson, outlines the traditional role that a manager plays in their artist’s tours.

“Firstly management works with the artist to conceive the strategy behind the tour. We address questions such as: Why are you playing? Where are you playing? Who are you playing with? What marketing and promotion ideas can drive ticket sales?” Watson told TMN.

Ensuring that these marketing and promotion ideas actually produce results is where Samantha Leighton, account director for one-stop-tour-shop JadenLIVE, comes into play.

“JadenLIVE was born when we noticed a gap in the market for a full-service marketing agency, one where we work really closely with promoters and managers to get the most out of their money and sell more tickets,” Leighton said.

Lack of prep where cash and marketing are concerned is one of the biggest holes an artist or band call fall on when planning to hit the road, says Watson.

“People pick venues and ticket prices out of thin air, then a few months later they’re shocked to discover they sold all the tickets but they still lost money!”

Having one team working specifically for the tour is a way that Leighton sees JadenLIVE maximise the money that’s funnelled into a run while also providing a beneficial option to traditional tour marketing.

“We want to reach the consumer at all of the different stages of their day across all forms of media.

“By having one team working across all of this makes for a more seamless execution of strategy – you know, right hand talking to the left, that kind of thing we know means for better results!” Leighton said.

Leighton says that having that dedicated team not only streamlines the process but gives promoters, managers and artists valuable piece of mind.

“You’re getting a team dedicated to getting the job done right and spending the client’s money like they would their own.

“We know the marketing options are endless if the coffers are always full but it is what you do with the money you are given that counts,” said Leighton.

Both Leighton and Watson are in agreement in what makes for a successful tour.

“You need to only work with quality people in all areas. If you have a great team you’ll cope with all the inevitable curveballs that touring can throw at you but if you don’t have a great team you’ll waste a lot of time and money,” explained Watson.

“I think having the right people working with you, being organised, not leaving things to the last minute and talking to your target audience in the right tone helps immensely,” Leighton agreed.

Despite it being a gruelling task at times (“In the pre-smartphone era, I remember driving frantically around a tiny country town chasing wheatgrass juice because a client needed it at the time!” laughs John) both Watson and Leighton agree that the payoff more than makes up for the work.

“I love working in an industry that’s sole purpose is to entertain people,” begins Leighton.

“When you see the excitement of a crowd when the artist/band/comedian/dancer/performer takes the stage it is very satisfying.”

Watson, on the other hand, treasures specific memories of being a part of an artist’s tour.

“I tend to remember individual shows more than whole tours,” said Watson.

“A quarter of a million people singing along with Silverchair at Rock In Rio, a rowdy Cairns crowd lifting the roof off a bigtop tent for Cold Chisel and Missy Higgins drawing 18,000 people to Centennial Park when just 18 months earlier she’d been playing to 100 people in a Newtown pub.”

To cement these sterling memories takes an unimaginable amount of hard work, but as Leighton maintains, the industry is taking steps for the betterment of artists, their teams and the fans that follow them.

“You are always part of a bigger team and generally successful outcomes are reached when this team is on the same page from the get-go. That’s what JadenLIVE is all about, working together to reach an ultimate goal and to change the way tours are produced for the better.”

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