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4 min read

MAXtape Live with Luke Pierce

MAXtape Live with Luke Pierce

Welcome to the next episode of our MAXtape Live podcast!

In this episode of MAXtape Live, Craig Rector and Lindsay Benedetto sit down with Luke Pierce, Artist Manager at WORKS Entertainment, about best practices for collecting fan data and nurturing fan relationships, and how to go back into markets with the info artists have collected to increase pre-sales and ticket sales. The conversation highlights creative and unconventional ways artists can market their music and appeal to their fanbase with products that align with their interests.

Highlights from Luke Pierce

  • Gathering deeper insights on an artists fanbase to make unique/creative marketing decisions
  • Importance of moving fans through a marketing funnel, transitioning from social engagement to opt-in models like email and SMS
  • Strategies for fan engagement during live shows
  • Making a business case to help artists understand the long-term advantages of collecting fan data
  • Marketing best practices and "what not to do" post-show

Listen to the full episode below–and let us know if you’d like to be a guest on our show!

episode summary

Merchandising and Fan Engagement

Luke discusses Home Free's unique merchandise strategy, particularly the creation of limited edition Lego sets featuring band members. These sets were sold as merch and accompanied by a stop-motion video on YouTube for the song "Crazy Life."

Understanding An Artist’s Fanbase → Licensing Deals

Luke explains the predominantly female fanbase of Home Free, attributing it to the group's rugged charm and deep voices. The discussion delves into unique fan contributions like needlepoint and crocheted items. Luke shares insights about his ongoing licensing deal for "Woobles," DIY plush toys that fans assemble themselves. By understanding their fanbase’s interests (needlepoint and crochet), the team brokered a licensing deal with Woobles to bring their fans something they’d love and would drive revenue for the band. The conversation highlights the potential for creative social content and the anticipation of a successful launch around Black Friday.

SET.Live and Data Collection

Luke talks about SET.Live’s effectiveness in capturing first-party data during tours, sharing a case study where Home Free gathered significant email contacts during a Canadian tour. Luke discusses the importance of managing the stage and crowd, emphasizing the courtesy and etiquette involved in coordinating with other managers, ensuring alignment in using platforms. Additionally, he touches on the challenges artists may face in integrating SET.Live pitches during performances and how the initial resistance often gives way to positive results.

Building Fan Relationships and Ownership of Data

Luke believes that artists need to focus on moving fans through a marketing funnel, transitioning from social engagement to permission-based models like email or SMS signups. He expresses concerns about artists not owning their data and appreciates SET.Live as a tool to address this issue, ensuring a direct connection between artists and fans.

Overcoming Resistance to Audience Engagement Strategies

Luke addresses the resistance some artists have towards audience engagement strategies like SET.Live pitches. He acknowledges the initial discomfort artists might feel, especially when incorporating “salesy” elements into their performances. However, he highlights the instant benefits and the impact on fan engagement, emphasizing the importance of making a business case to help artists understand the long-term advantages.

Craig and Lindsay explore the challenge of communicating with artists about the discomfort associated with new strategies. Luke emphasizes the need for empathy, explaining the intersection of art and commerce. He emphasizes the importance of building fan relationships, framing it as a strategic execution of data infrastructure that serves the artist's business.

Utilizing Fan Data and Relationship Building

Luke delves into the practical aspects of utilizing fan data. He emphasizes the significance of nurturing fan relationships immediately after a show through personalized messages, content updates, and even exclusive offers. He discusses the use of tools like Klaviyo for email management and the strategic categorization of fans based on their interests to tailor communication effectively. Overall, the goal is to maintain ongoing engagement and strengthen the artist-fan relationship.

Luke emphasizes the importance of organizing fan information and tailoring communication strategies. He discusses the need for tools like customer relationship management programs (e.g., MailChimp, ConvertKit) to categorize fans based on interests, beyond simple demographics. Luke emphasizes the significance of expressing gratitude to fans and providing content tailored to their preferences. 

Progressive Profiling, Fan Insights, & Brand Partnerships

Lindsay introduces the concept of progressive profiling through their tool, SET.Fan. Progressive profiling involves sending micro-surveys to fans to understand their buying habits, interests, and preferences, allowing for targeted content creation. The conversation delves into using data to create unique fan experiences, such as partnering with brands that align with fan interests, demonstrated through an example involving Harley Davidson.

Craig and Luke elaborate on the role of fan data in securing brand partnerships. Luke shares a case where SET.Fan data played a crucial role in forming a brand partnership with Harley Davidson. The conversation emphasizes the importance of providing precise data and targeting information to brand teams, making a compelling case for partnerships and demonstrating the value artists bring to potential sponsors.

Broadening Audience Reach and Discoverability

Luke discusses the potential limitations of relying solely on affinity audiences and advocates for a strategy that goes beyond targeting similar audiences. He suggests exploring specific fan interests to broaden the audience base and increase discoverability. The conversation touches on the role of SET.Fan in obtaining insights that lead to creating content appealing to diverse interests, ultimately growing the fan base.

Diversifying Marketing Strategies for Longevity

The discussion shifts to the importance of diversifying marketing strategies for sustained success in an artist's career. Lindsay stresses the need for a multifaceted approach, incorporating email, text messages, and social media. The conversation emphasizes the value of having diverse tools and opportunities to build a robust and enduring career for artists.

Memorable Concert Experiences

Luke shares his first concert experience, attending Boys II Men at a young age. He also recounts a later concert experience with Coldplay during their X and Y tour, which deeply influenced his interest in live music production. The conversation concludes with Luke expressing his admiration for Jason Isbell's performances at the Ryman and other memorable shows, showcasing his diverse taste in music.

Artists and Performances at The Sphere in Vegas

In this segment, the conversation revolves around the unique venue, The Sphere, in Las Vegas, and the discussion centers on which artists the participants would like to see perform there. Luke expresses a keen interest in the band Tool, citing their impressive stage production, visuals, and the overall experience. The conversation broadens to include other artists such as U2, Bruno Mars, Anderson Paak (Silk Sonic), and Taylor Swift. Craig shares his desire to have seen Prince perform in such an innovative space.

Wrapping Up

The hosts express their appreciation for Luke’s insights and contributions to the marketing and music industry. They commend his approach to creativity and strategic thinking, acknowledging the impact he has had on their internal discussions and target audience considerations. Luke reciprocates the appreciation and emphasizes the value of the collaboration between his team and the hosts' company, expressing gratitude for the support and tools provided.

About Luke Pierce

Headshot - Luke PierceLuke Pierce is a seasoned music executive at WORKS Entertainment, where he does amazing things with amazing people.

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