What Marketers Can Learn From Phish

AlpineAnyone that knows me knows that I am a die-hard Phish fan. For those of you who don’t know the band, you’re probably wondering what genre of music the band plays. Rap? Rock? Alternative? The thing is you can’t really place Phish in a particular genre.  With an arsenal of songs ranging from rock all the way to bluegrass—they even have barbershop quartet-style songs—Phish is a musical jack-of-all-trades. 

In fact, that’s the beauty of the band: They have something for everyone.

So what makes this unconventional band thrive besides its wide range of songs? Well, to start, they don’t follow the music industry norms; they don’t rely on album sales or hit singles. The band has their own way of doing things. In fact, people might even argue that they are popular for all the right reasons.

For example, Phish doesn’t rely on gimmicks to produce revenue. The band makes the majority of its money touring the country playing music.

Ever since the band got back together in 2009, they have toured the country every summer, this time adopting new marketing strategies, particularly the use of social media. Follow them on Twitter and you’ll be informed when a new show is available for download.  ‘Like’ them on Facebook, and you’ll find behind the scenes pictures taken by the band. Fans like to think they all belong to one big ‘Phamily,’ and they certainly do.

Businesses today can learn a thing or two from Phish on ways to engage with consumers and build a loyal following. Below are some tips on how to engage consumers through social media:

  1. Know your audience: Most businesses think that they know who their target market is, but most really don’t. Do your research to find out what your target audience likes and dislikes. What’s more, determine where they spend most of their time. Do they prefer Facebook over Twitter? Once you’ve narrowed down the details, you can start connecting with consumers.
  1. Open your ears: Social media is a two-way street. To be successful, you have to be a good listener believe it or not. Respond in a timely manner when a consumer asks a question or posts a comment.Prior to Phish’s 2014 Summer Tour opener, bassist Mike Gordon responded to a fan’s question on Twitter as to what they were going to play that night. The fan was obviously happy he responded. In this light, engaging with your fans makes them feel valued and connected.
  1. Keep the content flowing: Provide your consumers with something to talk about. Whether it’s promoting your latest event or product release, your audience wants to hear from you. But remember: Content should be valuable, entertaining and informative.

While every company should follow their own path, the tips above are a great place to start. Do you have any expert tips you want to share? Tell us in the comments below!