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What Is SoLoMo Marketing? And Why It's Time To Start Doing It

SolomoBy Brandon Chiat, co-founder, Marquee a live music discovery and rewards application.

There’s a new buzzword being thrown around by marketing teams. SoLoMo, which stands for Social-Local-Mobile, refers to the integration of social, location-based, and mobile marketing tools into new customer acquisition platforms.

Most everyone is familiar with the common SoLoMo platforms like Foursquare and Groupon. What you may not be familiar with is how these tools are strengthening the bond between fans and their favorite artists, venues and events.

The fact is SoLoMo is much more than a buzzword, it’s an opportunity for the live music industry and its fans. Fans are sharing their opinions on everything from show reviews to future tour dates. Artists and their teams are using this information to create customized experiences that encourage fans to show up to their next gig or generate buzz for an album release.

SoLoMo is an extension of hyperlocal search, the now outdated digital marketing strategy that was based on PC users’ local business searches – in our case, local venues and the artists gigging there.

Social-Local-Mobile search relies on a smartphone’s real-time location to provide the user with a stream of information based on their location and interests. This information is gathered mainly from social chatter.


Most music professionals already have the social component to of their SoLoMo search campaign up-and-running.

These are social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, which allow independent artists, managers, promoters and venues to communicate directly with their fans. The live music industry already relies on social networks to deliver invaluable qualitative information from the fanbase and this information directly influences many business decisions.

Artists have already experimented with Facebook contests, offering guestlist spots at shows or merchandise giveaways in return for a fan liking or sharing a message. This reciprocal relationship is the foundation of SoLoMo marketing campaigns.


Music industry professionals are tracking the real-time location of their fans (based on the geo-location of their fans’ smartphones) then targeting important announcements and offers based on that information. In the past, artists and venues could only offer such targeted content if their fans provided their contact information manually, on a mailing list for example.

Now fans are using mobile apps like Marquee to automatically notify artists and venues of their location. For example, location-based marketing allows venues to keep fans within a given-radius informed of available tickets to upcoming shows, and artists to reward loyal fans for their continued support. Through tools like “check-ins,” artists and venues gain insights into exactly which shows their fans are attending then set up incentivized loyalty campaigns to keep them coming out.

Because of this, fans have become accustomed to discounts and offers customized exclusively for them. In response, mobile marketing platforms make it possible to track and store each fan’s concert history, which is incredibly useful when deciding where to route tours or promote events.

In particular, venues are creating location-based “hot spots” that attract fans in close proximity and are creating dynamic offers, such as discounted tickets or bar tabs, to those fans who have demonstrated support.


Fans have always craved these highly-personalized experiences and with the advent of geo-fencing technology, the mobile platform can deliver those experiences. In this sense, highly-targeted SoLoMo campaigns fit seamlessly into the cultural communities that form naturally around artists and venues.

These campaigns bridge the gap between the social-chatter and interactions of the digital world and the tangibility of the real-world.

Music fans are motivated by an intrinsic longing to be accepted into this community by their peers and engaged by the community’s leaders – in this case the artist, promoter or venue. Mobile fits into this exchange by allowing artists to recognize their fans’ loyalty through shout-outs on social media and reinforce these communal bonds with tangible incentives. These incentives are earned through the digital world (on mobile apps and social media) and delivered in the real-world.

Mobile technologies have evolved to the point where music industry professionals can not only circulate their messages, but also ensure a highly personalized experience for each and every fan. We’re seeing a confluence of psychological, social, and business needs complement each other in an almost “perfect storm” of fan engagement all delivered on mobile platforms through applications like Marquee.