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Beggars Group's Jo Morris Talks Indie Labels, Messenger Bots [INTERVIEW]

1In this Q&A style interview, Jo Morris talks about their work at Beggars Group, a group of labels including 4AD, Matador, and Rough Trade, as well as their work with messenger bots and how artists can use messenger bots in their digital marketing strategy.

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Guest post by Veselina Gerova of The Message

Behind The Artist is a Q&A style interview series featuring the people behind the artists; the marketing heroes you don’t hear about that often. They are the ones who help artists build a brand and a strong online presence. We decided to approach these marketing gurus and ask them all about their thoughts on online branding for artists, bots and strategies. They share their thoughts, expertise and their vision for the future.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I’ve worked at various record labels over the years but have now been at Beggars for nearly 20 years. Started with mainly dance labels but brought into the Beggars fold with Mo’Wax.

Also, can you tell us a bit about the company you work for, Beggars Group?

Beggars started in the 70s and comprises of 5 Independent labels now (4ADMatadorRough TradeXL and Young Turks). They have a great back catalogue to boot with the likes of The Pixies to The Prodigy. All the labels are very artist driven, helping to nurture and grow their artists.

What is your position there?

Senior Marketing Manager looking after all the labels.

2You’ve managed digital campaigns for XL, Matador, Rough Trade, Young Turks and 4AD artists. How important do you think it is for musicians to reach fans and connect with them directly online?

Incredibly important if you think about how music is consumed these days. For artists starting out, creating a fanbase is paramount. Once you have that fan base, content is key to keep them engaged with you.

Is it important for musicians these days to be innovative when it comes to technology? If so, why?

I’m not sure that musicians need to be innovative all the time, if a great idea comes along that’s ground breaking then so be it.

We should all embrace new technologies as you don’t want to be left behind. In a lot of cases bands embracing new technologies from the get go have had a lot more visibility.

What can musicians use a Messenger bot for?

Reaching their audience in a personalized way and engaging with them on a one-to-one basis rather than a post that goes out to the masses. Nobody wants to see the same posts appearing across all platforms.

Exclusive content that the fans can interact with. They are basic mini websites — release information, merch, tickets can all be incorporated within them.

How do Messenger bots differ from social media posts in your opinion?

There is more interaction and direct response than from a social post however there is a place for both.

Do you think a Messenger bot can help with one’s brand building? If so, why/how?

As long as you are delivering value to the consumer.

They can be a great benefit and are an intimate way of creating a loyal fanbase.

What do you think the future of Messenger bots will look like?

That’s a difficult one. I guess more AI-led, will they become the new apps? The more they learn, the better they become to use. More real time engagement.

You can follow Jo on Twitter here.


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