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Michelle Brook Of Sour Mash, Ignition Records Talks Industry, Marketing Strategies [INTERVIEW]

1In this interview Michelle Brook, the digital manager at Ignition Records talks about her work in the industry, and share her opinions and experiences on the value of marketing using messenger bots, and where such types of technology might be headed in the future.

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Guest post by Veselina Gerova of The Message

Messenger bots, marketing strategies & the music industry

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’m the Digital Manager at Ignition Records. Prior to my role at Ignition I was at Universal and Sony doing domestic and international digital marketing. Before I decided to work in digital marketing, I’ve had roles in artist management, press and live, so it’s been quite a varied trip so far!

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

Ignition is an independent record label and artist management company.

What is your position there?

My role as digital manager is broadly speaking, a digital campaign manager for our artists on Ignition Records (including CourteenersThe CoralPrimal ScreamPeace), as well as Big Brother Recordings (Oasis) and Sour Mash Records (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds). I also work with the artist management team on an ad hoc basis, but primarily around live and ticketing (Catfish and the BottlemenSuper Furry AnimalsAmy Macdonald)

Noel Gallagher

You’ve worked with some pretty impressive artists. How important do you think it is for musicians to reach and connect with their fans directly online?

Obviously content directly from an artist performs extremely well but I wouldn’t want an artist to make themselves more available publicly than what they feel comfortable with. I think a significant aspect of my role is to amplify the artist’s voice, make sure that the fanbase knows what the artist is up to and how they can be part of it.

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

Well, if it’s something that is true to the artist themselves, then of course it’s important, but I’m adverse to innovation for the sake of innovation in digital marketing if it diverts resource from optimizing core aspects of digital marketing.

Speaking of innovation, there has been quite some hype around messaging. Messenger has also been used to promote Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. How do you think having engaging through Messenger has affected his social media presence?

I think the Messenger bot has worked well for the NGHFB campaign, as part of a bigger digital strategy. Our objective with the bot was to make sure that the news of the Noel’s third album ‘Who Built The Moon?’ cut through to the fans and bypassed the newsfeed and ad spaces.

Noel Gallagher has nearly a million Facebook followers, and whilst we have always kept an active Facebook page even out of campaign cycle we wanted to have an easy to access resource for fans to find out where to listen to the album and where to catch Noel on his 2018 world tour.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

What can musicians use Messenger for?

We use it for a one stop shop for information about the campaign, so fans can check out our bot and enjoy watching or reading Noel’s latest interviews, listening to the album, buying live tickets or listening to the latest playlist.

How does Messenger differ from traditional social media posts in your opinion?

Unlike social media posts we know that the fans engaging with on Messenger have sought out the information and are engaged with the campaign so we’ve seen really positive comments and feedback from the fans.

What are the marketing advantages for artists of using Messenger?

It’s a cost effective and easily updated way of directly contacting or reactivating fans in our community.

Do you think a Messenger bot can help with one’s brand building?

I think it’s a positive tool as it enables fans to get the latest information in a clear, direct and timely fashion.

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

I think Messenger will be a useful tool for customer service for brands and retailers and a useful point of contact for music fans to quickly find the latest information.

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