Live & Touring

On The Road With DJ Shadow Part 5 – Marketing Successes On Tour And How They Achieved Them

Michael Fiebach is the Project, Marketing & Merchandise Manager for DJ Shadow. As they've toured North America, Hypebot readers have gotten an exclusive look inside how they market and stay connected to fans. (Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, & Part 4)

image from Touring with DJ Shadow throughout North America has been an amazing experience. Now that I have had 5 days to hang out with my family for Thanksgiving, and reflect a bit on the tour, I have a good perspective on the successes of the tour; what worked, and what I can improve upon. Although this was my fourth tour, this time I feel that I learned so much about fans, and the touring business in general. In terms of marketing, merchandising, and the actual show itself, our approach was much more comprehensive on this tour, than ever before, and we came away with a lot of insight.

Looking back on the tour, we came up with a great way to present products, and innovative ways to handle transactions, and methods for obtaining customer/fan information. Without revealing any exact numbers, I can say that we did VERY well with email acquisition, via email sign up sheets, the SMS campaign, and the iPhone app. Of these 3 approaches, the old fashioned pen and paper brought in the best results BY FAR; so don't abandon simple old school techniques!

Marketing DJ Shadow

The iPhone app/Fan photo campaign went better than any of us expected. There are some amazing photos from the shows, you can see them at – click on the Tour Archive to select specific shows from the past 2 tours.

The promotions utilizing geo-targeted marketing via the iPhone app and Facebook were extremely effective. We had a great turn-out with walk-up ticket purchases, and I think that these specific marketing methods had a lot to do with driving many of those sales.

Sales on the Top Spin powered mobile store were slow to start, but then they began to pick up as the tour went on. We ended up doing a little bit of business, which is a nice bonus to the Tour and Web sales. I think the mobile-commerce world has a lot of developing to do before a lot of people are tapping glass screens on-the-go to buy tee shirts, but it is increasing, and I believe this will continue. We also added iTunes "Buy" links next to the music tracks within the app, and I expect sales on iTunes to pick up (although we still encourage people to buy downloads direct from us at as much as possible… We have no option within the iPhone app- the only way to deliver the downloads within the app is via iTunes… at least for now).

Those little buttons (pins) that say "I Saw The Shadowsphere (city name, date)," were a huge hit. The first 50 people at each show got them, and pretty much every person that got one, was very happy to receive the free little gift. Go above and beyond for your die hard fans, it is worth it.

The Merchandising Approach (see post #4-, was the right way to go about things, and the sales were impressive. We sold way more merchandise than we predicted, which is always a good problem. The merchandise sales success brought about a lot of last minute tee shirt printing, and drop-shipping. Luckily there were no missed parcels, and everything went smoothly.

30% of the total merchandise business was via the Square that we used, with an iPad for accepting credit cards; this was a great success.

Back To The Drawing Board

Now it's time to get back to my regular grind: running, his online operation, bringing in new business for wholesale music releases and merchandise, and helping Shadow and Jamal with anything and everything regarding the business. Shadow is back to the studio to finish out his next major album release, which is due in the Spring/Summer. From what I have heard so far, I think that this will be yet another cutting-edge DJ Shadow release!

Another big part of the next 5 months for me, will be figuring out how we can release new content online, and some new ways to package and release new music and merchandise. I am sure we will come up with some interesting ideas… we always do (at least in my opinion). I am very excited for 2011, I think it will be a great year for DJ Shadow. Please stay tuned for all new DJ Shadow content at

I do have to say, it's nice to be home after more than a month on the road!

We are putting together a Tour Video, with some behind the scenes footage and interviews; stay tuned for that final installment here on Hypebot.

Thanks to Bruce Houghton, and the team at Hypebot for hosting this exclusive Blog series. It has been fun!

I want to thank the crew that I had the privilege of working with this time around:

  • Josh Davis, DJ Shadow
  • Michelle Plushanski, Tour Manager
  • Ben Stokes, Visuals
  • Mike Dorrie, Projection
  • Luke Boegel, Soundman/Stage Manager
  • Mike Stook, Driver

And as always, I thoroughly enjoy working with Shadow's manager, Jamal Chalabi.

Thanks again for reading!

Michael Fiebach

DJ Shadow on Twitter: @djshadow

Me on Twitter: @mfiebach

More: (Post #1, Post #2, and Post #3, Post #4)

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