Digital Marketing: 3 Things Dave Matthews Band Can Teach Us

people at concert

Tuesday, December 18th was a big day for me in my digital marketing career. I turned 25, attended AMADC’s panel discussion on digital marketing  for non-profits, and topped the evening off with the Dave Matthews Band (DMB) concert at first Mariner Arena in Baltimore.

Rock Concert Pic

Digital Marketing and the Dave Matthews Band

I’m a huge DMB fan. Every time the band comes around the area, I make a point to attend his concerts. I would have to say that last night was probably one of the best DMB shows I’ve ever been to. In the midst of this awesome rock ‘n roll fest, I took a look around and noticed something about the audience. Every single member was wrapped in the music; singing, dancing or swaying, and completely delighted by the melodies coming from the stage. That’s when I realized: Dave Matthews Band knows their audience. They know what we expect from them, partly because of their reputation as a jam band, but (and I know this from personal experience) truly because they deliver to their audience 150% at every single concert.

There was one other point  in the evening where DMB had played for 10 minutes on one of their well-known jam sessions, and I was mesmerized by the perfect flow of the band as a whole. It dawned on me that they have to know each other in and out to play together like that. The band has to have one goal, one mission, one focus at all times to play so perfectly in sync. And then I realized: Dave Matthews Band knows WHY they do what they do. And they know HOW to bring it to life.

Interestingly, these 3 things are also the key points that I walked away with from the Digital Marketing Discussion. It was a pleasure to hear from Amy Demaria of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), Brendan Hurley of Goodwill, Craig Oldham with the Red Cross, and Kerry Morgan of United Way share their insights. The common denominators from each of them on how to be successful with digital marketing were:

1.) Know WHY you do what you do

This is a big mantra here at Slice-Works, and is the cornerstone of our marketing model. If you don’t know WHY you are doing something, then what you are doing and how you are doing it will not be congruent. The messaging will not be consistent, and the overall goal, mission, or focus will be lost. Non-profits and Associations alike need to have a clear WHY in order to be successful in digital marketing.

2.) Know HOW to Bring your WHY to Life

When asked for advice on digital marketing, Kerry Morgan expressed the importance of understanding your organization really, really well. This includes how to develop your  presence on various social sites. Kerry noted that, “Not all social sites will work for your organization.” Search, listen, and analyze data that shows you where your best audience is, who is listening, and build your organizations’ strengths in these channels.

3.) Know your Audience

Amy Demaria spoke on this point, “Who is your audience, and why would they be coming to your Facebook page?” — or any other social site. What does your audience expect to hear from you (in the case of DMB) or need to hear from you? When a non-profit is able to segment their audience in this way, their marketing efforts, on or off the web, can be more specifically targeted. Craig Oldham also spoke on this point, explaining that the Red Cross divides up their marketing efforts to donors from  the yearly supporters to the text-message disaster donors.

Most importantly, all 3 of these points are related. When you know WHY you do what you do, and HOW to bring your WHY to life, you can then target your audience and create content specifically for them.  What kind of success has your organization had with digital marketing? What advice would you give to others about digital marketing?



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