Project: Maxys Band - Corporate Entertainment
For our band I'm applying the same strategic business development processes that I now use for my clients or partner projects. This blog series will aim to explore and demonstrate some of those strategies, processes and techniques which can then be applied to any new start up business; project or campaign.
To begin - every story starts somewhere in the past; moves to the present and is going somewhere.
Where are we now - the Current Sitution/ Problem - "Where Have All Our Band Gigs Gone?"
As a band "The Maxys" have been playing together for over 25 years - originally it was my dad Peter, brother Brett, sister Nicolle and I but today it's Brett, female vocalist Rachael, lead guitarist Bruno (Dad passed away and Nic moved down the coast) and I.
The music we play is good old favourites - you know some soul; some disco; some rock n roll - Motown; Jo Cocker; The Committments; Elvis; Beatles; Neil Diamond and ABBA - just good singing, dancing, fill the dance floor type music.
Over the years we've played hundreds of gigs to thousands of people; in pubs; clubs; some corporate events; packed auditoriums to ritsy private parties; BUT, herein lies our problem - in the last couple of years the number of gigs we've been getting has dropped right off - today we're lucky to be playing once a month.
As a product there's no question we're good, with Brett and Rachey we've great singers, Bruno rips on guitar and our music production sounds as good as any. Note: We might need to add a few more songs for the 18-34 year olds in the audience (our Facebook fan page demographics) but my gut feel is that it's more to do with marketing then the product.
Anyway, that's the purpose of this project - to apply the same business development processes and digital marketing techniques I'd apply to any other client I work for.
So, with that situation in mind - what do we do?
Planning - Why Bother?
As an old saying states, “If you don’t know where you’re going, then you’ll probably end up somewhere else.”
In a nutshell - the old MBA departmental business plan approach doesn't work in today's fast, small startup digital world - it's born out of the old mass media manufacturing model, often takes months to complete and is dated before any activity begins.
What's needed is a highly iterative; dynamic and much more collaborative planning tool.
The process and framework we will use to develop this plan is the same we use of all our corporate projects based on Steve Blank’s Business Model Canvas / Eric Ries “Lean Startup” framework and methodology. This approach has come out of the Silicon Valley Tech StartUp community
I'm wondering how it will work when applied to a more conventional type business or project such as our band.
Why bother with all this detail and process at all?
Better communication across all stakeholders
Approach consider’s the whole picture
Should generate better/ more effective creative marketing
The Business Model Framework
I've found this http://phase2generator.com/ which is based upon the Business Model Canvas but is more customer centric.
Step 1. Value Proposition
The most important element to look at first - before we look at - any marketing (photos; videos; website etc); competitive analysis (other bands/ forms entertainment); or product development (outfits; new songs; pricing etc) is to understand
- Who is the Customer? (Event Manager/ Conference Organiser/ Marketing Manager etc)
- What are the Customer Needs? (including types of events - awards nights; fundraising; conferences; after parties; weddings; private parties; pubs/ clubs)
- Our Value Proposition (what problem are we solving?)
- What are they doing now to satisfy that need?
- What is the customer benefit - ie what would they tell their friends/ colleagues about why they think we are so great?
To begin this process today I've spoken at length with four event managers I personally know.
FYI - some initial feedback
- The majority (60%) of Event Managers are women
- Budgets everywhere are being cut.
- Annual Awards night event entertainment budgets ranged from $4K to $25K (total entertainment budget).
- No "Event Manager" would EVER book a band they hadn't seen perform (ie reduces risk)
- Often book a new "IT"performer - Australia's Got Talent/ X Factor etc.
- A good website is very important
- Need to differentiate - there's lots of acts out there - "why would we pick you?"
- The Event Manager usually puts forward several entertainment options to their client
- Product (Band) - Having a drummer (full piece band) less important as some clients are very concerned about being too loud.
- Entertainment budget (depending on the event) is roughly 10%.
The next stage is do get an idea of the market opportunity - the number of events; event managers.