TOPSPIN training in Santa Monica

by • March 1, 2011 • Best KeptComments (0)121

While on vacation in Los Angeles, I decided to squeeze in a little business and attend my second TOPSPIN training.

Topspin builds professional direct-to-fan marketing software. Their software has helped artists in the world of music and film (I didnt know about the film part – cool!) build awareness, connect with fans, and earn more revenue than traditional channels. Located in San Francisco (I hear that’s where all the nuts and bolts are)  with offices in Santa Monica (That’s where I was!), Nashville, New York (We did the Brooklyn training too) and London.

The first one we did was in Brooklyn with Duncan and Ants and we were all totally exhausted from no sleep and got lost on the way! Although it was a great training, we retained very little and came back wanting to get rockin’ with the platform but didn’t know where to begin. Months went by and the Topspin newsletter was just getting more and more exciting! New features, goodies out of beta and amazing new partnerships with music industry marketing intelligence, fulfillment partners and technology.

We decided, it’s time to go back and this time go close to their roots: sweet home California (a lot of the training has very confidential info like the accounting of well known artists, so you wont be seeing those pics) but we have a nice one of the cool new WordPress ready store front they have up and running. The example we looked at is 72musicians (Left to right, a cool retro bike by the ping pong table and neat posters like pop/rock geneology!)

Founded by Peter Gotcher,Shamal Ranasinghe and helmed by Ian Rogers, the Topspin team is a collective of technology and marketing professionals. “We’re passionate about the business of music, we’re musicians and DJs and we’re laser focused on building marketing tools for artists and their partners – tools we use ourselves.”

So what did I learn? Well a lot actually. I learned that the real value in any direct-to-fan campaign is in the number of fans and how you market to them. Grouping different fans by very specific marketing data is crucial. Why send the updates of your Chicago tour to everyone or market your most expensive limited edition double vinyl with signed poster to the new fan who just gave their email for 1 track a day ago… Knowing how to market and who to market to all while being time sensitive is key. Never talk to your fans more than monthly. I remember Peter mentioning that twice. Peter Brambl, by the way, was our awesome teacher for the day. He was not only really sharp and took time to answers questions, he directed us to the free pizza, coffee and fruits in the kitchen 😉

We took a look to see what METRIC, BEASTIE BOYS, TRENT REZNOR… had done for some of their album and tour launches. Stuff like hiding USB keys in various places like the venue’s washroom with secret content to unlock for the most die-hard fans. We also looked a little at DENGUE FEVER’S marketing because the singer’s wife was in the class, really nice woman – wish I remembered her name…

My favorite part was the social media integration of the widgets because at BandMark we do a lot of that. MySpace headers, Facebook tabs and micro sites. The fact that we can quickly make store ready micro sites for bands with a plug-and-play WordPress template is awesome! We’re too cool for school but considering the Berkeley training for the gang – seems like this platform isn’t going anywhere anytime soon – all aboard! Other cool cats we met at the training was this dude from Stereogum (blog) a nice local band member from The DollyRots, (who by the way rock.) Really poppy punchy punk. This guy from RED BULL studios, I think?

Best of all, looks like we are about to sign an amazingly talented band who is ready to spin on this crazy digital marketing machine…. cross your fingers and stay tuned!

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