Nederlander Concerts' Jamie Loeb on the Most Powerful Channels for Event Marketing, Creating FOMO, and more
Events Blog
February 2, 2023
Email Marketing

Nederlander Concerts' Jamie Loeb on the Most Powerful Channels for Event Marketing, Creating FOMO, and more

Jamie Loeb began her music industry career in security. Sort of.

Ticket Sales
Rod Yates
Rod Yates
Marketing Manager, Content
Audience Republic
Download now

Jamie Loeb began her music industry career in security. Sort of.

“My freshman year in college someone came up to me and said, ‘Do you want to go to a show for free?’,” she recalls with a smile. “I said, ‘Sure. What do I have to do?’ And they said, ‘Stand by that door and don't let anyone in.’

“Next thing I know, I'm backstage security. I've always loved music, but for some reason it never dawned on me that there was an actual business to it. Until that moment, until I watched that show [by San Diego rock band The Beat Farmers]. And that's how I got started in the music business.”

Loeb has since fashioned an illustrious career in the industry, working across organizations such as Live Nation (Senior Director National Tour Marketing) and House Of Blues (Manager of West Coast Marketing and Director of West Coast Marketing). In 2008 she became the Vice President of Marketing with Nederlander Concerts, a role she holds today.

Here, Loeb discusses her experiences marketing concerts across various channels, ways to create FOMO when promoting shows, the challenges of selling tickets, and more…

Jamie with Lisa Loeb (no relation)

What are the most powerful marketing channels at the moment for awareness and ticket sales?

If you're going to pick radio, TV, print or digital, it's digital that's the winner.

Google Search display and Facebook/Insta ads are still our top performers.

But anyone who says email marketing is dead, in my opinion, is not using it correctly. Email campaigns still sell about approximately half of our tickets. So if you're using it properly, it should still be a big seller for you.

We've started running some campaigns on TikTok and they've performed better than expected, for legacy artists in particular, which is surprising because you think of TikTok being a young person's platform.

And I think it's for a couple reasons. [Years ago] we started seeing a big surge with Beatles music sales, Led Zeppelin music sales, Rolling Stones music sales, and came to the conclusion that it was the older generation passing it down to the younger generation, or the younger generation finding it on their own and thinking that they're so cool that they did that.

And so, people are discovering the music ­– I think some of it is hearing the songs in commercials, hearing the songs used in movies – but they don't necessarily know who they're listening to. So, if we can connect the music with an artist's name, or an artist's likeness, on a platform like TikTok, it's like, ‘Oh, I love that song.’ And it connects in that way. That's what I believe is happening.

"Anyone who says email marketing is dead, in my opinion, is not using it correctly."

Another platform I'm really liking is OTT, Over The Top. When purchasing television, the closest you can drill down for cable or network TV is a show. And in major markets, it's very expensive to buy that show. OTT, you're targeting a specific viewer. You can target by geo, you can target by demo, any sort of lifestyle attribute – income, if you think that's relevant.

And so, it's becoming more like digital where you can pinpoint where your money is spent, and make sure that your dollars aren't wasted. It's also a much lower threshold to buy OTT, it's much more affordable.

Is there a particular genre or demographic of artists that works best for OTT?

I wouldn't necessarily use OTT for Frankie Valli, let's put it that way. But if I've got a sizable budget, I would use it on anybody that's targeting any artist, any genre that is trying to reach an audience below 60 to 65.

The viewership I target are the people watching programs – you want people who are spending at least 20 minutes watching something, so you know that they're not clicking out. You don't want to just have them watching a clip of a puppy dog that lasts for a minute, and they click out after 15 seconds. That's not the type of viewer that you're necessarily looking for.

I'm looking for the people who are disconnecting their cable, but that are using streaming content as they would TV – they're using streaming content in place of their traditional TV.

"We never want to send the same email twice in a row. That's when you start losing people."

You mentioned earlier that if you're doing email marketing right it should be working for you. How do you do email marketing right?

I think that you need to be focused on serving people what they're interested in.

We do a lot of genre filtering, we do a lot of artist and like-artist filtering, we do a lot of geo filtering.

We never want to send the same email twice in a row. That's when you start losing people. That's when you start seeing the attrition. You have to be sure that you're giving them new information. Because that's what's going to keep people interested.

But you also can't discount that the dad who's buying tickets to Disney Jr. isn't also a Metallica fan. So, every few weeks we do a newsletter to the full database, just letting everybody know everything we have coming up. Because then that way we aren't bugging them too much. We're giving them what we think they want. But every once in a while, they can peruse the list to see if there's anything else they're interested in.

Lisa (second left) with David Gray

Has your email or newsletter strategy changed over the past few years?

Yeah. Our newsletters go out on Thursdays, and that used to be the only presale notification, and then a specific subset would get the onsale notification.

We've actually flipped that to be where the hyper-focused list gets the presale information too, because it finally dawned on us, hey, those people are probably going to be the most interested in buying what we have to sell.

So, both actually go out because the emails look different – you get one that's basically an artist alert, presale alert, and you get one that's a newsletter. And we haven't seen much attrition by sending both out. And then you get your onsale notification. And it's also in tandem with social. We're doing promoted posts for presale, and then going on sale.

So, they're both running together to kind of make a well-rounded digital campaign at that point.

"Facebook likes to change stuff and not necessarily tell people."

You were speaking at the start about digital channels such as Facebook and Instagram, and then TikTok as well. Is there certain content that really resonates across those channels?

Definitely. Facebook likes to change stuff and not necessarily tell people. [Laughs] All of a sudden, you start seeing your ads not performing the way that you expected them to. And it's like, oh, okay, Facebook and Instagram are moving to video content. So, okay, our ads are now going to be videos.

And we're probably driving the artists crazy: ‘Can you record something? Do you have anything? Do you have a video? We just need a video. Do you have a TV spot?’ Because now video is so important on social platforms.

And whereas it used to be horizontal, now we need vertical. We need vertical first, and then horizontal, because we can use both. But if we're gonna pick one it should be vertical.

You were saying that TikTok ads have worked better than you’d expected, particularly when promoting heritage acts. Can you estimate what kind of bump in ticket sales a TikTok campaign might result in?

It completely depends, artist to artist. But we expected to see nothing with heritage artists. One or two times we did it because we covered all the other bases, and we still had some tickets left to sell. It's like, okay, let's try this. We have a vertical video. Let's give it a go. And we were just shocked at how well they performed.

What are you finding to be the biggest challenges around selling tickets at the moment, and how are you navigating them?

People are still a little scared – particularly the older set – to go out and be shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of people that they don't know.

When things were starting to open up a bit, we would see these huge presales, and big onsales. And it's because people hadn't been able to go see these artists. Whereas pre-pandemic, you would see an upswing at the end, as you got closer to the show date.

[Now], no upswing. Flat. Because if you aren't a super fan, you're like, ‘Yeah, I think I'm gonna sit this one out.’

And then this last year, when things started to open up even more, what we started seeing was just a glut of inventory. Our buildings did more business than they'd ever done. And I think that's going to continue through 2023, which means that there's so much more competition in the marketplace.

You also have people who haven't been able to tour, they haven't been able to make money. And you have increased costs in the venue because of cleaning and disinfecting protocols. And having to put in a new air vac system. The things that you had to do in order to be able to open costs money. And somehow that money's got to be made back. And so you saw ticket prices also go up.

Because people were so rabid they're like, ‘Yes! I'll pay anything, I want to go.’ But again, it also further deters the upswing at the end, because they're like, ‘Yeah, I think I'm gonna save my money.’

"That's why we try to get past-show footage from artists... If we can just get 15 seconds of one of the songs live, we can do so much."

What do you do to combat that?

What we've been trying to do is create a sense of FOMO – fear of missing out. You try to tug on that, ‘Oh my god, I’ve gotta be there’, that's in people.

So that's why we try to get past-show footage from artists, especially if we're not the first show on the tour. If we can just get 15 seconds of one of the songs live, we can do so much with it. It can be the artist, but it can also be the audience. If you show people losing their minds when an artist is playing, that goes a long way too.

Recently artist manager Jamie Coletta told us that artists should be using the first leg of their tour to promote the second leg, by using video in the manner you just described. So they should also be sharing the footage with the venues in which they’re booked to play?

Assuming they give us the correct permissions, we can then put money behind that on the artist’s page, to better reach their audience directly. And it ends up making a lot of sense. Particularly Latin artists, when they do announcements, and they go on to Instagram or Facebook, post a video [about the tour]… And then we amplify that with advertising money.

It's more of a collaboration than ever right now between artists and the venues that they're playing, the marketers. Because we can put the budget behind it in order to amplify their voice. And that's what people are most excited about now, that's how you create FOMO.

"It's more of a collaboration than ever right now between artists and the venues that they're playing, the marketers."

You’ve been very involved with the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). After an incredibly difficult couple of years for independent venues, how are you seeing the successful venues make it work?

I think the ones that are succeeding are just putting their nose to the grindstone and gutting it out. Looking at sales patterns, you can't expect things to be the same as they were in 2019. Like I said, there's a glut of inventory. So for some people, it's better.

The other thing that helped get everybody through, that I think is still really key, is everybody used to be competitors. And now, we’re still competing, but we're doing it arm in arm and shoulder to shoulder. And so where before it might have been verboten for me to reach out to a competitor and ask questions, now, in this team, it's commonplace.

How do you work with a promoter in terms of sharing your mailing list?

Well, many times I am the promoter. But still, if we're dealing with a co-promoter or a venue that has their list, I do not expect them to share it with me. I do not expect them to expect me to share mine with them.

What I do expect is that everybody does their part, everybody hits their own list in the way that their audience is used to hearing from them.

I don't want to force anyone to have a different voice than they've had in their conversations with their audience, with their patrons, because then it just seems false. So, they do it in their own way. We make sure that everybody has the presale password, that everybody knows what they're doing. And good partners are going to hold up their end and do what they need to do.

And one more thing on the co-promoter venue thing. I do expect that if we are the promoter or the co-promoter that everybody gets the data from that show. We all had a hand in selling those tickets. If a co-promoter asks me for a list of buyers, no problem.

It takes time to get that list, because with spam laws you can't just blanket email everybody. So if I'm sharing data with somebody, I'm going to the ticketing company and asking them to only send me those who have not opted out of receiving additional marketing messages. Because otherwise it can get me in big trouble.

Follow Nederlander Concerts at their website, and on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.

Download eBook

First name
Last name
Email address
Company or event name
Company or event type
By entering your information, you consent to receive marketing communications from Audience Republic from time to time.
Your eBook is ready to download.

Nederlander Concerts' Jamie Loeb on the Most Powerful Channels for Event Marketing, Creating FOMO, and more

Download eBook
Something went wrong. Please try again.