Sonicbids: Turning Brands into Rockstars

For my final innovative Boston marketing profile, I’m writing about Sonicbids.** To see how other Boston companies are innovating the marketing world, check out my posts on HubSpot and Pongr.

Many marketers today create buyer personas to better visualize their target consumers. Some statistics, like age, geography and income bracket, are relatively straightforward. However, marketers today have all sorts of tricks to get themselves into their audience’s frame of mind. One of my friends from marketing firm Holland-Mark asks her clients to picture what kind of car their customers most likely drive. Mark Schaefer, author of the Tao of Twitter and {grow} blog, asks his clients to compare their brand to a celebrity and their audience as someone who might relate to that celebrity.

Sonicbids, a social music marketing firm in Boston, would probably ask you what music your customers are most likely to listen to. After all, a Justin Bieber fan makes a much different buyer profile than a Grateful Dead concertgoer. After identifying your target market and goals, they would take that information to create an interactive experience involving your brand, a band and of course, fans. Here’s how they work.

Sonicbids serves three clients: bands, promoters and bands. CEO Panos Panay started as an agent and was inspired to start Sonicbids after realizing there was a real opportunity for bands to promote themselves and get gigs on the internet. Thus, one of the primary focuses of Sonicbids is to connect bands and promoters and help emerging talent book gigs online and develop their social media presence. This offering is all well and good for entrepreneurial music talent, but here’s where it gets interesting for traditional brand marketers.

Sonicbids reaches 100 million fans around the world through 350,000 bands and 26,000 promoters. Brands like Converse, Taylor Guitars, Universal Studios, GAP and even Midas connected with their music-loving consumers using interactive promotions. Yes, but what does that mean?

For Sonicbids’ partnership with Midas, it was all about the “Rock the Highway” campaign–connect to a younger generation through finding the next great “road song”. Their website received 1,000 submissions from artists, who in turn promoted the contest to their fans. The ripple effect continued when fans tuned in to vote on a winner all while receiving special Midas deals, content and music event access. Rather than directly seek out traffic for a notoriously hard-to-reach demographic (hooray for millennials!), they solicited much people with a built-in audience, aka rock musicians, to tap their fan-base for a promotion with the help of Sonicbids. Pretty cool, especially for an automotive repair shop.

Whether it’s connecting with your buyer profiles through their favorite bands, establishing a presence at a music festival or concert, soliciting musical content from over 36,000 bands, improving social media through musical engagement or strategizing an entirely different marketing plan to meet your needs, Sonicbids is a fascinating resource for brand marketers. I’m hoping to follow up this article with a more in depth interviews, but until then, this is definitely a company worth keeping an eye on.

If you have any companies doing interesting things in the marketing world, I’m always interested in learning what’s out there and talking to people in the industry. Thanks for reading! Lindsey Kirchoff

**I don’t benefit from this post in any way, other than meeting people in the marketing industry doing interesting things. This isn’t advertorial or paid copy, just the result of a fascinating conversation at the airport!

2 thoughts on “Sonicbids: Turning Brands into Rockstars

  1. [...] before meeting them. My introduction included a few links to help them get to know me, including one article I had written about why I admired their company. This extra step made me feel significantly more professional and prepared for the interview [...]

  2. [...] before meeting them. My introduction included a few links to help them get to know me, including one article I had written about why I admired their company. This extra step made me feel significantly more professional and prepared for the interview [...]

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