Integrated Marketing Lessons from NH7 and Only Much Louder

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Music in India has been mostly dominated by mainstream film music (Bollywood!) but in the last few years non-film music has acquired its own space and a lot of credit goes to Only Much Louder and NH7 for that. I’m impressed by how OML has created a powerful brand in NH7 through integrated marketing.

Personally, I am a big fan of NH7 and the NH7 Weekender music festival, so some level of  bias is expected :-). And on the other hand it also speaks to the effectiveness of their marketing and quality of their service and products — that is, music events. Let’s look at the website first.

First things first: The website

NH7-Website-Radio-At-The-Top

Nice look and theme matching with the brand colors, but notice the online radio at the top? You don’t get to hear this kind of indie music on regular radio or TV channels so this is a good way to let people hear the music and get hooked to it. But this also encourages users to stay on the site longer and come back more often — creating engagement and increasing the emotional connection with the audience.

NH7 even started their own store because such music was not even available for purchase, thus completing the loop from generating awareness and interest to the actual purchase.

Tell your customers what to expectNH7-Weekender-Playlists

NH7 organizes music events and their flagship event is the NH7 Weekender. Scroll down a little on the website and you see the playlists that artists are going to play at the next event. So if I haven’t heard those artists before, I can listen to these songs and decide if I would like to listen to them live.

There is also an active YouTube channel that has videos of these artists performing at the previous NH7 festivals. They have started doing a lot more videos recently – capturing backstage or band profiles too – though personally, I wasn’t too impressed by the quality. But the festival vidoes are a good way of helping your potential customers understand what to expect, and video as a medium is only going to get more popular.

NH7-YouTube-Channel

Help your customers get the most out of your product

There is a micro-site for the NH7 Weekender, and one of the cool things on it is that you can create your own schedule of the bands you want to listen to. The Weekender will have six stages with bands playing simultaneously, so you can’t listen to them all! It’s a great tool for the users but also a good way for the organizers to know which stage or artist is likely to get most crowds — smart, isn’t it? Then they encourage you to share your schedule with your friends — again creating more engagement and also enabling virality.

NH7-Weekender-Schedule

Every problem is an opportunity

NH7 ensures their brand essence pervades every interaction with the customer. Take a look at their website’s 404 Page Not Found error page.

NH7-404-Error-Page

Instead of a boring error message, it serves a page with engaging and funny content, something that is very likely to click with their target audience. When I got this page, couldn’t help but read through the whole story before moving on :-).

Be social, interact!

Apart from their main NH7 Facebook page, they have a separate page specifically for the the Weekender festival. And as you would expect, it has whopping 139,000+ likes. There is a lot the brand is doing right here and you can see that by the fact that 17,000+ people are talking about it.

NH7-Facebook-Page-With-139,000-Likes

NH7 is active on Twitter — and not just with the official NH7 handle. The core members of the team have their personal Twitter handles and are almost always there to help and answer questions. Like most other successful brands they run regular contests on Twitter and the prizes are usually closely related to their offering — concert passes, souvenir badges, NH7 branded t-shirts etc.

Build a community, and not just online!

NH7-Twitter-Encourage-User-Engagement

See this carpool suggestion? It’s simple but has a high marketing value when you think of it as a community-building exercise. Using your brand to help people connect in real life — making the connection between online brand and the physical world.

Use technology, but focus on the user experience

And to end this, look at this one more example of how NH7 is maintaining a consistent brand presence. They recently launched an app — NH7 FestiveApp — for Android and iOS that gives you information about all the festivals happening in India (not just Music, and not just the ones organized by NH7). I installed the app on my iPad and loved it (it’s optimized for iPhone though). Below is a screenshot of the AppStore update screen on my iPad — read the release notes by FestiveApp and then read the notes for FourSquare.

NH7-FestiveApp-iOS-Update

See what I am saying? I have worked with software companies for years, and have never seen product release notes that are so well-targeted to the end users. It’s totally in sync with the brand’s personality and still conveys the feature/bug description clearly.

None of this would have worked if they were not delivering the quality at the last touch point — during the actual events. But they are doing that, and festival-goers, including me, swear by India’s happiest music festival.

What’s especially refreshing and admirable is that they extend their marketing to all aspects of their business. Even as they’ve grown into a recognized and reputed brand, they have retained the personality and charm that older fans loved them for.

Are you going to the NH7 Weekender? What do you think of how NH7 has managed their brand both online and offline?

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About Nilesh

Nilesh has worked in the IT industry for nine years, and is both a PMP and an MBA in marketing. He has worked in and with small businesses, managing projects, leading teams, and improving business processes.At Markitty, Nilesh translates requirements into tasks and timelines. He jumps into whatever is needed, whether it’s marketing, design, or technical architecture. He also keeps the others sane with his intermittent wisecracking.

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