Experts describe the changing landscape of entertainment marketing

Rhea Becker
March 16, 2011

When the newspaper world began losing revenue, longtime music critic and author Jim Sullivan left the Globe. The advice he received from friends and colleagues was, “Go online.”

That’s exactly what he did. He created jimsullivanink.com and has not only increased his visibility but has expanded his work well beyond music to all arts.

“My site serves as a writing and a marketing platform,” said Sullivan from his seat on a panel of entertainment-industry marketing professionals during a March 15 Communication Week event held at the Bright Family Screening Room.

Executive-in-Residence Doug Quintal, who heads Emerson’s undergraduate program in Marketing Communication, moderated the lively discussion. The other panelists were: Jennifer Matthews, senior publicist at Allied Integrated Marketing, the New England regional promotional and public relations branch for several major Hollywood studios; Jeff Marshall, director of social media and branded content for Harmonix, maker of Rock Band; Scott Bernstein, senior vice president of branding for National Amusements; and Jim Vereault, senior vice president of national sales for Nassau Broadcasting.

A student engages Jennifer Matthews in conversation

A student engages Jennifer Matthews in conversation about the social networking take-over of marketing.

The panelists touched on the ways they have witnessed how social media has changed how consumers interact and they all agreed that certain social networking platforms have altered the world of marketing.

Just six years ago, when Jennifer Matthews started to work in the field, Twitter did not even exist and Facebook was just coming into its own. In just a few years, social media “has revolutionized things,” she said. 

“We can do almost 100 percent of our marketing via Facebook and Twitter.”

Jeff Marshall, who became a successful music marketer when he realized he did not have the talent to become a musician, said that three repeating themes run through his career: “Brand building, engaging communities, and building content.”

The panel members laughed when Marshall recalled the days of “flyering”—handing out fliers on street corners to attract a crowd for a concert—and agreed that things have come a long, long way.

Scott Bernstein   Scott Bernstein explains the end of print collateral and the rise of digital marketing.  

Scott Bernstein said his marketing budget has flip-flopped in the last few years: “Our consumers have changed the ways they get their show times and other information, so we had to change our delivery methods. Eighty percent of our budget was spent on marketing; now 80 percent is in digital. By the end of 2012, we’ll probably be completely out of print.”

Although radio has had a rough time over the last few decades, Jim Vereault insisted that good content will win out. “If we do ourselves in, it will be because of homogeny. If we do the right content, we’ll be viable.”

The panel was sponsored by the Department of Marketing Communication.

 

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