Recently I read something somewhere on the internet that nothing that we do is original. Most of our “innovations” are inspired by something or someone we’ve interacted with in the past.
Accepting that every marketing “idea” I have in the future will not be original but instead a product of inspiration and subconscious curation was a comforting lesson to learn. It also freed me to seek out inspiration, knowing that I can use this inspiration to develop marketing plans and goals for the future.
I read A LOT and most of what I read comes from the marketing book podcast and recommendations from Google Play Books. So many of my strategies and processes are influenced by that.
But in a practical sense, if I am looking for the epitome of marketing – at least, in the way I hope to market a business – is Tomorrowland. Yes, the music festival from Belgium, Tomorrowland.
Aren’t Music Festivals Just A Party & Place For Hippies?
There are a lot of music festivals out there that do not go the extra mile. The music festival industry is lucrative, and the crowds that are drawn to these events are willing to pay a lot of money on tickets, camping, and experiences on-site (drinking, merchandise, etc.).
But for years there have been leaders in this industry. Festivals like Ultra Music Festival, Creamfields, and EDC come to mind. But most notably is Tomorrowland.
I’ve been lucky enough to go to this festival 3 times. Most people wait years to make it through the virtual waiting room and buy their tickets to this festival. My very first year I was fortunate enough to gain access to a special link given to the first 20 registrants from each country.
Every year at the festival is amazing. But what I am always impressed by is the company’s dedication to the product and the client-base.
I may be only 2 years into my marketing career but I grew up observing businesses on a deeper level than most. As a kid, when the first iPod came out I saved up every penny of my allowance until I could buy myself one. I supported Apple up until the passing of Steve Jobs. In my opinion the soul of Apple died with Steve Jobs. He was dedicated to the product and his clients. He brought intuitive design to the mobile, music, and computing world and every element of his products reflected that passion.
When Under Armour bought MyFitnessPal, I saw a company going from sportswear to becoming a true lifestyle brand dedicated to helping it’s customers train and live like athletes.
As an individual, I always sought out jobs with Canadian companies because I am dedicated to the entrepreneurial efforts of my fellow Canadians and showing other Canadians what we are capable of.
All this to say I am happy to support any company that proves to me that they are passionate about their product/service and will go to any length to serve their customer-base.
Which brings me (back) to Tomorrowland.
We’ve all seen the videos of people with memory loss or conditions like dementia and when they listen to music they light up and begin dancing or smiling. There is something inherently magical about music.
Music festivals should understand that their events are so powerful because they center around music. Tomorrowland knows this and “uses” this to their advantage.
I put “uses” in quotes because I never see anything they do as a manipulation of their fans. They simply understand how powerful their event is. “Live Today. Love Tomorrow. Unite Forever” is their tag line and the road map that it lays out allows them to create a festival that does just that.
Tomorrowland Around the World: Marketing at it’s Finest
Okay enough fan-girling. The reason I am writing this post is because of their most recent event, Tomorrowland Around the World.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and festival after festival announced they were cancelling this year, many festival goers were looking ahead to a grim summer. We tuned in to live-stream sets but it never felt quite right.
Tomorrowland, being one of the main events of the summer, recognized this void in festival-goers summer plans. They saw the sadness, and the sense of loss their fans were experiencing and they decided to do something seemingly impossible.
They created a virtual event in 12 weeks. And not just any event – but a Tomorrowland-quality event in 12 weeks. DJ sets from the top DJ’s, an entire virtual-reality island to host the event, and event packages that allowed fans to throw their own parties.
As a marketer this is the pinnacle of marketing. They believe in their service so much that they’d find a way to recreate it in 12 weeks. Not only that but they recognized that their fans needed this – they needed the morale boost. And they delivered.
I am not currently in the event marketing space but I really do believe that this can act as inspiration. I can look at Tomorrowland and their handling of the 2020 festival season, and bring that energy and dedication to my own products.
- How can I use my/my client’s products and services to boost morale?
- What is the true power of my/my client’s product or service?
- Why am I dedicated to the product/service?
These are all questions that now direct my marketing efforts. Gone are the days of interruption and guerilla marketing. We are now living in an age of nurturing and celebration. Nurture our clients needs. Celebrate the joy and life-changing potential of our products and services.
If you follow any of my projects you’ll hopefully see that I focus a lot on the story. I want to know why business-owners started their business, and then what it has meant to their customers. That is where the magic is. And I believe that Tomorrowland is one of the premiere examples of this type of marketing.