The internet has over time almost made traditional marketing a thing of the past, much like the abandoned factories in Detroit.

Showbiz Spy interviewed some of the top event promoters from all over the world about how the advertising arena is changing. The one that stood out to us was of course the largest in the industry Live Nation.

Live Nation: “It really comes down to your audience… if you are trying to target people in the age group of let’s say 21-35 years old via traditional marketing like (newspaper, television, billboards and radio) you are simply wasting your time and money these days. Here is why… Now keep in mind, we have preformed thousands of polls with data like you wouldn’t believe and the numbers simply do not lie. Newspaper as you could expect came in at the lowest in this age range (21-35 years old), we actually could not find one person receiving the daily paper or at least admitting to it. Coming in second was billboards, from what we could gather the only people that actually recognized billboards, or could even remember one they had seen in the past was those in marketing themselves, strictly looking for leads. Third would be television, the problem today is that cable is getting very expensive and not very convenient, to where as HBO live, Netflix and Hulu are there on any device anywhere and anytime you want to watch, it simply comes down to convenience. We do put some of our promotional dollars in tv, however only the kind available online. Last of the traditional advertising avenues would radio, we do still work with the radio stations. However, our budget for radio advertising is only about 1/4th of what it used to be 10 years ago, and you can blame apps like Spotify, Youtube, Jango etc. for that. Traditional advertising is a dying breed, I hate to say it that way but we are just being real and proving it with trusted in house statistics and data. The days of the good o’l boy marketing club are coming to and end, just look at the West cost for example… there used to be thousands upon thousands of brick and mortar marketing firms, now there’s what several hundred?”

Showbiz Spy: So what is working today and do you see working in the future?

Live Nation: “Social Media is now king of promotion and we only see it getting bigger, I am talking bigger than even Google search results for event information/recommendations. We can now partner with the right local social media accounts, kick them some change to run sponsored posts to their followers, put some change in their pockets and BOOM!… You can reach pretty much everyone in the town of your event from a trusted familiar source, not just an advertisement coming from us at Live Nation through sources people know are just trying to make a buck.”

Showbiz Spy: What are the steps in making something like this happen and what do you mean by the ‘right social media accounts’?

Live Nation: “It is actually very simple… In every city in the world you have popular trusted social media accounts that are checked hourly, daily or weekly by locals… whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. We get in touch with those accounts and ask for them to promote our upcoming event. If they are willing to work with us, we provide them with enough money to sponsor posts and make some good money themselves. I am talking about cash that we would normal spend in traditional advertising, so I am not talking about small amounts. Where else in advertising can you target something to such a targeted audience? Before today’s social media, you just hoped for the best at getting your message in front of the crowd that would be interested in whatever event it was you where promoting at the time. Now, shit man, I get to see stats right there on the post they posted for us. It is such a beautiful thing to actually see the results of a campaign in real time, and not have to rely on the traditional marketing avenues bullshit of ‘Your add was show to approximately this and approximately that’. I ask whoever we are having promote the event to promote it to a specific age group, who likes specific things, and then like magic I can watch our dollars work in real time, and not have to wait on some bullshit report put together by a bunch of old school crooks, making up what ever number they feel will sound good to us.

Showbiz Spy: Could you elaborate on what you mean by crooks?

Live Nation: “It’s like this, either you go through an old school marketing agency, or you need to work for hours trying to put all the deals together yourself with each individual outlet. If you go through a traditional marketing agency though, you are really screwed as they overcharge for the marketing by 20-30% sometime even more. Now go back to us contacting the individual social media accounts directly. I spend about a day at most hitting up about 20 local accounts, make my offer and get about a 90% or higher approval rate with the advertisements happening almost instantly. Nothing has to go through a bunch of hoops to happen, it just happens.

Showbiz Spy: What type of accounts do you look for?

Live Nation: “We look for trusted local accounts with lots of followers and great interaction. You can have accounts with lots of followers but no interaction, and that just does not work as the account has obviously lost the public’s interest for a variety of reasons.

Showbiz Spy: Can you give us an example of when this worked well?

Live Nation: “It always works well as we have it kind of down to a science, but one that is funny and sticks in my mind… was we had a local artist in the Denver area that had about 100k followers and we asked him to promote an event for us paying him 10k to start, he spent $5k of that on promotion and pocketed the other $5k (50/50 is standard for this type of promotion), anyways, it did so well we ended up spending close to $100k in one month with him and sold out the concert. Later we found out that he was a starving artist living in his parents basement. Needless to say he ended up getting his own place after he realized the power of reach he had with influencer marketing.

Showbiz Spy: So what do you see coming in the future?

Live Nation: “I see a ton of old school big and small marketing firms going out of business if they do not adjust the way they work with current and prospective clients. They need to stop being afraid of strong online influencers, and instead seek them out to work with them. I doubt this will happen though, as they have to much pride to ask some guy that runs a popular social media account out of his basement for help. It’s sad but true.”

I have been in the entertainment reporting niche since 1996, writing for several high profile sites like AOL, Huffington Post, Popeater, E!, The Verge and many more. Now I am one of the head editors for Showbiz Spy. I do miss my people on the East and West coast, but I am also very proud now to call WICHITA my home base!