I felt this is a good way to end the newsletter this week. It provides a nice bookend with the Pearl Jam story at the top.
The numbers for BTS are staggering.
29.2 M Twitter followers.
$4.9 B to South Korea’s GDP!
They are an industry to themselves.
Look at the root of this.
It is interesting and highlights a path that many of us should be talking about more and highlighting in our social media, in our calls to legislators, or in any forum where we need to advocate for relief of the arts and entertainment. Because the BTS phenomenon can be traced back to investments the government of South Korea made after the late-90s crash of their economy.
The way that BTS and their team use D2C and digital-first marketing to drive their audience and convert them is something that the entire world can learn from. (This is a concept that I talked about with Zoe Scaman on the podcast, but here’s a video of a talk she gave a few weeks back on fandoms.)
You see several things going on here that are essential to think about now and going forward:
- Intense customer focus. The band allows their audience to have a great deal of ownership over the relationship with the band and the band and their teamwork tirelessly to give their audience value.
- A strong brand. They make sure to never allow any one individual to undermine the brand of the whole.
- Understanding of overlap and targeting. The band’s first all-English single was only released this year, but they have become the biggest band in the world without ever directly appealing to English speakers.
This is a message about the power of great marketing, of course. But it also shows us that despite being in a time of great uncertainty, there are many roadmaps to recovery and growth.
Like I want to remind people all the time, it isn’t going to be easy…but what fun would that be anyway?