I wonder if Justin Bieber’s marketing and production team ever read the news beyond the current chatter about their teenage star. I would love to know what they made of this morning’s juxtaposition of articles on the BBC about young Mr Bieber keeping his very young audience waiting for nearly two hours at London’s O2 Arena last night and a rather interesting piece about Insight Marketing which explore some of the techniques used by some advertisers and companies to deliver added value about their products and services.
Let’s get real here — Mr Bieber’s market is made up of young teenagers let’s be generous and say the 10/20 age group. The show was scheduled to start at 8.30 pm — already a late start for the lower end of that age bracket. To not arrive on stage until 10.20 pm was a disgrace. Teenagers have short attention spans for starters; being that late is rude, being that late when you are charging teenagers — or their parents 125 pounds a ticket is bad business.
Holding your concert in a venue that is difficult to get to, that has poor public car parking, and public transport links that stop running at 10.50pm was not really clever either.
Let us apply some of the Insight marketing techniques to the above scenario. It may not be “Rock and Roll” but here goes anyway.
First, the venue should be more accessible, car park and public transport friendly.
The concert should start earlier — 7.00pm would be more suitable for this age group and should allow some leeway for Mr Bieber’s petulance and penchant for arriving late.
Explore the concept of a family ticket so mum and dad can go too and not panic when their children are not at pre-arranged pick up points on time. I know a lot of parents will not thank me for this one — but enduring teenage screams for 90 minutes is much better than the cold panic that grips your stomach when your teenager is not there to meet you at the appointed time and place.
Play something other than Michael Jackson when you are keeping children as young as this waiting.
Remember that you are playing to teenagers; remember that most of these tickets were bought by doting parents who will vote with their wallets and say NO the next time around.
Then, perhaps, you will enjoy the enduring success of such greats as Leonard Cohen, who I was privileged to see last November in Lisbon, who delivered a four hour set in a venue that has ample car parking, public transport available late into the night and who thanked US for honouring him with our presence.