Dave Weissman is — and isn’t — a publicist. “When I started twenty years ago, sure I was a publicist, but today that term is kind of gray to me.” He laughs. “People are like what is a publicist? I’ve never really known.” The founder and president of entertainment marketing agency Musical Earth prefers Musical Marketing Guru, a title that reflects his creative approach. “You just kind of want to stand out in this new life of the feed,” he tells ToneDen.
For as long as Weissman’s been in music, he’s used social media. “Way before the dawn of digital social media, there was analog social media,” he says. “Talking to people, meeting people, handing out flyers, spreading the word.”
Supremely adaptable, Weissman prides himself on tailoring his strategy to the artist he’s working with. Take one of his oldest clients, Dark Star Orchestra. The world-renowned Grateful Dead tribute act has “played more shows in twenty years than the Dead did in thirty years. From coast to coast,” he says, “even shows out of the country, we’re pulling some Wizard of Oz stuff, trying to make Deadheads ticket buyers.”
Promoting a DSO show in Cincinnati, Weissman heard about ToneDen from an industry contact. And after a one-week trial, he was hooked: “I needed more than seven days. It was a good taster spoon, but I wanted the full cone.”
The Werk Out Announce Campaign
Talking to Weissman, it’s easy to see why he’s so respected in the business. He’s quick to offer an unorthodox perspective on a very unorthodox industry. Shortly into our conversation, he cited Frank Zappa, who famously said, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.”
Those words get at the core of Musical Earth’s philosophy. As Weissman puts it, “You have to really take a creative approach — to me, there’s no other way.” And when he looks for “some catalyst to … turn excitement for events into revenue,” he counts on ToneDen.
Recently, Musical Earth ran an announce campaign for The Werk Out Music and Arts Festival. Now in its ninth year, Werk Out sees Thornville, OH become the site of music, partying, and camaraderie.
With ToneDen, Musical Earth was able to see just how effective their announce campaign was. Spending only $500, they brought in more than $8k in revenue, which means they earned about $17 for every dollar spent.
In addition to bringing in fantastic revenue, this campaign let Musical Earth use some of their favorite ToneDen features. “Ireally like some of the options with the Facebook ad platform integration,” Weissman says, “you guys have created sweet integrations — there’s a buy ticket button that isn’t available with Facebook as a call to action moniker on posts.”
These are the kind of details that Musical Earth appreciates in ToneDen, and as the architect Mies van der Rohe famously said, “God is in the details.” Even the ToneDen interface makes a difference to Weissman: “It’s kind of clean, and it’s totally different than the white background on Facebook, where your eyes are bleeding. It’s a little bit darker and it’s nicer, and it feels like you’re in the shadows a little bit — and in a way you are.”
Color preferences aside, ToneDen has become “crucial” for Musical Earth. “We’re sort of doing similar things than we were before but this platform can handle more… I’m basically finding creative ways to continually sort of invent and achieve our objectives with the platform.”
“I couldn’t imagine trying to keep up without it.”