Before Norman Gyamfi founded The Icho Group, he was just another guy working in corporate America. Who would've thought faith and a brother-in-law could change everything?
"My sister married a Gospel artist [Travis Greene]," Gyamfi tells ToneDen. "They’d been married about seven years. And God actually just called me to quit my job and go serve my church … I was an engineer and an economist, with two degrees, and I was insistent and I was working for free. And that’s how I founded my company, ICHO, which means echo in Greek. We want to make the word of God reverberate throughout the world."
These days, Gyamfi "[works] with all types of artists, products, companies, events. In a nutshell," he says, "I’m a media marketing executive." Still, as any entrepreneur knows, laying the groundwork of a company is grueling. Gyamfi found himself running "hundreds" of ad campaigns solo. "I needed some help," he admits, "and ToneDen came right in."
Planning for the Future
Gyamfi discovered ToneDen through Eventbrite, but it took a while for him to give the platform a go. Like any new business owner, Gyamfi was working around the clock, wearing every imaginable hat: "I was production manager, I was tour manager, I was handling the day-to-day magic. It was very difficult for me to hone in on the digital marketing piece."
The Icho Group's early digital marketing efforts were limited to Facebook. Though Gyamfi could navigate Ads Manager's UI, he felt training others in its nuances would be difficult. That was an issue for him. "One of the main things I’m trying to do within my company is not be the brains, but the visionary and go out and procure new business. As long as I'm the digital strategist, that’s a bit difficult."
As Gyamfi began building his team, he realized that ToneDen could help him both in the long-term and the immediate. "Right now," he says, "I have to approve all campaigns. I write all the copy — I don’t have copywriters — and I input all the captions. I go through and check the analytics. I do all that myself today still and ToneDen helps because [a future employee will be able to] go back and look and see what I’ve done before."
"But the main thing about it, is I use you guys as a part of what I do. It's a partnership."
Flourishing with Fanlinks
By using ToneDen's Tour Fanlinks, The Icho Group has helped its first client, gospel artist Travis Greene, sell out shows and explode his followers across socials. "A multifaceted artist, songwriter, and pastor," Gyamfi calls the Grammy-nominated Greene "my brother, my pastor, an amazing Christian artist pushing into the arena of touring really well. He did the first non Kirk Franklin Gospel tour in 15 years and sold out about 20 days.”
Gyamfi saw mass potential in Greene's artistry and made a Tour FanLink for Travis Greene’s See the Light Tour. With customizable landing pages; customizable domains; Google, Twitter, and Facebook pixel tracking; and built-in Spotify Pre-Save and Apple Pre-Add, FanLinks let artists and their marketers measure and track who's clicking. ToneDen automatically creates targeted segments of an artist's audience so they can reach your fans based on location or platform.
Greene was receptive to Gyamfi's commitment to developing his digital presence, and ToneDen's Bandsintown integration, which allows users to automatically create a FanLink from current tour dates on Bandsintown--was the perfect tool. "I used the FanLink to cast a wider net and [also] BandsinTown because I wanted to grow his tracking on BandsinTown. So I had [fans] in two places. I have them in the click of the FanLink and I also have them in BandsinTown. Utilizing a number of your different methodologies, consolidating all that into a FanLink, running multiple contests over and over: it’s just been successful."
How successful? More than 100k fans clicked on the Tour FanLink for Travis Greene's See the Light Tour. Of those 100k, 84k passed through the link and 34k went on to reach a ticketing platform. That's a staggering 33% rate of engagement. Beyond that engagement, ToneDen automatically tracked who clicked into which show for easy future remarketing.
"The Lifeblood of My Business"
ToneDen has helped Christian music catch up, in Gyamfi's opinion. "In the Christian space, specifically with Gospel," Gyamfi says, "[digital marketing] was just not being utilized. You have all of these amazing marketing campaigns and digital campaigns across secular music. But when it came to Christian music, they were still selling CDs and shunning streaming. They also had no digital presence whatsoever."
That's changing — and fast. The first single that Gyamfi helped Greene market debuted on Facebook Live and shortly thereafter his album Crossover: Live from Music City (the first album Greene worked on with ICHO) was the first Christian LP to reach 1 million streams in a week.
"You guys are the lifeblood of my business. You’ve almost made me a millionaire."
ToneDen is integral to these advancements, especially for the budding marketer. "I recommend you guys to everyone," Gyamfi says. "One of the main things with companies that want to use ToneDen is that a lot of the time they don’t have the employment or the resources to hire multiple people, but you guys make it so easy for one person to sit down and run a massive organization. I run ten different artists’ full digital marketing campaigns through ToneDen by myself."