How SimpleCrew Helped Winter Circle Productions Broaden their Grassroots Reach Through Street Team Accountability

Industry:

Music Festival Marketing

Location:

New Orleans, Louisiana

Challenge:

Didn’t want to be boxed into other rigid solutions. Had no way to hold team members accountable.

Solution:

Have systems of accountability to help with rewarding team members.

Result:

The WCP team is able to defend their work to clients, justify street team spend, get more granular with rewards and remain accountable as they expand their street team into other markets.

Company: Winter Circle Productions

Winter Circle Productions is an independent promotion and production house founded in New Orleans in 2008. WCP hosts annual festivals and events such as BUKU Music + Art Project, Bassik and Hangout Music Fest, with past performances including Tyler The Creator, Zedd, Pretty Lights, A$AP Rocky and hundreds of others.

WCP at a glance:

  • Winner of the 2011 & 2014 New Orleans Promoter of the Year Award, with hundreds of events under its belt
  • Known as one of the most trusted tastemakers on the Gulf Coast, specializing in the unique and progressive
The WCP team had already been using SimpleCrew when Taran Cornejo, who’s now a Senior Marketing Manager, joined the team. But over the years they’d been approached by other competing solutions.
We’ve had a lot of people in the years I’ve been here approach us with their software and try to get us to switch to new companies.
Everything that people have presented to us feels very plug and play, and that we have to adapt to how their system is built.“
“We do roughly 200 shows per year and at least 50-60% of our shows have a street team. We use SimpleCrew fully for accountability purposes
Jon Eisenberg
Senior Marketing Manager at Winter Circle Productions
For those reasons, the team decided to stick with SimpleCrew.

The Challenge

Right off the bat, Taran noticed how street teams that use systems of accountability are more successful than the ones who don’t. Unaccountable street teams oftentimes dealt with members who lied about the work they were doing to take advantage of the team member rewards.

The gap between work and reward was a canyon in need of a bridge. Their street team is an absolutely essential part of their overall grassroots marketing strategy, and the accountability ties it all together.

We have to have some way to hold people accountable for what they’re actually doing to be able to provide them with the free tickets or whatever rewards that we’re giving them. I would definitely say that it’s necessary and I’m not sure how we would be able to track all that confidently without a program like this.

Other solutions out there who presented themselves to her team didn’t offer the same level of flexibility and ease-of-use as SimpleCrew — this confirmed their choice to keep using the app.

We have to have some way to hold people accountable for what they’re actually doing to be able to provide them with the free tickets or whatever rewards that we’re giving them. I would definitely say that it’s necessary and I’m not sure how we would be able to track all that confidently without a program like this.

The Solution

Taran and the Winter Circle Productions team rely on SimpleCrew to upload promotional photos from the field and screenshots of social media posts. The team goes through each campaign to verify the work was completed and make sure each social media post is thoughtful and engaging.

We can tell when someone’s just spamming a bunch of Facebook posts. We can tell whether they’re posting actually engaging content or just posting the same thing 20 times just to try and meet their requirements.”

This learning format allowed staff to quickly and easily access resources in the areas most applicable to their need.

When you’re managing a 100- to 150-person team around the country, there’s gotta be systems. Without systems it’s not gonna work. The SimpleCrew system is so integral to music festivals because there’s so many moving parts around the country, whether it’s regional or national.

They leverage every last bit of information in SimpleCrew to give them a clear birds-eye view of everything that’s happening with their street team.

It's nice to have the dates on there too, especially for hard promos. Because we don’t want somebody putting a bunch of promo stuff 3 days before the show because that doesn’t really help us.

The Result

The WCP team got the following 4 results after 8 years of using SimpleCrew:
Defending their work to clients.

This year we had a show with some of the artist team present locally, and someone from the team said they hadn’t seen anything around town, and basically accused us of not promoting anything yet. And we were able to show the link and show that maybe (the promo) was not where they were at, but that we had actually started.

Justify street team spend internally and to clients.
They’re able to justify which rewards (and how big of rewards) they give to their street team members for their work.

If we really had no proof to show, and the team really was slacking and hadn’t been doing their job, then I really can’t justify keeping that amount in the marketing budget or still paying for that. So granted, we do have control of it, but I would want to be able to justify it if I’m right

Get more granular and accurately deserved rewards to their team members.

We do have to share when we have partners or different teams for shows, and we can justify our spend because we do pay the ambassadors for each street team and we pay people for putting posters up around the city. So in that sense it gives us justification for being able to keep using money in the marketing budget for things like that so we can show what we’re doing.

Help expand their street team marketing reach into other markets.

I would definitely say our team has gotten bigger, not just locally, but as a whole for the festivals in different markets. And SimpleCrew has definitely allowed us to do that and to branch out into different markets.