Why I Am Obsessed With Direct-To-Fan Marketing

This post is by Michael Fiebach, Founder of Fame House.

Ddfdf Why “obsessed” you ask?

Well, I have been working with a Philly based hip-hop group “OCD: Moosh & Twist,” and their obsession for their craft has given me the opportunity to let my obsession shine: building, growing, and monetizing online fan bases…

I would like to officially announce the launch of my company: Fame House. Some of you may know me from my work with DJ Shadow. I am continuing to work with the man himself (DJ Shadow), but I am also handling Digital Strategy, Marketing, and Management for a few other clients, and I am in talks with some other “big names” about helping out with their digital worlds.

Definitely stay tuned to FameHouse.net for more updates on our upcoming projects.

So back to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder… OCD is comprised of Philly rappers Moosh and Twist. I came across these guys through a friend about a year ago.

They actually went to the same elementary school as me (I am also from Philly, but I currently reside in San Francisco). They are 8 years younger than me (they are 18 years old and seniors in high school!).

Everything came together when a few months ago, I got in touch with their manager. Their manager informed me that they were recording and working out of Wiseman Records’ studio, formerly the famous “Studio,” and formerly owned and operated by the legendary record producer Larry Gold (this is also the studio where The Roots have recorded most of their music). I know Solomon Silber well, the CEO of Wiseman and new owner of The Studio. I gave him a ring, and we all got on the same page. We were a bunch of guys from Philly making some noise in the music business, and we had to pool our ideas, and resources.

So, long story short- I got on board with “Team OCD,” to handle their digital marketing and digital management through my new company, Fame House.

The story with OCD? They had 2 semi-viral youtube videos with 200,000+ views:  

When I came on board, they had about 9,000 Facebook fans. They had no website. They had 0 email addresses. Well, we are in the digital age of ‘Direct To Fan,’ right? This is a DREAM job for me. These guys are only 18, and are interested in working with me for the long haul. They had NO direct to fan marketing tools in place, and were not utilizing ANY music-specific online tools. All they had was a Facebook page and a Youtube channel. All of their prior music had been released through Mediafire links, and bloggers posting their own links.

The most beautiful thing? People LOVE OCD’s music, and they already had die-hard fans…. Again, these guys are still in high school… When the fans’ love for the music shines past the emptiness of the fact that there is no website, no logo, no email list, no marketing collateral, etc- the sky is the limit for music marketers like myself.

OCD was just about to finish a mixtape, and they informed me they were going to drop it on March 7th…and they told me this on March 3rd. I had 4 days to launch a Direct To Fan campaign for them, where they could give away their new mixtape in exchange for email addresses.

We set out to:

-Launch a 1 page HTML website centered on a Topspin “Email For Media” widget, and include API pulls of relevant social media.

-Include a Tee Shirt purchase option using Topspin e-commerce. We had no plan to push sales for the shirt, we just wanted it visibly available for purchase on the website, and on their Facbook page.

-Launch a Facebook “BandPage” with RootMusic, integrating “Like for listen” for the 1st half of the mixtape, and “email capture for listen” for the 2nd half of the mixtape.

-Launch a “Team OCD” bandcamp page

-Launch a site for Wiseman Records

...All in 4 days.


-Capture at least 2,500 email addresses. According to Ian Rogers of Top Spin this is the beginning of a viable business for Direct To Fan offers; pursuant to average click through and purchase data. I agree that 2,500 email addresses is a good place to start, in terms of direct marketing for commerce. So we set this as the goal.

-Increase Facebook “Likes” by at least 820 in 1 week. I figured a 1 week 10% increase of “Likes” wouldn’t be so bad, and would be a realistic goal.

-Sell enough tee shirts to break even on the web development expenses for the OCD side of the project So I went to work…

March 3rd 2011: OCD announces on their Facebook page that they will be releasing their mixtape for free on March 7th.

March 7th, 2011: At midnight, the requests start rolling in, “when will it drop?” “What Time?” etc. … Let them wait.

The posts from eager fans continue to roll in all day long.

Finally just before 4pm PST, teamocd.com launches simultaneously with listn.to/teamocd on.fb.me/teamocd, teamocd.bandcamp.com, and wisemanrecords.com.

So as for the goals

We captured over 5,000 email addresses in 3 days, and they are still rolling in. We doubled up on our goal of 2,500 emails, and Team OCD certainly has the beginning of a viable business. The bulk of the emails came from the Topspin “Email for Media” widget embedded at Teamocd.com and The Facebook tab, but we also had a nice rush of emails that came into Bandcamp. I thought it was important to have both assets (Topspin and Bandcamp) available, because it gave us the ability to promote both links at separate times, and also gives people who like or prefer bandcamp, the opportunity to use that portal… The more assets to promote, the more of a chance that someone will click that button.

We sold enough tee shirts to break even on the web development fees for OCD, and then some. We never pushed 1 tee. There was never a facebook update, or Tweet about the shirts once. But people bought them right from the Teamocd.com site, and also from the tab on the Facebook page.

Facebook Likes increased by almost 2,000 in just a few days, and they are still going up and up. Check out the Facebook insights (notice the spikes at the right side of each graph- representing the mixtape release!).

Below you will see that their active user interactions, activity, and "Likes" went through the roof pursuant to the mixtape release. New content doesn’t necessarily = increased engagement. But new content that the fans love, released correctly with the proper utilization of marketing tools DOES = increased engagement.


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Daily Active Users:

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This was an extremely successful Direct To Fan Consumer Acquisition project.

So what are the next steps for Team OCD?

New content will be launched soon to follow up on the mixtape release, and to re-engage the newly acquired, and pre-existing fans. This of course, will also continue to increase their ability to gain more fans.

I cannot disclose what the new content will be, but stay tuned to teamocd.com and facebook.com/teamocd to see what’s coming. Offers are starting to roll in for big-time opening slots for Summer touring (AFTER they graduate high school of course), and they are playing spot dates throughout the USA between now and graduation day. They will begin work on their debut official album soon. Let’s just say they may be deferring college for a year to see where this whole “music thing” leads… We’ll see.

Did they make a ton of money? No (not yet). Did they blow up to Bieber status? No. But they have the foundation in place for the start of a career. It will be a gradual building process.

That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were at 100,000 fans by this time next year. I guess we will all have to wait and see. I am just glad I was a part of this first official launch for Team OCD, and I plan to be involved in many others.

After all- we ALL must be obsessed with our craft(s) in the music business to be successful in this day and age.


Follow Michael Fiebach on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mfiebach

See Michael Febach Speak At SXSW: http://schedule.sxsw.com/events/event_MP6580

Check out Michael Fiebach’s Company: http://www.famehouse.net

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