The data that Beyoncé’s management and entertainment company Parkwood Entertainment - for which she is president - collects from the singer’s fan base is “key” to driving the prolific success of the brand, according to head of digital Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood.
Speaking at the Web Summit in Dublin she admitted that Parkwood Entertainment, which was founded by Beyoncé in 2008, mines data it can pull from Beyonce.com, and that the company uses the site as a hub to pull in information from social media feeds.
“We pay very, very close attention to data,” she revealed, adding: “I’m more interested in data than probably most people are in the music business… I’m a little bit more keen on the importance of data and how to use it, so I make sure that I deep dive into every piece of content; who looked at it, who shared it, what they said about it, and really try to use that information in a meaningful way.
“Collecting all that data and crunching it into information that can be used in a smart way - a lot of people don’t do that. Particularly in the music business data gets overlooked, so often bands maybe have access to top line information that the label might give them, which was pulled from YouTube or Vevo or Facebook, but they don’t actually tell them what the data means and why it’s important.”
Wirtzer-Seawood added that the reason the website is so valuable is that it serves as a place where she can “really dig deep” into information and figure out who the fans are and how to communicate with them effectively.
She eschewed the notion, however, that the content Beyoncé creates is driven by data and stood staunchly by the opinion that creative decisions shouldn’t be dictated by data. Rather, when a new product is in the offing data merely guides the method of marketing.
“You take the data and you’re able to use it so that you can say with a fairly good understanding of who is going to want to have it and how they’re going to use it or buy it and share it,” she continued.
Speaking about the use of social media Wirtzer-Seawood said that while the Beyoncé brand is “absolutely” looking into platforms such as WhatsApp and Snapchat – Beyonce currently only uses Instagram and Facebook – she is careful not to launch on a social site without knowing exactly how she can leverage and sustain content.
“I’m also conscious of the fact that if you do decide to use WhatsApp, for example, I would never open an account and expect that we wouldn’t continue to fill that channel forever, because the channel doesn’t go away; it will continue to exist and we continue to need to fill it and that’s a huge responsibility.”