Since starting the Mile of Music in 2013, Dave Willems has built it into an annual four-day festival that in August attracted more than 50,000 visitors to downtown Appleton to hear singer-songwriters perform their own material.

Attendees could catch 240 acts doing 900 live music sets — all for free, Willems said. Now, with help from a Milwaukee marketing firm, he says Mile of Music is looking to use cutting-edge data and analytics tactics to grow even bigger.

“We’re able to pay attention to the data and see there are this many people from Chicago spending six minutes on our website and looking at this many pages,” said Willems, the festival’s co-founder and director and president and chief executive officer of Willems Marketing and Events.

The Milwaukee firm, Harvest Strat LLC, provides what it calls “data X-ray vision” to analyze people’s online behavior and identify real-time buyer intent signals. The signals are culled from anywhere between 1 billion and 3 billion web records each day that are generated by ad networks, publishers and other sources, said Michael De Boer, founder of the company. Read the full story here.