Marketing and Music – An Odd Combination…

Grateful DeadThe fun thing – and also a challenging aspect, about writing an ongoing blog is to come up with content. There are many websites that have blog posts strictly about a given topic or industry. There are others that key in on the individual and their “take on life” – a much more personal approach that can lead to a strong group of followers. While the C L Graphics blog is typically business orientated, every once in a while I will blend in some personal thoughts and observations – and today might be such a posting!

Not really sure why I got stuck on the concept of including music into the mix here, I suspect just because I got inspired by a few good classics over the last few days. You see that is who I most identify with – the 60’s and 70’s Rock classics. While I am good with some Jazz (especially Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk) and even some Blues (B.B. King, Buddy Guy), by far and away you will find me listening to the Classic Vinyl or Classic Rewind stations on Sirius radio. What about Country you ask? Well I prefer to not even go there, thank you very much – nothing personal, I just never got into it. Instead, give me Bob Seeger, The Guess Who, John Mellencamp, The Who, Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton, CCR, Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, just to name a few.

So how does the concept of music and marketing mix together? Well I guess I figured I had to tie this together somehow, so here goes… I would suggest that the art of marketing to the various music audiences can be a great example for all of us to follow. Since each musical genre has a very specific audience and many times they do not overlap, the music industry has been a leader in targeted marketing for some time now. And talk about being out in front of the curve, the music industry embraced the concept of video well before it became mainstream for the rest of us – MTV was launched back in 1981, and even today remains a significant part of promoting a talent. Think about that – it took nearly a quarter century before YouTube was developed in 2005, and yet the music industry had offered the idea for anyone to embrace – if only we had the foresight!

Another aspect of marketing that the music industry excels at is social media. Of course you can visit just about any popular band or musical talent’s Facebook page – in fact the number are astounding for some of them, like the Rolling Stones who have nearly 17 million likes! Even bands that have not played together (at least not the original members) like the Guess Who have 210,000+ likes. But if you really want to think about examples of social media in the music industry, you can go back to the 60’s when the buzz about bands like the Beatles were multiplied when they were invited as guests on the Ed Sullivan Show! Or on a more grass-roots level, consider the faithful following of bands like the Grateful Dead – their fans would literally follow them around the country, and still do, to see them time and time again. You could easily argue that their social media impact and engagement was stronger back in the day, then just about any of the big marketing brands that we hear of today.

In many ways, some of what we see as being the most popular trends in marketing can actually be traced backwards to the popularity of music and its impact on all of us. It is a very personal engagement, and perhaps that is how and why we react to every little bit that comes our way. Once a band or musician “strikes a chord” with us, we become attached to them until we lose interest in favor of someone else. Marketing your brand is the same battle, and you need to make it as personal as you can!

So who are your musical favorites?

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