I talk a lot about music as a business and how as an artist, music is your product. You create your music and wish to sell it. The difference with music is that the benefit to people isn't as clear as with other products and services. Music is purely emotional and people respond to it based on how they feel. This is why it's extremely difficult to get someone to purchase your music if they've never heard it before. You can't really sell people on how you provide a better product than your competition with obvious benefits. People need to experience your music for themselves. This is an intro to the first P in the 7 Ps of marketing: Product.
Let's look at the 7 Ps of marketing as they relate to music:
Music is extremely unique because of how intangible it is. This is art. It's not clear exactly what the benefit is to someone, yet clearly people are consumers of music and that will never go away. The benefit to one person can be perceived entirely differently to another person. Even a service that is offered by a business has a clear value. When a business provides the service of cleaning your home, the benefit is that your home is clean. However, when someone is touched by music, it's purely emotional. The benefit they feel is in their soul and in their feelings.
Although music in itself is different than any other product, it is still a product with a market place and as an artist, you need to grab some of the market share. In order to sell a product, you need to look at a number of things in the marketing mix. We've just covered product.
What is the price point of your product? Is it competitive with what others are charging? The hardest part with music is that you have millions of artists who are willing to give their music away for free just to get heard and to that next level. It's tough to compete with free. Luckily, it's easier than ever to offer your music to free tiers in streaming services. We recommend to not focus so much on price and charging for your music until you gain a sizable market share. Look at it as a customer acquisition cost. It's no secret that the music industry has some of the hardest odds for being successful.
Are you offering your product where your target market is located? Where do they listen to music? Reaching potential fans while they are actively listening or reading about music is the most effective place that you can reach fans. You may have potential fans in other locations, but it's important to look at their current behavior as well. Facebook may reach many potential fans, but they might not be tuned into music at the moment while they browse through their crush's timeline.
Live shows are also very important for place. Play as many live shows as possible. This will allow you to get your music heard and form a personal bond with your fans. Remember, music is emotional!
How are you promoting your product? Try to come up with some innovative and out of the box ways to promote your music. What are you offering your potential customers to make them choose your product over another?
How do you package your product? It's 2015 and there are a ton of cool tools to provide around the packaging of your music. Is there a digital experience you can provide? Is there a cool physical creative that you can come up with? I went to a recent mix tape release and received the mix tape on a flash drive.
Think about how you are positioned in the hearts and minds of your fans. How do people think and talk about you? What do people think about your music? This all comes down to branding. You have your own brand as an artist or band that will resonate with like minded people. Stay true to yourself and always try to appeal to the right audience. Don't try to be something you're not.
People are at the heart of every decision. Remember that. Not just the people that you want to hear your music, but the people who are on your team and can help you in the industry. Many people look at companies as "faceless corporations" but behind any company is a person making a decision based on their own perceptions.