If you’re here to look into new and different methods by which you can market your band or artist. You’ve come to the right place. I’m Tom Colohue, and this is Marketing Methods; your guide to traversing the marketing world while avoiding the pitfalls, the traps and the unreasonable arseholes of the world.
Marketing Methods by Tom Colohue
Part Two: Understanding The Target Audience
Step One: Understand Yourself
First off: why do you play music?
This might seem to be a rather random question when we’re talking about marketing, but one of the most important things about the business world is honesty. If you’re honest with yourself then you can present an honest and, more importantly, a non-conflicting image to your audience.
Ignore the band for now, that comes later. If you’re a manager or advertiser, focus on one person at a time. Why do you play music? What drives you and inspires you, because that’s going to come across to the people that you’re playing for, and if you don’t know, how can you work to your strengths?
The type of music that you play comes from the answer to this question. If you just want to entertain then you’ll wander towards the more basic and simplistic forms of pop or rock. If you enjoy the technical and theoretical challenges then you’re going to meander closer to the progressive areas. If you want to display your more angry and violent side, the multiple sub genres of metal might hold your interest. All of this matters deeply because if you’re a country music fan and you’re playing death metal, your fans are going to notice that you’re not really in to it. The music will certainly show it.
You have to make sure that you know why you do something to fully convince people that you’re good at it. If you’re a good guitarist then you have to love the guitar. If you’re a good musician then you have to love the intricacies of music theory and so on and so forth.
Step Two: Understand Your Band
If you’re a singular artist then you’re fairly safe in this respect, but if you’re in a band then it’s important to consider why they play music as well in order to understand their strengths. In a band, everybody has a showcase for their talents, even though the leads generally get the most attention. If you understand the people that you’re working with then you can encourage and develop their skills so that, when they are being showcased, they are at the absolute pinnacle that they can be.
If you want your audience to enjoy your performance, you have to perform at the absolute peak of your abilities each and every time, which is why you have to know what everybody is capable of. A band is a cohesive unit, which means that you need to gel together, but people also want to see a bit of showing off.
Then we have to consider what people want to play. If you’ve been classically trained, but your drummer is self-taught and likes a bit of Stone Roses, it could add a very handy twist to your music. Quite often, people will have to make small sacrifices in their style in order to better fit what other people are doing, but that’s not completely essential. You can make a ton of different combinations just by abusing the styles of the different people, merging them together and then seeing what you get.
Step Three: Understand Your Appeal
If you understand yourself and the people that you work with, you should be able to work out what you can offer an audience that nobody else can. Not only that, but through performing and criticism, you should be able to find out just what your target audience enjoy about seeing you in action. What parts of the music are their favourites, and are thus worth a little special attention?
A lot of people think that you’re selling out if you set goals around the favourite parts of your band. A sell out is defined as somebody who changes their music in order to become successful. An underground band, which has members spending every waking moment of their lives struggling to make ends meet and support that little hobby of theirs, will be labelled a sell out the moment that they start to make a comfortable living. There is never anything wrong with success, and people who critique your band as sell outs are frankly ridiculous when you’re trying to make a living.
Examine the people you work with. There could well be a physical appeal as well as a musical one. Certain people might be considered people of noteworthy character. Abuse that. You might feel left out when somebody else is getting more attention, but such is the cost of success.
If you can work out what people love about you then you should have no problem taking advantage of that. Any success that comes from the money of others relies on the experience of taking advantage and opportunity when it arrives. Once you know what’s going on with you, you should be able to take hold of your chosen audience and never let go.
Written by Tom Colohue, originally posted on Dotted Music
Tom Colohue is a writer from Blackpool, England. Though he specialises in Fiction, he also writes music theory articles, and new media articles based primarily on the internet. On occasion, these also intermingle. He is well recognised by numerous critics and analysts for his integrative descriptive work and his cynical textual mannerisms. For more information, Tom Colohue keeps a Facebook Fan Page, which contains updates from new articles and his personal blog, Mental Streaming. This page can be found via this link.