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Music Marketing Principles: Communicate Values, Promote Exclusivity



Music Marketing Principles: Communicate Values, Promote Exclusivity
A Guest Post by MARQUEE


This blog post was written using notes from Billy O’Connell’s Music Marketing class at Loyola University – New Orleans. Experimenting with new music marketing models throughout his career, Billy’s a recognized thought-leader in issues of artists’ sustainability through audience development. He’s committed to supporting musicians in their pursuit of productive and ongoing careers by guiding them toward best-practices, and helping to forge strong and supportive bonds with their audiences.

Marquee CrowdEvery action you take is an opportunity to communicate with your audience.

Every interaction on social media, every email you send and respond to, every show you play, every song, on every album – everything you put out tells your story.

In other words: everything communicatesvalues.

In this sense, music marketing becomes an on-going process of communicating your values as a band and the experience associated with being your fan.

Music marketing can be thought of as a two step process:

  1. Connect with your fans

  2. Give them a reason to buy from you.

Superfans closely associate membership in your musical community with their personal identity. Therefore they place a greater value on the experiences and content you offer, than on their own money.

That being said, not every fan is right for you and not every fan who is interested in you will be a superfan.

You cannot market to everyone, so you must find a way to exclude those fans who are wasting your time. Do this by focusing all of your attention to the fans who are actively supporting you.

Create Awareness, Delight Your Fans, Exceed Their Expectations

Every artist and manager wants to build awareness of key events and release dates, but effective music marketing is much more than promoting music and live shows – it’s about communicating your ideas, values and identity as a band to a very specific audience.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Define who you are as an artist – what is it that you do better than anyone else?

  • Who is your ideal audience? What do you share in common with them?

At the moment, your ideal audience may only be made up of 100 fans – but that’s OK! If you can figure out how to delight 100 people, you can delight 1,000, and 10,000 and so on.

You have to be exceptional no matter the size of your audience, because exceeding your fans’ expectations is the only way your they will talk about you to their friends.

Mass-Marketing is Dead, Long-Live Exclusivity

An important part of communicating value to your fans is recognizing their value to you as an artist.

Value is reciprocal – you rely on your fans to support your career, and they rely on you to thrill them with unforgettable experiences.

Its a wasted effort to thrill fans who aren’t showing you the love back.

Stop blasting announcements and offering content or experiences to your followers and fans on social media. Instead consider creating an email list exclusively for your superfans.

Your most passionate fans are the ones that care about everything from when your next album drops to what your band had as a late-night snack while recording that album in the studio.

Constant-contact is great, a zero-distance relationship is even better – but only with the fans who have demonstrated their continued support.

Exclusive access weeds out casual fans leaving you with only the most attentive and passionate audience who will gleefully consume everything you put out.


MARQUEE a New Orleans based mobile tech company with an addiction to live music and a talent for finding the groove. We develop innovative solutions that enhance the connection between fans and artists.



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