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Understanding


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In one way it seems the obvious thing to do, in another way it seems hard to attain... like grabbing smoke.

 

Ultimately, connecting to people is largely about understanding them, so that when you speak, you speak in a language they understand. More than that, Marketing to people is about really knowing them, and using that knowledge to communicate effectively

 

We we all know that the way we say something will have an effect on how people think of the subject. Marketing is about knowing our target audience well enough that we can say the right things in the right order to ensure the best chance of the result we want.

 

People do that all the time. At home to watch the Tv program they want to when their partner wants to watch something else. When negotiating a better job or salary at work. When trying to avoid a fight with a drunk at 11pm. When talking to a Policeman who has pulled you over for driving too fast... we do it naturally. We open our mouths to speak... and we effect the world around us. Like it or not, we manipulate the world to best suit us, or those we care about.

 

Marketing breaks that down into large chunks, and breaks those large chunks into smaller and smaller pieces. It looks at the structure, how connected and dependent different aspects are. It looks at the effects of the bits in isolation. It loos at how they work in combination. It does what we do within our own minds... except it doesn’t tend to forget. The mind is still an important part of the marketing mechanism... at least during the setup and testing phase. We apply our creativity alongside what is proven to work. Importantly, we efficiently learn.

 

There are generally accepted principles, and common traits, but understanding is necessary,,, especially for those times we speak in a way that is focused on a niche audience. In other words, we talk to people about topics that resonate with them. We talk in a way they relate to, a way they understand,,, and we do that by conducting market research. Also known as listening. Ok, we guide them to talk on subject that interest us... but fundamentally we listen to what they say, and use that to inform us what to say to be understood.

 

In general marketing tat may go as far asking a group what they would buy, then finding or creating that product and selling it to them, using all the reasons they told they wanted it in the first place. Some call that pushing buttons. Others call it giving them what they want. 

 

That certainly goes on within the music industry. Big time. They also try to work with those that observe and encourage trends the other way... taste makers, key influencers. The truth is, that there is nothing wrong with gathering information, to be better informed. We do that for a reason. But with great knowledge comes great power and great responsibility. It is poor ethics in what some people do with information that gives marketing such a bad name.

 

But you are not “some people”.

 

In the music industry, knowing your customers manifests in several ways. In can directly or indirectly influence the creation of the music itself. Regarding working with fans and potential fans, it starts with building audience profiles. Who are your fans? Who are your potential or target fans? What else do they listen to? What fashions and trends do they follow? What are their politics? Gender balance? Age balance? Income? Where do they live? How do they travel?

 

By knowing these things we can improve our communication.

 

Imagine for a moment we hadn’t made any music yet. We had no image. It had yet to be decided. All we have is our taste. We know we hate Smooth Jazz. We generally like heavy metal with Goth overtones. In front of us we have have two lots of fans. One lot are Goths. The other lot like polo necks, corduroy jackets and goatee beards. These are the only two types of fans.

 

So you go and make your music, you make merch that suits your music, and you get an image make over that suits your music, and the night comes to book a venue to showcase your album. Do you:

 

Book the Cemetary Club

Book the “Smooth Jazz Club”

 

?

 

Only 4 merch items were available. Keychains, black tee-shirt (can be printed with your design), pipes, slippers. You can only pick two.

 

So which venue do you rock up in front of? What are your two Merch items? What type of music are you playing?

 

So you picked heavy music that Goths would like, you booked the cemetary club, and decided on the Keychains and black tee (which now sports a nifty skull design).

 

Why would you make those choices?

 

Well you chose music that is close to the stuff you listen to. You enjoy playing. It has a natural audience, who typically like things like cemeteries... so you know what club to buy because you understand what Goths like. Same goes for picking the keychain and tee. Understanding your audience helped you pick items that your fans would likely enjoy.

 

This isn’t rocket science.

 

So how do you get the info you need?

 

That is another post!

 

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