Promoting Music with Marketing
I'll confess that I understand how people can think that music and marketing don't mix. One is about freeing the human spirit, and the other, at certain times, can seem all about exploiting it. I haven't always had the best impression of marketing, but I have some thoughts to share about a recent experience that I think more musicians should consider.
Let's face it and admit that it is pretty hard to reach music people without ads today. The only places that "music people" can meet each other are at the concerts they're already attending together. Word-of-mouth only moves between a small set of big fans of live music. A lot of people who would have awoken to a love of live music simply don't know about the big events that are going on in their towns. After all, they aren't going to record stores to learn about these events anymore. They are pretty much staying in their own digital music universes and catching a little bit of information from audiophile friends.
The good news is that the growth of influencers in social media means that critical responses to high art are becoming a lot more accessible (though still not to the level of the record store days). However, I have to hold at this point that digital marketing may be one of the only ways for a newer musician to break out the pack and target some people who wouldn't know about their career otherwise.
I have a little bit of experience working with online marketing firms. I've liked a lot of what I've read about reaching people on facebook by targeting their interests directly. I'm not sure what this relationship will mean for music going forward, but I have faith that live music will return to the place in people's hearts.