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The heart in marketing



Reflections on humanising marketing strategy, nurturing the fan relationship and

seeing through creative blindness.


Throughout my research into marketing within the music industry I have found endless material weighted heavily on profit pushing and income maximization. Even the language used throughout podcasts and articles treat the artist and fans as corporate entities, merely vehicles to manipulate in order to gain maximum financial potential. Routine marketing strategy is so focused on exploiting the streaming and social platforms as well as bombarding fans to drive the number of plays. To be crass, in many situations tardiness and greed hold accountability for abusing the artist and fan relationship to more than reap the economical benefits.


There is so much to be said for treasuring and nurturing the fan relationship. It seems to be easy for respect to slip through the minds of many in the music industry but it is just as simple to uphold human value and consideration. I feel myself tumbling down the preach path but I truly believe that what you yourself put into this world will amount to what you receive. Applying this sincerity to industry fixates production on human value which will positively influence productivity and revenue.


In terms of marketing, digital advertising can be so invasive, crowding platforms with uniform, invariable and uninspiring content. Marketeers can be so preoccupied with the platform that the interests and creative talent of the artist are left behind. Marketing for the artist no longer becomes the priority and fans are overwhelmed with the same content and merch to the point where the respect is lost. With respect goes the fans.


Congesting platforms with a deluge of ads and overkilling it on the merch sees fans turn their backs from an exploitation of their support but also due to a lack of interest from the start. Our attention spans are shrinking as technology continues to innovate. Marketeers need to bring focus back to building a story around the artist that can be told through digital and traditional avenues over time.


Dave Trott, author and pioneer of smart marketing asks, ‘why do we have to assume people like adverts?’. He continually points to these eye-watering statistics:


4% of ad spend yields positive perception


7% yields negative perception


89% achieves nothing due to the production of ads and campaigns that aren’t remembered


Marketeers are often so concerned with pushing ads to generate streams and sales that capturing the longstanding attention and support of the fan by truly telling the artist’s story is left behind. Trott explains that our brains group similar things together, so if your ad or campaign sits within that similar space, you will only get 50% of the attention. Beating creative blindness starts with working against the grain and departing from jam-packed platforms and generic strategy to create a fresh and captivating space in which this story can be told.


We are all guilty of being sucked into the digital world, so much so that we lose sight of what matters. People and our relationships with them are the foundations of our world and applying this to industry carries remarkable value. We continue to grow and develop our thinking through technology and we must certainly speak and create through the exciting opportunities of digital, but let us remember that there is a face behind every screen.


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