On Marketing

Despite everyone’s best efforts and a lot of wishful thinking, there’s still no substitute for actual physical shows and actual physical marketing. (as long as it’s targeted-there’s no point in papering windshields at the mall when your band is more emo than a Hot Topic cashier) Music “consumers” (I hate that word; what gets consumed, exactly?) are more savvy and guarded than ever before, and are more or less continually assaulted by people promoting crap twenty-four seven, especially if they’re online. Music fans believe that it costs nothing to record a song and that playing and singing requires no talent nor any effort whatsoever; after all, the marketers for computers, software and musical instruments told them so!

Prevailing wisdom would have you chasing ‘influencers’ online, and I suppose there’s some merit in that, but smarter money is on finding something better than great and seducing, rather than bludgeoning your audience; speak softly, and carry a big stick, as Teddy Roosevelt so famously put it. I used to sell vacuum cleaners door-to-door, and I can tell you that a truly great product practically sells itself, once you get it in front of a buyer. In today’s environment, the ‘having a great product’ part is the hardest part by far.


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