How To Write Your Own “Four Front” Music Marketing Plan!
I Have a Question for You…What Are Your Goals?
If you look up the word ‘goal’ in a dictionary the word is defined as “something to aim at, or hope to obtain.” So, I want you to sit down right now and write the answer to this question on a piece of paper:
“Of all the things I could do in my life, “WHY do I want to learn how to write a music marketing plan?” Or better yet, answer this question: “Why do I want to start and run a record label?”
I ask you to do this because the only business that needs to know how to market music are record labels, they are the ones who have to write these danged things. So, if you are just an independent musician who has recorded a CD but wants it to sell, then (whether or not you want to admit it….) you are starting your own record label, and record labels must write music marketing plans if they have any chance of selling the recordings they have made!
Music marketing plans are written for a couple of reasons.
Primarily they are written by a record label so that they can figure out what they are going to do to get their recording heard by the public and eventually sell.
Secondly, music marketing plans are written to show investors or other financial lenders that you have a clear picture of the music marketplace and how you will be successful with your label.
Also it is important to remember that these plans are not seen directly by music fans or consumers. But your fans and ccustomers react to the results of your plan when they hear and buy your music.
So, what should you do before you begin to write your
‘FourFront Music Marketing Plan’? First off, do some research on your abilities to run a business, and then research what the business of music marketing entails…and:
Think About A Few Things Before You Start Writing What is your financial situation? Consider what your money situation is. If you or any partners in your venture have been in any other businesses check out how well (or not) those ventures went.
Find out if you really have the ability to start and
operate your own record label. (Take a look at any previous profit and loss statements, start-up budgets, equipment you bought, operating budgets you created, etc) and analyse honestly your opinion of yourself and any potential partners as
savvy business people.)
Now, please answer these questions:
If you are just starting out, have you done any ‘business modelling’ on an Excel spreadsheet? (In other words have you at least tried to project the expenses and possible realistic income your record release may generate over the next year to 3 years?)
Are you aware of all the contracts and responsibilities you might encounter as a record label; recording contracts, royalty payments, mechanical licenses, sampling clearances, music publishing issues, etc?
Do you really have a real understanding of your particular music marketplace: your competitors, the geographical areas you want to cover?
Are you crystal clear about who your target customer or fan is, (in other words …what your niche is?)
Do you have the latest and most useful demographic AND psychographic data on your chosen customers/fans? (the hard facts about them and the more subtle psychological traits they portray?).
Have you considered all the legal or business issues your label needs to be aware of, such as what business form your label will take, what kind of business licenses you might need, what taxes you must pay?
Do you have any knowledge of existing distribution channels that might be available to you?
Do you keep up on any and all information on the music trends in your chosen music markets? Meaning do you subscribe to such music industry magazines as Billboard, or ssubscribe online to any of the many music industry newsletters, blogs e.g: http://www.successmediaafrica.wordpress.com / http://www.fb.com/SuccessMEDIAAfrica (to further enable you get the best of publicity/promos/marketing advise or podcasts that are available to you?
If you still feel like you are a candidate for starting-up and running your own record label, then It’s now time to start learning how to write a music marketing plan based on The Four Fronts Music Marketing ’ that the book ‘ Music Is Your Business; A Musician’s FourFront Strategy for Success’ is all about:
Before I start getting into all the details involved with writing a music marketing plan, lets take a quick refresher course on what the ‘Four Fronts Of Music Marketing’ are all about and how they “work together”:
The First Front is called ARTISTE and PRODUCT DEVELOPEMENT – and it is the ONLY Front that is divided into Two Parts:
Artist Development is concerned with the issues surrounding preparing your career while Product Development is about making and selling your records.
The Second Front: PROMOTION (Getting Airplay for Your Music)
The Third Front: PUBLICITY (Creating a Buzz in the Media…this is one of the areas we have been able to build a global world of Professionals working with Success MEDIA, Africa: a Nigerian-Zambian PR Expert and Consultancy platform)
The Fourth Front: PERFORMANCE (Finding Your Audience)
(The last 3 Fronts are called the “Exposure Fronts”, which means that getting music fans to hear the music is the job of Promotion plans, reading or hearing about the music or the artist is the job of Publicity plans, and seeing the music performed live is the job of any Performance plans, which IF all of these Fronts have been coordinated well, ultimately will lead back to the Product Development plans that are concerned with getting your fans and customers to buy or download the music.)
Remember that all parts of the music business are
INTERDEPENDENT on each other… meaning they all feed off each other and need each other if a music marketing plan is be successful.
And now, it’s time to start writing your plan!
First of All: Discuss Your ‘Market Situation’:
This is the section of your FourFront Music Marketing Plan where you write a clear description of what the state of the music industry in Nigeria and beyond is today. You succinctly describe the health of
the music business, as you see it and what your research has shown…
What specific products are record labels concerned with, and what kind of services are record labels and other aspects of the recording industry offering?
What is the value, in dollars, of music today in terms of sales and sales trends?
What are your specific music sales and distribution options available today?
What broadcasting opportunities are available to you?
What press and other media could be of use to you?
What type of music venues might you be able to perform at?
What regions of the country or the world do you intend to cover?
Describe your fan base and customers in terms of their population base, demographics, ages, income levels, ethnic or religious backgrounds.
Who are your direct and indirect music competitors in your chosen music marketplace?
Historically, how well has your genre of music and more recently how well is it selling?
Your market situation section might read like this if you were starting a label:
LlcoolJ Entertainment World (a division of LlcoolJ Records) an independent record label that
started up in late 2003 (officially registered in 2009). We specialize in helping Nigeria/African Promising Talents in conjunction with Causla Records ( they also help singers/songwriters releases that write their
own music) gain their own ground etc. This segment of the music industry accounts for 15% of the total music market place for over the last 6 years. We estimate that there are over 3 million people who enjoy and support the many independent singer/songwriter’s CDs and digital releases annually in the U.S. alone, (according to Neilson/Soundscan’s
annual report on music sales), and the singer/songwriter genre brings in close to a billion dollars in revenue from sales of CDs, MP3 file downloads, sheet music and various music licensing deals.
They hope to build the company in the first 3 years to
bring in around $200,000 in annual sales by the end of their third year in business. We will use independent record distributors and music stores as our source of getting the music to our demographic, while at the same time taking advantage of the increasing digital aggregators like iTunes, TuneCore and CDBaby to reach our target audience of mid–twenties to early thirties men and women who are of mixed races, middle class, college graduates who seek out this style of music regularly.
We will research and target alternative broadcasting
possibilities such as non-commercial college and public radio stations, llcooljentworld
Internet radio, as well as satellite broadcaster XM and Sirius.
In additions we will seek to make connections with the alternative print media publications on and offline, and will suggest alternative live performance venues for our artists when they go on tour.
Our competition are the hundreds of other independent labels putting out this style of music, but we are confident that by concentrating on Pacific Northwest, Nigeria and other African countries
singer/songwriters we will gain a reputation of releasing the best artists in this genre and help put the Northwest and Africa @ large on the map for this style of music. Historically, singer/songwriter music has been a staple of the music industry at large since the 1970’s, and we are confident that with sales of this genre fairly steady over the last three decades, it will continue to grow and prosper.
This is just an example of how the Marketing Situation part of a FourFront Music Marketing Plan might work. Since it is only an example YOU have to write down what your particular situation is like… That is the purpose of this exercise. For example, how much information do you have—right now—on your competition, and any demographic information as well?
The ‘market situation’ part of a music marketing plan gives you a chance to pull all this information together in one place, to cement your ideas and justify your actions, which will come up later in your plan.
Now, consider your first label release in the coming year and explain how it stacks-up against the releases of your competitors and describe any significant market opportunity for you that neither you nor your competitors are currently exploiting?
(When you finish your FourFront Music Marketing Plan it will provide a good test of the validity of your research to capture the different snapshots of the market you are in and competing with.)
What Are the Threats and Opportunities You Face?
This section is an extension of the “market situation” section, and it should focus on both the bad and good implications of the current market:…(to be cont’d in the next compilations base on very deep research, series of seminars/workshops and years of experience on the field)
Compiler: KING JOSEPH of Success MEDIA, Africa and and King Joseph Management (divisions of LlcoolJ Ent World)
Twitter: @KingJoseph_1 @Succes_Media
For More Info/Enq: +2349035953205