7 Things Digital Marketers Can Learn from the Music Industry

Most marketers I know love music. Many of the big marketing conferences feature engaging musical acts, and plenty of playlists exist to increase our productivity and creativity at work.

If you're like me, you're curious about the back story behind your favorite artists. How did they find their audience in such a literally noisy industry?

Luckily, we interviewed the perfect guest on the Marketing Cloudcast to indulge these curiosities. Angela Sanchez is Vice President of Consumer Relationship Marketing at Universal Music Group.

In the latest episode of the podcast, Angela shares the fascinating and useful stories behind marketing in the music world. She especially highlights how mobile, social, and the highly connected consumer have changed the way artists sell out stadiums.

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Take a listen here:

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Angela.

1) Marketers' access to consumers is unprecedented.

“We’ve never had more access to consumers than we do nowadays — that’s definitely happened over the last fifteen years. Not only do we have more access to the consumer, but more ways to market to them. The opportunities are endless, and I think it’s our job to catch up with all those opportunities," says Angela.

2) Consumers now expect to know everything about a product — whether that's a musical artist or anything else.

Angela shares, “Fans nowadays expect to know everything about what’s happening [with] artists. It’s an expectation." Many of today's musical artists live-share everything about a tour or the recording of a new album with fans through Facebook Live, Instagram, Snapchat, and more. Fans already know everything about how a concert will look and feel before they ever set foot in a stadium.

Similarly, your customers are probably looking to product or service reviews on Amazon, TripAdvisor, Yelp, G2Crowd, or other services before they make a purchase decision. We're in an overly saturated world of content. I believe that no FAQ section can ever be too robust. Until you've answered every possible question a consumer could ever have, there's more to be done.

3) People want content and answers on demand.

Angela explains, “The consumer’s expectations of music being on demand has really changed how we release the music, as well as how we market it. Now, it’s how to get consistent content out. More importantly, how do we get the message out directly to the fans — versus from a third party — so it’s through our voice?”

4) Third-party barriers are falling.

”The consumer expects to be connected directly, especially when it’s a live personality," Angela says. Consumers not only spend an increasing amount of time connected to their devices, but they also want to connect directly with the personalities and real people behind the music. The main impetus for this is the rise in mobile and social access.

That applies for industries beyond music. YouTube celebrities are popular in part because they're more accessible than Hollywood A-listers. Give consumers access to the big-name leaders at your company, and interact with them like a real human.

5) Change should stop shocking us.

Angela makes a great point in the full podcast: ”I think we should not be surprised by the evolutions of digital and social media.” It's true. There's a lot of hand-writing among marketers when channels and algorithms change. And it’s only natural for business practices to evolve over time. But in an age when new technologies and social platforms change the game every day, we can't be surprised by any changes in tech adoption behaviors.

Angela continued: "What we all have to realize is that customer behaviors are ongoing and changing. I think it that if people are surprised, it’s a bit of a shame. It’s more about — how do you evolve with that right away?”

6) Email is still the heart of one-to-one relationship marketing.

“We still see that one-to-one relationships are the best when it comes to email," says Angela.

If your deliverability is good, your emails will reach the inbox — no algorithm manipulation required. Direct access to consumers is very much still a thing on email. Angela shares, “Everyone is so hung up on social. A conversation I have every day is — do people open email? Email is not dead, it’s in the consumer’s hand. It’s actually more active than ever because people have access to it [both] through work and their phone.”

7) Marketing eggs don't belong in one basket.

“You can never rely on one sole channel. That’s just not good marketing for anything you’re doing, no matter what your product is," confirms Angela.

Spread your eggs across multiple baskets so that, even if one algorithm changes or your audience relies on a channel less, you're solidly meeting goals elsewhere. If we know anything about marketing today, it's not to get too comfortable. Have a diverse marketing mix and be willing to adapt, based on data about changing customer preferences.

You'll learn much more about marketing in the music industry with Angela Sanchez. Get the complete low-down on direct marketing trends from a top music industry marketer in this episode of the Marketing Cloudcast.

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Tweet @youngheike with marketing questions or topics you’d like to see covered next on the Marketing Cloudcast.

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