Music Marketing: The Difference Between Success and Failure

By Bret Caputo, Marketing Director for SkyeLab Music Groupmusic marketing and promotion

Do you have a great recording but do not know how to reach your fans? You are not alone – many artists have a professional album or single, however, without the right push they may fall short of their target market and ultimately their full potential. The difference between being successful or not often comes down to music marketing.

Many believe that if their music is good, or if they are a great singer that their product will essentially sell itself. It is another misconception that in order for an artist to be a success they only need to market their music on iTunes. Because of this thinking, it may surprise some to learn that this is not the case for a majority of artists, and, in fact, it is quite the opposite.

Popular digital distributors like iTunes are oversaturated with millions of songs and to generate a random hit on iTunes can be likened to that of winning the lottery. Like the lottery, it may be possible to get lucky—however not for the majority, especially without proper marketing and promotion to back the artist. Marketing may be the most often overlooked aspect of an emerging artist’s career and also the most important, perhaps even more so than the music itself.

It is no secret that the music industry is experiencing a shift in the way they conduct business and work with artists. Marketing can mean the difference between a lame duck and a breakout success and it is essential that your marketing is spot on, and at the relevant time.

Most musicians fail at marketing because they do not have the specific tools and resources to garner the exposure they need. Just as artists enlist the services of a professional studio to get the best recording possible, so too should these artists invest in proper marketing– an idea that is often overlooked by most and yet is critical to the artist’s success.

For those seeking a record deal, it is important to build your social networks and make sure they are up to snuff. Whether you like it or not, most industry professionals will be extensively examining your MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter artist pages to ensure an appropriate amount of support is backing the artist. Record labels hardly factor in artist development these days, and the sad fact of it is that if an artist wants to get noticed they have to first build themselves the proper fan base. Record label talent scouts will be searching for a set amount of support behind the artist before they even consider a record contract; therefore it is imperative for an artist to be actively involved in locating and recruiting new fans daily.

In addition, having a professional electronic press kit (EPK) and one-sheet prepared for blog, magazine, or any other kind of media outreach is a must. When reaching out for review or feature consideration, it is of absolute importance that you conduct yourself in a professional and sincere manner, yet at the same time not appearing too desperate. Having a professional electronic press kit to include along with your pitch will place you a notch above the countless artists that are also looking for free publicity. Having a solid album helps as well, and having it available for free download to these editors through online file hosting sites such as Mediafire can be a major bonus; and even better yet if you can send out a physical copy that can occupy space on their desk, ensuring you are not so easily forgotten.

Finally, proper follow-ups are paramount because without following-up your email will get lost in the mayhem most likely taking place in the editor’s inbox. Be courteous and professional, but at the same time be consistent and insistent. Make sure your previous emails are attached to your latest email so the editor can review your previous attempts at contacting them. Once they get the hint that you are unwilling to take no for an answer they will usually, at the very least, respond as to whether or not they are interested in checking out your material.

In closing, marketing can be a hefty task for any artists, especially if acting on their own behalf. Social networking can be a very time-consuming process and media outreach can seem daunting to any emerging artist. As marketing director for SkyeLab Music Group, I am more than happy to assist any artist and provide free information so that you have the knowledge to build their own fan base, yet the bottom line is that without the manpower and resources behind a proper campaign, as well as the know-how behind your marketing you may never reach your true target market. Give us a call today to see what you can do to gain the maximum exposure for your music and what SkyeLab can do to help!