In the Key of Sales

5 Reasons Your Music Business Needs a Music Marketing Plan

[fa icon="calendar"] Sep 4, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by Matt Jacoby

5 Reasons Your Music Business Needs a Music Marketing Plan

Does your music business have a marketing plan that’s tailored to the industry? Marketing plans aren’t one-size-fits-all; the music industry is entirely its own animal.


Things happen in the music world that simply don’t happen in other industries - for example, the Grammys. What other industry, except maybe the movie industry, is so heavily affected by a one-night awards show? All year long, new Grammy winners touch off new trends and impact the public’s musical tastes. As music retailers, you have to stay right on top of it all.


The music world has also survived an earthshaking digital revolution in the past decade. Digital innovations are shaking up many of the traditional notions about music marketing, leaving music retailers and brands wondering what’s still to come.


With all this in mind, Octave Media presents 5 reasons your music business needs its own unique music marketing plan.

 

#1 - Having a Plan Saves You Money

First off, a music marketing plan is vital because it saves you money. This might sound counterintuitive - Doesn’t marketing cost money? - but basing all your marketing efforts on a cohesive plan is a very cost-effective approach.


When you don’t have a formalized plan, every decision about spending marketing dollars happens scattershot, through guesswork and gut instinct. You have excellent instincts about music, because it’s your passion, but you might not have perfectly honed instincts about marketing.


Here’s an example: SEO, or search engine optimization. It’s a relatively new frontier in marketing, and it’s all about keeping search engines like Google happy so you can drive maximum traffic to your business. SEO speaks a language of its own, and is based on more than 200 individual ranking factors.


(Side note: If you don’t have time to learn all 200 SEO factors, check out our free Music Retailer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization.)


Your music business needs SEO to be part of its marketing plan, because digital marketing is an absolute must for modern music marketers. In 2016, digital music hit a worldwide landmark of accounting for fully half of all music industry revenue. So if you’re handling SEO wrong, or not doing it at all, your marketing budget is missing the mark. A good music marketing plan has a solid SEO strategy, along with many other cost-effective strategies.


A marketing plan saves you serious money over the long term because it’s always driving toward ROI - return on investment. You can see where you’re getting the best ROI and spend every marketing dollar wisely.

 

#2 - It Opens You Up to Partnerships

When you have a great marketing plan in place, you’ll suddenly see new opportunities for partnerships. Maybe you could ramp up your marketing efforts through hosting events with local businesses, working with community organizations, or developing deals with schools.


Partnerships are mutually-beneficial and extend your reach deeper into the community. In fact, partnerships don’t have to happen in your immediate area - you could partner up with another online seller, or cross-promote with one of your instrument manufacturers.


Research shows partnerships give businesses a boost:

  • 66% of senior executives say increased revenue has been a primary benefit of their partnerships
  • 57% use partnerships to acquire new customers
  • 44% form alliances to develop new ideas and insights
  • 32% use them to expand their geographic reach
  • 27% have found greater diversification of product offerings through partnerships


#3 - It Improves Communication

Here’s another important benefit of having a music marketing plan: It drives better communication across your organization. Whether you’re a small business or a larger operation, this can be a very good thing.


Your marketing plan serves as a central repository of information, whenever choices need to be made about promotions, advertisements, and other marketing efforts. Everyone can always consult the plan and see a roadmap that guides discussions and decisions.


This is particularly important if you do any kind of special sales - in store, or online. Customers will quickly become frustrated if your promotions aren’t consistent across the board.  A marketing plan ensures your promotions extend out to every message you send: in-store displays, online copy, blog posts, coupons, even how your employees answer the phone and interact with customers.

 

#4 - Data is Power

Data is the lifeblood of any good marketing plan. Sales statistics, web analytics, profitability benchmarks, and many other kinds of data should form the framework behind your marketing efforts. This ensures every marketing decision minimizes your cost for maximum impact.


For example, how much would it help or harm your business to offer a 15% discount to any new online customer? Would it be a good thing or a bad thing for your revenue? Would it drive new sales - or would it cannibalize existing sales?


In order to find the answers to these questions, you’ll need to take a deep dive into the data behind your in-store and website sales. You’ll need to know how much the average in-store buyer spends, compared to the average online customer. This will help you understand whether an online discount promotion would be helpful or harmful.


Data can be mined for nuggets of wisdom that inform your marketing decisions. It all becomes part of a richer, more robust music marketing plan for your business.

 

#5 - It Helps You Grow

Finally, a music marketing plan helps your company stay profitable and scale up. It sets the stage for long-term expansion, ensuring you’re able to handle growth every step of the way. No matter what kinds of challenges come day-to-day, your marketing strategy is standing by as a playbook for future success.


This is the big secret behind the world’s best music retail brands: They plan - and plan, and plan, and plan. Over the years, they’ve learned that guesswork can only go so far in the music industry. All of the most successful music businesses of the future are the ones with a solid plan today.


Curious about how a fresh marketing plan could breathe new life into your music business? Connect with Octave Media for a 30-minute meeting that could give your marketing plan just the boost it needs.

 

Download our 6 Keys to Planning an Inbound Marketing Strategy Book

 

(Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels)

Topics: Music Merchant Marketing, Strategy, SEO

Matt Jacoby

Written by Matt Jacoby

Matt is the Chief Percussion Officer and VP of Cadence Strategy at Octave Media. When he's not helping music merchants develop an automated system to increase website sales, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two little men.