The Art of Influence

Someone recently told me a record label head had announced to him that the label was in the marketing & concert business, not the record business. This fundamental shift was born out of necessity in order to survive. It’s a powerful example of understanding your consumer, not abandoning your core business, but adapting to the realities of the market.

The best marketing addresses a need – perceived, created or real.  The ease of sharing & accessing music that began with Napster eventually gave way to streaming services like Spotify. Music is now, paradoxically, considered a commodity. Artists must now find creative ways to compel listeners to engage with their artistic vision and output.  Many artists are wisely choosing to transition to being influencers.  By providing social media and digital content, the artist provides ongoing interaction that increases relevancy and an audience that can be marketed to.


However, not all marketing experts buy into marketing through influencers.  In fact, some are predicting the collapse of the Influencer market.  However, for now brands continue to pour millions of dollars into influencers.  Regardless, of whether corporations invest in the influencers, it’s still a smart play for artists to brand themselves and diversify their touchpoints with consumers.

Whether an artist or another type of marketer, it’s critical to have a true understanding of your customer’s journey.  Data-driven marketing is a powerful tool, especially when it’s used to understand your consumer, what appeals to them, and design your content and messaging to them.  People have minimal attention spans and have countless choices for entertainment, moreover they are constantly bombarded by marketing messages.

All marketers can take a cue from the challenges artists now face.  Have a  specific goal for your content and your marketing.  Ideally, you’d also have a goal conversion place in mind, whether it is mobile, social, site or emerging marketing platforms such a voice marketing (e.g, Alexa, Google) or re-emerging ones like native advertising.

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