sound advice: tough love on marketing

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There’s a fantastic interview on the 37Signals blog where marketing experts/authors Seth Godin and Mark Hurst discuss (wait for it) marketing.

As has been the case with a lot of my recent posts, there’s nothing overtly related to music or the music business here (they never talk about either; in fact, they spend a lot of time talking about JetBlue), but I find what they have to say wildly applicable to anyone trying to get people to hear the music they create or have a vested interest in. Here are some quotes from their discussion that jumped out at me:

…but what i was going to say about jetblue is that pretty much ANY company or team can put that to use: find the key unmet needs of your customers, and build the experience to deliver on those.

In every company that I’ve ever seen that gets it right, it’s because someone WANTS to get it right. It’s not easy (if it were, everyone would do it) so the game goes to people who are willing to make sacrifices to do the hard work.

I’m consistently amazed at the lack of cognizance “marketers” often have of their customer’s needs. More often than not, sadly, they don’t really think about their customers at all. You people in band’s, how often do you think about your customers’ (fans’) needs?

Additionally, I often am discouraged by the mercurial nature of “entrepreneurs” today. Perhaps it’s because it’s too easy to start a business today. This is perhaps particularly true for web-based businesses, because it just requires an idea (however hare brained it might be), a website, and a paypal account to be in business. Of course, starting a band (which, whether you want to admit it or not, is a business), requires even less of an initial investment. Have some songs…you’re a band (in theory).

So, that second quote I’ve pulled really hits home for the music business today. In order to succeed you have to want to get it right, and be committed to getting it right. The two work hand in hand. You gotta want to know your customers (fans), and work hard to satisfy their needs.


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