Music and Marketing: A Love Story
Sponsored concerts, branded albums, custom songs, big-name artists giving props to your brand in a viral music video. A lot can be done with music in marketing, but the allure of sonic branding can be as intimidating as saying hi to your scary-smart, scary-attractive new neighbor next door.
This article will show marketers that, yes, it’s OK to flirt with the idea of a music campaign. It also provides best practices for developing a music strategy for brands and describes what kind of results to expect from working with music.
You can kind of think of it as the ...
First-Time Lover’s Handbook To Music And Marketing
We all know that couple whose relationship just makes sense.
Similarly, some brands have obvious potential for strong music strategies, such as musical instrument retailer Guitar Center or Apple’s division of audio products, Beats By Dre Electronics. However, a brand doesn’t have to operate in the music space to leverage music in its marketing. Take a look at Coca-Cola, a global beverage company that has become as popular for its curatorial prowess with music as it is for its iconic soft drink. (Full disclosure: Coca-Cola is a Music Dealers client.)
For most brands, music campaigns provide consumers with an intimate experience beyond the core products and services. Music attracts consumers, immerses them into the culture of the brand, and extends the relationship between brand and consumer through the customer journey--in other words, converting passive consumers into active subscribers of the brand.
Music isn’t the only way to accomplish this, but nothing says “be mine” like the perfect song.
When And Where A Brand Should Sing
As my ex-girlfriend often reminded me, there’s a time and place to serenade her--and her office at 9 a.m. is not it. In the same vein, brands must preemptively plan when and where to launch a music campaign before eloping with the idea.
First, review the possible channels of music in marketing, which have been coined as audio touch points. There are numerous audio touch points between a brand and its consumers, including commercials, on-site music, social media, live events, and more.
If my love life has taught me anything, it’s that compatibility is not universal. The same understanding applies to music and marketing. Each brand is different, and each campaign requires a tailored music strategy. By familiarizing themselves with the possible audio touch points of branding and advertising, marketers can shape the scope of music to fit the project and the brand.
What To Expect When You’re Expensing
The key to any successful relationship is knowing when the other partner is happy, but that’s a tough task in this industry.
Many marketers agree that it can be difficult to measure the success of music in advertising, primarily because it is only one of many factors that contribute to a campaign. Music as a marketing tool is not a new idea, but it’s still evolving; therefore, consistent metrics of success have yet to be universally adopted. Clear data, however, will justify a larger music budget for the next campaign. Here are some points to keep in mind:
• Metrics of attraction: Commercials and artist relationships are meant to attract consumers, so the measurement for these touch points include traditional data like ad traffic and customer base growth. A unique metric to music and marketing is artist virality. How did the artist fare during the campaign? What type of social reach and engagement ensued because of the ad? If the artist’s fanbase grew, that’s proof your brand made an authentic connection with the audience.
• Metrics of immersion: Touch points like on-site music and product sound immerse consumers into the sonic identity of the brand. Customer surveys and brand studies are often the go-to tools to measure immersion, but performing an audit across social media platforms may provide greater insight into the true favorability of the brand in the market and the influence of its music strategy on consumer immersion.
• Metrics of extension: Social media, live activations, soundtracks, and other similar touch points extend the relationship between brand and consumer. Therefore, lifespan is an important gauge. How long did the impact of the music strategy live on after its inception? Was its longevity maintained by the brand, by the consumers, or both? How many heart throbs did one fling with music strategy impassion?
Music can make consumers fall head-over-heels for a brand, but marketers must court the idea with the foresight and patience of a true romantic. Craft the sonic identity of your brand, brainstorm its position in the music space, and decide early on which audio touch points to leverage in the campaign.
Follow these tips and soon you’ll be a regular Casanova of music and marketing.
Zach Miller is Content Specialist at Music Dealers. This article fist appeared on CMO.com August 24, 2015
Genre: Music & Sound Design