Monday, July 31, 2006

Using Your Heart To Sell More Of Your Music To Fans

Public Relations (PR) in the music business seems to be dead. The days of red hot recording artist warming the hearts of fans have been frozen in time by cold yet ubiquitous marketing tactics.

Artists used to stay at the top of their fans hearts by doing really cool things for their fans. Artists used visit fans in the hospital, dedicate songs at concerts, to fans who were sick or dying, and artists used to actually meet the President's of their fan clubs.

If artists are going to differentiate themselves and sell more records to fans, they are going to have to start what I call "Heart Marketing" . Heart Marketing involves touching the hearts of fans - or, more importantly, showing the fans that the artist has a heart.

For example; Ludacris went to the school of one of his[female]fans to perform at a pep rally. "Luda " did this just as the media was starting to bash him for his lyrics ("move bitch..."). Needless to say, Luda's critics all fell silent (for the moment) after this great show of heart (PR). Oprah Winfrey (one of Luda's most powerful critics) even had Ludacris on her show, as a panelist for the movie Crash.

Most major labels and artists have ignored the fact that fans are more than money. Fans have feelings and can be moved to buy more units with Heart Marketing. Artists can turn fans into artist advocates and walking talking advertizements with one act of kindness.

Rascal Flatts, while accepting a Country Music (CMA) Award, in 2006, sent a shout out to a woman who was not doing well in the hospital - that's Heart Marketing. Country Music has Heart Marketing down to a science. Other formats should really consider Heart Marketing as part of it's overall marketing strategy.

Heart Marketing is a win win for everybody. All labels need to consider that fans look to artists for more than just music. Fans look to artists for many things including; inspiration, style and the ability to stir their emotions.

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