Robert Middelton, who is a marketing expert focusing on marketing of consulting and knowledge based work, recently commented in his e news letter that the most powerful marketing tool is story. Telling others what you've done through a story...and that of course got me thinking about music, and folk music.
All music is story, one way or another, and folk music more than most. How does that idea connect with 21st century life?
Marketing music is always a sticky subject, as it crosses over into entertainment and identity and all sorts of things like that. But it is very vital subject of discussion for those who make their living in the arts, for teachers and students, and for the community at large.
Music for the day, and the conversation: a recording that might not at first seem to have loads of commercial potential, A Woman’s Heart was a collection of mainly folk based songs from Irish musicians, which went on to sell millions of copies world wide, as did two recordings which followed, A Woman’s Heart 2 and A Woman's Heart: A Decade On.
What are they doing right, and what can be learned from that? Some thoughts: strong substance, substance over marketing plan, but, having a marketing plan, reaching diverse markets, building the brand. Does that thought about marketing make the music any less valid, or the connection to the listener any less real? Reaching an audience with something you’re passionate about, and being able to continue to do that -- the life of the working musician when you come to think about it.