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Newsletter #832: The “Lessons from Music” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Music isn’t just that stuff you jam to while trying to crank out your next piece of creative genius. Look closer and you’ll see it’s an industry full of smart marketers. A few lessons:

1> Unexpected perks get people talking
2> It’s easy to support great causes
3> Fans shouldn’t have to wait
4> Check it out: 8 Tracks

1> Unexpected perks get people talking

Pleasant surprises never fail to create word of mouth. Fans of rock group Radiohead recently experienced this when the band sent two surprise bonus tracks to everyone who bought their new album. They had some fun with it by making it clear it wasn’t part of a new loyalty points scheme, a clubcard, or even “an air miles redeemable reward type thing.” It was just an old-fashioned thank you. And judging by how many fans were talking about the two new songs, they probably sold a few more albums too.

The lesson: Plan ahead to surprise your fans with a little something extra.

2> It’s easy to support great causes

It’s easier than you think to do good things for worthy causes and to earn some new fans along the way. Take Patagonia’s Music Collective Project, for example. Through it, musicians can post songs and donate all proceeds of sales to environmental groups of their choice. So far, artists like Jack Johnson, Pearl Jam, and Maroon 5 have all gotten involved. It’s easy for the artists, easy for the fans, and Patagonia is able to help a bunch of the groups promoting environmentalism and the outdoors.

The lesson: Find ways to make it easy for big talkers to do big things for the causes you care about.

Learn more: GOOD

3> Fans shouldn’t have to wait

The faster you can get your product into the hands of the people that want it, the better. In the music business, there’s typically a long wait between when music is recorded to when it finally makes it to fans. That’s why what The Cool TV — a start-up television network — does at concerts is so awesome: They immediately sell live CDs after the show to fans on their way out. Not only is it good for business, but it’s also helping them get their name out in the local markets.

The lesson: Ever notice how work tends to fill the time allotted to complete it? Short deadlines (and a commitment to meeting them) will help you get more great stuff into the hands of your fans.

Learn more: TV News Check

4> Check it out: 8 Tracks

If your music mix is feeling a little too automated these days, check out 8 Tracks. Here, music fans are creating their own “mix tapes” of eight or more tracks in hundreds of music categories.

Check it out: 8 Tracks


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