What Music Taught Me About Marketing | Ep 181

September 8, 2022

In this week’s episode, I discuss how we can apply the lessons we’ve all learned from music and how they can help us grow our music schools.

 

Music has melody and rhythm to help support those words, whereas marketing has images and videos to help a company communicate those thoughts.

 

Communicating Feelings and Ideas

Marketing really is communicating. It’s all about communicating an idea, communicating a feeling, communicating a hope. Music is certainly about communicating those same ideas. Both music and marketing use words to communicate feelings and ideas. Music has melody and rhythm to help support those words, whereas marketing has images and videos to help a company communicate those thoughts.

 

 A good melody and lyric will inspire people to buy an album, to download a song, and to buy concert tickets, while a good sales copy will inspire or motivate people to buy your product, your service, and your music lessons.

 

How to Turn Your Marketing Into a Hit

Songwriting really has always been my main interest, my main pursuit. I devoted most of my 20s to songwriting. Writing for bands, I was forever trying to write the perfect song. That hit song. Even though I never wrote a hit song, I was able to write songs that resonated better with audiences that my bands played for. There are certain lessons that I learned from that, and I was able to apply that to my own marketing.

 

One important lesson we can apply from music to marketing is the use of space.

 

Simple Yet Impactful

Another lesson that we’ve all learned from music is the power and the impact of simplicity. It’s a sign of a mature musician—understanding the impact of simplicity and how to utilize it. Typically, the young, more immature, or less secure musicians have a tendency to overplay. They want to show people what great musicians they are. The 18-year-old drummer who’s trying to gain a reputation on the music scene as being a great drummer is probably going to play drum fills all over the place, whereas the seasoned 35-year-old session drummer? They’re gonna be fine…just sitting in the pocket focused on the song, focused on making others in the groups their best.

 

 The young marketer is inclined to embrace chest-pounding marketing, where they brag about themselves in spaghetti marketing, just throwing ideas up against the wall hoping something will stick.

 

Saying More With Less

Talk about a mature musician, look at Miles Davis for example. He’s so confident in his playing. Sometimes his trumpet solos are so unbelievably simple. They incorporate so much space. I think specifically that’s the lesson we can learn. One important lesson we can apply from music to marketing is the use of space.

 

Three advertising campaigns come to mind. In the 1960s, Volkswagen did a “Think Small” campaign where their ads and billboards were probably 80% or 70% just whitespace. It had a text on it that said “Think Small”, and the text was very small. Then in the corner of the ad was the Volkswagen Bug. Clearly, the “Think Small” campaign influenced Apple’s “Think Different” campaign launched right after Steve Jobs’ comeback. It’s just a big, white billboard, and the text just big enough to read as you sped down the highway that said “Think Different” in an image of the 1990s groundbreaking design for the Apple computers. “Got Milk?” That’s another example of an advertising campaign that really embraces simplicity.

 

Think small

 

The words that you place into your marketing are what determine whether your marketing will be a hit or not and whether it will succeed in capturing people’s attention and motivating people to take action.

 

Simple and Clear Wins The Day-Every time

These three campaigns are all about using two-word headlines in a single image with no background. Quite often, the inexperienced marketer approaches their marketing just like the young drummer does. They just put too much stuff out there. Take a look at your website for example. Is your website full of images and texts and headlines just hoping that something is gonna resonate with your website visitors? Or is it lean and clean and focused? The young marketer is inclined to embrace chest-pounding marketing, where they brag about themselves in spaghetti marketing, just throwing ideas up against the wall hoping something will stick.

 

What Instrument Do You Play?

Copywriting is to marketing what melody and lyrics are to a song. In order to bring a song to life, you first need instruments. To bring those instruments to life, you need the skill and knowledge. Obviously, instruments aren’t enough. You need to know chord structure and how to piece them together. You knew the common chordal patterns, but you still need more—perhaps an arrangement and those rhythmic patterns to tie this music together.

 

The better you understand your ideal client, their worldview, their wants and needs, and their fears, the better you can make your marketing resonate with them. The more personal it can feel, the more it can feel like it’s speaking to them.

 

Identifying the Right Words to Capture Attention

Ultimately, what determines whether the song is going to be a hit or not is the melody and the lyrics. The band, the chords, and the rhythms create a backdrop for the song. They set the stage for the song, but it’s the melody and the lyrics that will determine whether the song is a hit or not. The same applies to your marketing. The words that you place into your marketing are what determine whether your marketing will be a hit or not and whether it will succeed in capturing people’s attention and motivating people to take action.

 

Broadcasting your message requires knowledge of certain tactics, whether it be your social media, email marketing, website, or advertising—those are tactics or delivery systems, but they’re hollow delivery systems without a message.

 

Speak Directly to Your Customer

That message is formed through copywriting. Copy is what allows your target audience to know that this advertisement is speaking to them. It allows them to feel a feeling and imagine what their life would look like with this product or service in their life.

 

It’s not enough to create a Facebook ad and slap in the words “We’re open for business music lessons. All ages and skill levels. Welcome! We teach all styles of music.” Those are statements of facts and expectations. Good melodies, good lyrics, and good sales copy trigger emotions. They inspire people to take action. A good melody and lyrics will inspire people to buy an album, download a song, and buy concert tickets, while a good sales copy will inspire or motivate people to buy your product, your service, and your music lessons.

 

 

Bringing On the Hits

For the musical artists or the rock bands that can’t get a record deal, the problem is always the same. The label doesn’t hear hits saying, “We need hits to sign you guys.” I know a few local bands from my hometown in St. Louis that had record labels looking at them, but they didn’t hear hits, so they didn’t sign the deal. Or they signed the deal when there were no hits on the album, and they dropped them.

 

The same applies to your marketing. If you don’t have hits in your marketing, your marketing will fail. So how do you write a hit?

 

Understanding the Desires of Your Ideal Client

In order to write a hit song, you have to understand the wants, desires, and worldviews of your ideal listener. If your ideal listeners are teenagers, you’re not going to write a song about aging and feeling lonely. You’re going to write a song that uses language. A song that uses musical motifs, something that resonates with them, that echoes other musical motifs in contemporary pop music. The same applies to your marketing. The better you understand your ideal client, their worldview, their wants and needs, and their fears, the better you can make your marketing resonate with them. The more personal it can feel, the more it can feel like it’s speaking to them.

 

The answer to your marketing problems will most likely be found by examining the words you choose to express the transformation children experience from your music lessons. I wish I could say that the way to fix your marketing is to adjust a setting in the Facebook Ads Manager “Click this” button instead of that button.

 

Making an Engaging Sales Copy

I remembered when I was in junior high school in seventh grade, my girlfriend declared that some song on the radio was our song. It summed up the essence of our seventh-grade relationship. It was speaking to her. She could relate to it. The melody engaged her. It triggered her emotions.

 

A music school owner who’s struggling to get their marketing to work and keeps throwing money at Facebook ads and doesn’t understand why it’s not working is the equivalent of the rock band or the pop artist who thinks that if they could just come up with the perfect chord combination or the perfect beat, they would have a hit. They’re looking in the wrong place. It all boils back to melody and lyrics, and it all ties back to your sales copy.

 

Reevaluating the Message

The answer to your marketing problems will most likely be found by examining the words you choose to express the transformation children experience from your music lessons. I wish I could say that the way to fix your marketing is to adjust a setting in the Facebook Ads Manager “Click this” button instead of that button. It’s not that easy. Your success in marketing is determined by your ability to create a message that resonates with your ideal client. It’s that simple.

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