Marketing Crash Course #4: Target group.

It wasn’t really easy for me to decide on the next logical step in this series. We could have gone on to discuss brand identity or strategy, maybe also product concept. But perhaps before we can launch into these things, we might take some time to have a think about who are target group is. Who do we want to consume our products and services?

In marketing class we are introduced to the ‘shotgun’ analogy. It suggests that we should be more like sharpshooters when it comes to targeting our audience because the shotgun/machine gun is going to miss the target and use a lot of ammunition (i.e. time, money, energy).

Think about posting your own music or events on your personal Facebook page. Is your grandma or aunt going to want to listen to ‘your new banger’ or come to the ‘crazy party happening this weekend’?

So when it comes to your target group, there’s three things you’ll need to learn:
Segmentation: Who your audience is in terms of age, sex, geography, mindset, life-phase, etc.

Targeting: Narrowing your focus on your main target/s are and aiming your cross-hairs.

Positioning: How you can differentiate yourself from your competition and find a unique place in the mind of your customer.

It’s going to take you a little time to run through this process, but the effort will pay off when it comes time to design your product, develop your brand identity, write copy, create advertising, etc.

Rather than me write new articles I’d rather introduce you to concepts and curate links to point you in the right direction. I will also add some suggested books at the end of some of the blog entries if you feel like going deeper and seeking inspiration.

I figure that it’s better if I am just guide you toward some steps that will be valuable additions to your toolkit and help you to create a better picture of what you want and how you will get there. I’m just a guy who studied marketing and has been a part of the music industry in some form throughout most of his adult life.

So with that said, check out the links above and do some google searches about the S.T.P. process.

Two positioning books that I have found useful:
• ‘Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind’ – Al Ries & Jack Trout
• ‘The Purple Cow’ – Seth Godin

There are some practical examples of positioning in this article and there are bound to be countless others if you search for them. Take some time to read up about psychographic segmentation there’s also a Danish marketing model called ‘The Minerva Model’ which is very useful. Here’s a video I found on Youtube that explains it.

This article talks a little about mission and values, so if you have done the ‘Mission, Vision and Values’ exercises in the earlier lessons then you can draw from this when considering who you think your various target groups are.

I hope you get something out of this post and you have some fun working on this next step. I find that going analog with a pen and paper tends to work best with this stuff, then you and compile it all into a digital format when you feel like you’re done.

Catch you next time.

Do you know of some better articles that could improve this resource? Please post links in the comments below.

30 rimshot samples from vinyl

Thanks to Alex Sleeper I was able to get Bandcamp to allow me to include ZIP file downloads on my account which will make delivering sample packs much easier now. All you need to do is write to them and ask nicely.

Today I added 30 rimshot samples that I recorded from vinyl records which should be useful for a bunch of genres including dub, reggae, dubstep, RnB, hip-hop and also good for layering to add some snap or click to your snare.

I hope you get some use out of these sounds and the other vinyl percussion I have posted on my Baddums Bandcamp page.

Happy producing!

DOWNLOAD THE SAMPLES HERE

Marketing Crash Course #3: Objectives & Goal Setting.

So now you’ve unpacked your mission, vision and values. Do you have a stronger idea of who you are? Is there a little more clarity in terms of knowing what you want and how you are going to go about doing it?

Hopefully the answer is “yes” and you’ve made some steps towards writing your mission and vision statements. You also have a list of core values. Don’t worry too much about perfecting this in writing just now. If you can, then that’s awesome, but just having a clear understanding of what is important to you will help you to start conveying your mission and vision to others. [Daniel H. Pink’s book, ‘To Sell Is Human’ talks about various types of pitches and perhaps this might be some good inspiration.]

After doing these exercises myself recently I was able to use my core values to help me compose some kind of mission and vision statement. What I wrote wasn’t perfect but it helped me to think about what I want to achieve and what my objectives are in the long and short term.

My long term goals personal achievements that include writing, recording and performing music. My short term goals are marketing/business objectives to assist me in my quest to be that artist, songwriter, music producer, performer person. This is where ‘SMART goals‘ come in.

My two main objectives right now are:
1. Create passive income.
2. Build my online following/audience.

Creating passive income will support my activities and of course I need an audience for these things. Making this website, writing blog posts, curating this little course, sharing sample packs, programming beats to jam to… these are all things I want to do regardless of whether they make money. But of course I need an income to sustain these activities. So the logical thing is to get paid for some of it.

I’ll tell you right now that I haven’t set any formal SMART goals for myself with these things, but I should. I have a loose plan to write a new blog post each week. I’d also like to upload a new jam beat each week also. I’ve got plans to try out affiliate links on some of my blog posts to see if it generates any income.

I could sit down and say: “I want income-X by X-date’ or, “I want to get X-number of followers on Instagram by X-date”, but that feels a little too unachievable and unrealistic right now. However, I can still use this concept to focus on activities that will bring the desired outcomes and I can track my progress via the insights and stats on Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp, etc.

I’m not ‘smashing it’ by any means but at least having written down my objectives and knowing what they are helps me to stay somewhat focused. Am I allocating time to making things that will generate passive income? What can I do to build my online following? Establishing your most important objectives and setting some real, ‘SMART’ goals will help you create some kind of plan. Even a vague plan is better than no plan.

Please take a moment to read the Mind Tools article and see how you can set a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound goal based on your current objectives. I’ll try to do the same with mine.

See you again for part four.









Marketing Crash Course #2: Mission and Vision

Hopefully you enjoyed doing the core values exercise in the first lesson and are ready to move on to the next step. My mentee, Logan is already ahead of me so I thought I’d better move on quickly.

Now that you have your core values list, you have found some language that describes how you feel about yourself and what you represent. I imagine that these values are in tune with your motives so now it shouldn’t be too difficult to create a few sentences that convey your feelings and your ideas to others.

The ‘mission, vision and values’ are part of what is referred to as the ‘DNA‘ of a company or organisation. You can apply this same concept to your project. Doing this can help to create guidelines or a ‘manifesto’ which you can refer back to from time to time. This may be especially helpful when you need to make important decisions, e.g. “Is this new idea/concept/purchase/change in thinking congruent with my mission, vision and values?”.

There’s no need for me to write a post about the difference between a mission and vision statement because the internet is full of them. I just found this one by Lindsay Kolowich which might be a good place to start. She provides some examples of both and breaks down each one.

My advice to you would be to make your statements meaningful, simple and easy to understand. You don’t want it to be long-winded and stiff as it won’t be very compelling to others, nor inspiring to you. Use your own voice and language of the community who will be engaging with you. The statement should be potent and easily understood by your audience.

OK, so this is your next task: Write a vision and mission statement and ask some people in your target group to give you some feedback on it. You might also like to have a look at the websites of brands and businesses you like to see if they have a mission and vision statement or some kind of manifesto that they share with their stakeholders.

Have fun and I’ll see you for part three soon.

Cheers,

Brendan

Marketing #1: How to understand what you really want and begin creating a strategy.

This blog isn’t meant to be too heavily focused on marketing, but since I have dedicated a considerable amount of time studying the subject it makes sense to me to share a little of what I’ve learned with others.

‘The Producer Group’ is a Facebook group I joined a month or so again and they have a mentor program on there that I signed up for. Recently I got matched up with a guy called Logan who wants to learn more about the music industry, marketing, etc.

I have done some mentoring over the years and lately the first question I feel is most appropriate to ask is: “What are your main objectives?”. Usually the answer tends to be a bunch of random things, some are based on experiences and others are career-based goals.

It’s stuff like: ‘build my only following’, ‘play more shows’, ‘get signed’, ‘grow my network’, etc. This is a great first step, but I think it’s important to zero-in on what the true motivations of a person are. Are some things on the list just because you need to keep up with the Joneses?

There’s been times when I’ll just have a bunch of things on my list that I’d like to do or try. But the truth is that I know some of these doesn’t really serve the main goals that I have. I’m just doing it for the experience. They might vaguely tie into what I my career objectives, but could I be wasting valuable time?

In order for me to establish what was/is most important to me, I tried to go to the root of my desires and this meant understanding myself and my core values. I did a quick Google search and found this exercise and did it over about an hour.

Some of my core values are:
• Authenticity
• Compassion
• Creativity
• Dedication
• Encouragement
• Generosity
• Originality
• Professionalism
• Sincerity
• Transparency

I think it’s important to narrow your list down to the most potent words that have the greatest meaning to you. After completing the exercise I felt like I had a deeper insight into myself and why I do what I do.

It was then that I felt ready to consider ‘what’ and how’ I was going to do (i.e. my ‘vision’ and my ‘mission’). I could then take the time to write some kind of vision and mission statement. I’d like to elaborate on that but I think that’s best saved for another post.

If you would like some feedback on your own project after you’ve written your core values, please feel free to write me an email and I’ll write back as soon as I can. I hope you found this post useful and if you did, please share it with a friend who you think might also benefit from it. Thanks to Scott Jeffery for creating his resource, I’ve added another link below for your convenience.

Cheers,

Brendan

CORE VALUES EXERCISE BY SCOTT JEFFREY








Suggested Reading (For Anyone Who Wants To Lift Their Marketing Game)

I’ve read a lot of marketing related books in the past few years. Partially because that’s what I studied at KEA when I was living in Copenhagen, but also because I wanted to learn how to reach my target audience, engage with my following and create more value for them.

Lately I am getting tired of reading books in this style and find that some of them are saying very similar things. However, I am grateful for the insights I have gained from taking the time to absorb some advice from professionals and thought leaders.

I was reluctant to write this post as I don’t see myself as any kind of marketing guru but I know that some of the people who follow me and my activities are musicians and artists who are serious about their career and want to learn more about the industry, music business and marketing.

So for those of you who want a list of books I recommend reading, here it is. I’m going to use this page as my first foray into affiliate links and see if it actually works for me [If the links aren’t up yet, the will be soon]. I am always keen to try new experiments when it comes to marketing and it’s nice to learn something new by putting it into practice.

I’m going to break this list into simple categories so it’s easy to navigate and you can pick subjects that are most relevant to you.

BRANDING:
• ’22 Immutable Laws of Branding’ by Al Ries
• ‘Purple Cow’ by Seth Godin

COMMUNICATION:
• ‘All Marketers Are Liars’ by Seth Godin
• ‘Contagious’ by Jonah Berger
• ‘Made To Stick’ by Chip Heath
• ‘Marketing Communications’ by John Egan
• ‘Resonate’ by Dr. Louise Mahler
• ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell

DIGITAL MARKETING:
• ‘Fizz’ by Ted Wright
• ‘Permission Marketing’ by Seth Godin

MOTIVATION:
• ‘Catching The Big Fish’ by David Lynch
• ‘David & Goliath’ by Malcolm Gladwell
• ‘Drive’ by Daniel H. Pink
• ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell
• ‘The Icarus Deception’ by Seth Godin
• ‘The Dip’ by Seth Godin
• ‘The War Of Art’ by Steven Pressfield

MUSIC PRODUCTION:
• ‘Making Music’ by Dennis DeSantis
• ‘Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio’ by Mike Senior

SELLING:
• ‘To Sell Is Human’ by Daniel H. Pink
• ‘The Long Tail’ by Chris Anderson

SOCIAL MEDIA:
• ‘Likeable’ by David Kerpen
• ‘Tribes’ by Seth Godin

Well that’s plenty for now but I’ll add more over time. I hope you find this list useful. If you have any books you can recommend me (and others) please post them in the comments.

Til next time,

Brendan

BE MY FRIEND ON GOODREADS

Got hats?

Today I thought I’d make a beat using the sample packs I’ve uploaded to my Baddums Bandcamp page. Then I realised that I am going to need some hi-hat samples to lay down a drum track and that maybe you might like some too.

So here it is, a pack of 20 vinyl hi-hat samples. Some were sampled with my MPC2000XL and others recorded directly into a DAW. All 16bit, 44.1kHz or higher. Don’t forget to high-pass them a little to filter out any unwanted sub frequencies from the recordings.

I hope that these packs will inspire some new tracks and I’d like to hear them if you want to send me links to have a listen.

DOWNLOAD THE SAMPLES HERE

20 random vinyl kicks

I wanted to get my vinyl snares mega-pack out today but there’s a lot of other stuff that I had to prioritise instead. There was a folder of loose vinyl kicks on my hard-drive so I thought I’d share these to tide you over.

Just like the dirty snares pack, you can use these samples to layer with a synth-kick sample to make a grittier kick sound. I use the Bazzism plugin for making kick-drums but there’s plenty out there, including Big Kick and Punchbox (to name just a few).

This reminds me of a masterclass from the Sound On Sound website which is an oldie from 2012 but explains the technique.

DOWNLOAD THE SAMPLES HERE

20 free dirty snare samples

Most of these drum samples were recorded using my old Akai MPC2000XL and all of them come from my days of record collecting and sample digging. Most have been converted to Mono and are 16bit, 44.1kHz WAV files.

This pack is great for adding a layer of ‘dirt’ to your snare sound as they are very frequency-rich. Just filter/EQ them and shape with an envelope to your needs.

Here’s an article from Attack Magazine for those of you who are new to layering snares. They have a great website with many electronic music production tips.

DOWNLOAD VIA THE BADDUMS BANDCAMP PAGE

53 free analog synth-bass samples

Inject a little analog flavour into your digital music production with these raw, single-oscillator waveforms recorded from real hardware synthesizers.

Load them into your favourite sampler, sculpt with a filter and an envelope and tweak to taste. Double them up and de-tune for a sinister Reese bass. Add LFO for classic wubs.

‘Klippeklistredag’ means ‘cut and paste day’ in Danish. At Christmas in Denmark it’s a tradition to make your own Christmas decorations. In December 2015, Copenhagen-based electronic music school, Rumkraft had their own version of this where the guys invited everyone to come along and try out a bunch of equipment, collect samples and enjoy the ‘hygge’ vibes with mulled wine, coffee and snacks. I had a really nice time and these are the sounds I recorded.

DOWNLOAD VIA THE BADDUMS BANDCAMP PAGE