IMPORTANCE OF DEMOGRAPHICS IN ONLINE
By Mark W. Curran
Marketing professionals work with a method called "demographics"
as a tool to define and serve certain age groups and interests.
Demographics is defined as: the statistical characteristics of human
populations (as age or income) used especially to identify markets.
As it applies to music, the methodology is that if you have a style of
music that appeals to a certain age group, you can locate the common
interests of that age group, and market your products in places that will
be seen by that age group.
For example, fans of the popular group "Backstreet Boys" may share the
common demographic of having an interest in Roller Blading.
By frequenting the same places as Roller Blading enthusiasts, you would
have a good chance of reaching your target audience for your music,
provided that your music was similar to that of the Backstreet Boys.
This opens up an infinate number of possibilities for reaching your
audience. What about advertising your CD in an online newsletter that is
dedicated to Roller Blading?
You might even take this idea a step further, and create your own
advertising venue, by starting your own Roller Blading newsletter and running your ad
top and bottom.
Another variation on this might be to put up your own web site that caters
to Roller Blading, and have your music playing as embedded audio files every
time someone comes to your homepage.
Be forwarned these ideas can spin into time eating monsters if you aren't
careful, but they serve to demonstrate that there are many ways to
market to your target audience, and demographics are just one tool to
help you achieve this.
Using Inverse Marketing Strategies
Inverse marketing is another such tool. This method involves establishing
your target market first, then creating the product to fit. Granted, this is a more
business-like approach to creativity. It is not for everyone, but it does work.
To use Backstreet Boys example as a reference, you might decide to use
inverse marketing and research your market prior to deciding what kind of music
you want to sell.
This works best for musicians who are adept at creating many different
styles of music, and may have no particular preference as to which direction to
To use myself as an example, I noticed that on MP3.com there were a great
many country music artists that were not selling very much product.
Despite the popularity of country music worldwide, I noticed that surfers who
frequent this portal tend to like a dance-style sub-genre called "Trance."
Judging by the frequency of downloads of songs and groups serving this
market, I concluded that if I were to create good "Trance" music, I would have a
I listened to a great many of the more popular downloads, and began to
form my inverse marketing strategy.
Since I have a small home recording studio, I was able to jump on this
trend, and record some very catchy and innovative "Trance" cuts, even though I
had little experience or knowledge of the genre. I also really liked this style of
music, which helped me in the creative process.
Consequently, I released a CD entitled "Trance Dreams," which has enjoyed
great popularity and brisk sales.
Inverse marketing is not for everyone, though, and I would discourage
anyone from recording music they do not enjoy creating. But if you enjoy many
different styles of music, and have the ability to be able to create on demand, this
is a great strategy for jump starting your online marketing business.
This article was excerpted from the book "Sell Your Music! How To
Profitably Sell Your Own Recordings Online" available from NMD Books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark W. Curran is a recognized expert in online music marketing. With an extensive background
as a professional musician, songwriter, speaker, and teacher, he has authored many articles on
the subject. He currently runs a music marketing consulting and publishing company, NMD
Books, based in Los Angeles.