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 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

ready market.

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.


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.

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