Ian Rogers On Artist Marketing: Do Something Small Weekly, Something Big Monthly

Ian Rogers spends is days and nights advising artists and their teams navigate the confusing and often overwhelming new music marketing landscape both as the CEO of Topspin and as the manager of Get Busy Committee.

Gone are the days when an artist can release an album every two or three years and ramp up a marketing effort to support it. Modern attention spans are simply too short and fan choices are virtually unlimited," Roger's writes on his Fistfulayen blog.

  • image from img.sxsw.com"Media 1.0 was a world of limited distribution (there were only so many channels on the dial, only so many choices on FM) and therefore attention abundance. (CBS was not scared to lose us as customers 25 years ago.)"
  • Media 2.0 is a world of unlimited distribution and therefore attention scarcity (our kids will not know about watching golf on sundays because “it’s the only thing on”.)

"At a certain point you get diminishing returns spending more $$ on
marketing, and what matters is relevance." says Rogers. "If something is liked by many
it can have success regardless of how much money was or wasn’t spent
marketing it."

A Campaign That Looks Like A Snowball

"Now that achieving mass marketing is hard and getting harder and technology allows direct (permission-based) relationships between artists and fans, a campaign which looks more like a snowball has a much better chance at showing a return on investment," says Rogers. He describes the process simply as:

  • Goal: Have more fans tomorrow than you had yesterday.
  • Measure: Grow fan connections as well as dollars. Every day should mean more email address, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and MySpace friends (and whatever other way comes along tomorrow that fans can connect with artists and say “please talk to me”) and of course dollars (via direct sales, iTunes, Amazon, etc).
  • Action: Do something small weekly, something big monthly.

What actions cuts through the clutter and keep fans interested? Rogers shares a wonderfully simple and powerful slogan: Do something small weekly. Do something big monthly

Examples of small weekly actions? "Here are photos of us in studio working on the new album."  "New tour dates announced." "It's the bass player's birthday!"  Larger monthly action might include the album release, a new video, a remix or something more guerrilla like Josh Freese having lunch and going to Disneyland with a bunch of his fans.

The possibilities are only limited by the imagination. "If you, your bandmates, and your manager can’t come up with something creative on a monthly basis you might be in the wrong line of work," concludes Rogers.

Read more on Ian Roger's Fistfulayen blog and check out Get Busy Committee.  Here's their new video (aka this month's something big):

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