Partnering with the right artists helps brands to build consumer trust. Fashion houses and luxury brands have been doing it for decades. Just open a magazine and you’ll find glossy pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio wearing TAG Heuer watches, or turn on the television to see Natalie Portman acting as the face of Dior.
In the iPhone age, when we all listen to and follow our favorite artists on social media, partnering with musicians offers huge potential for brands to run successful campaigns.
Curation of data or art, in essence, displays recurring patterns or specific tastes, respectively. Brands must curate strategically to be successful. Success comes through curated artists who help brands influence the way consumers feel. Using curation to build relationships with consumers requires a deep understanding of their needs and your industry’s landscape, as well as the enthusiasm to bridge the gap between them.
So, associating with popular musicians can lend a brand instant credibility for providing unique, compelling content to its target audience, but how do you decide which artist works best with your brand’s needs?
This is where data comes in to light the pathway toward a win-win-win situation. Applying metrics to the skill set of musical curation provides the context needed to identify the right artists for specific campaigns, and this benefits all shareholders — brands, bands, and fans.
Data Is Key
Demographics used to be an imprecise science. Seeing all 18- to 24-year-olds across the entire nation as a megalithic bloc yields sketchy results.
Many artists have localized followings, so is the best artist for your campaign in North Carolina as relevant as the one in Seattle? Probably not, and this is where curation of data and musical taste intersect.
The type of music consumers listen to and the concerts they attend are the most precious data points a brand can track: Which music will reach your target audience? What social channels are they using? Curation answers these questions, and more.
Connecting the Dots
You can have all the data in the world and still fail to interpret it properly. To be truly effective, brands need a dedicated expert who can parse and interpret data from many sources, as well as tools to track and manage it.
Following patterns found in big data allows you to develop products and campaigns that are not only in tune with the sensibilities and behaviors of consumers, but also in tune with your brand’s core values—and the same holds true for curating musical partnerships.
Landing the right talent involves a certain amount of give and take. To incorporate all of this information effectively and execute a plan, your brand must first infuse its own values into its music strategy.
When looking to develop a meaningful relationship with an artist, knowing your brand’s core values helps you communicate where you’re willing to bend. Although music agents, managers, and labels are more open to partnerships and new opportunities than they have been in the past, their focus remains on protecting artists’ own brands.
An artist’s handlers know where they’ll compromise and where they won’t; likewise, your company needs to affirm and be able to clarify its own boundaries.
Getting It Right
Partnering with the right musicians can lead to enormous gains for brands. As Billboard magazine reports, research by Momentum and AEG found that upward of 80% of Millennials who attended at least one live music event last year engaged with brand partners more than their peers who didn’t.
Just seeing brands listed as sponsors of music they love increased their trust in the brand, their willingness to purchase its products, and their view of the brand as authentic. This is why data from IEG showed brands spent $1.43 billion sponsoring live music in 2014, and such investments have been steadily on the rise for the past five years.
But sponsorship isn’t the final step in this equation; you have to keep plugging away at crunching the numbers to find out who attended that concert and how you can use that information to drive other aspects of your marketing campaign.
Using data curation to curate your brand’s musical taste will lay the foundations for a strong marketing strategy that offers endless benefits, from greater efficiency to improved ROI.
But the best thing about music is that no matter how granular we get, it will continue to surprise us, and there will continue to be outliers in the data. The trick is finding them and then creating beautiful, lucrative partnerships.