As I talked about in part one of my three part article series on the preparation of a solid music marketing plan there are actually 2 types of plans and marketing strategies guide that you should research and assemble. In this article we are going to very briefly discuss the first kind of plan — The Informal Music Marketing Plan. This is the plan you will use and follow to put into place all of your music marketing and music promotion strategies on a daily basis and the research that will be necessary. In part three of this article series I’ll discuss in more detail the elements of a formal marketing plan. This will plan will have all the essential elements of your informal music marketing plan with the added aspect of financial projections. This is the plan you will use to attract an investor in your music career.

Brief Anatomy of an Informal Music Marketing Plan

A good music marketing plan should include some of the following elements. First though however, you must ask yourself; where do you want to be in 6 months, 1 year, and 3 years as an artist or band? Lay out the time frame. Be clear, truthful, realistic, and concise, with yourself. Write it down. Keep in mind that part of putting together a realistic and effective plan will require a good deal of market research. So please be prepared to do some if you want to do it right.

First Step: Do your “Due Diligence and Research”

So what do I mean by due diligence and research? The first thing you must remember during this entire process is that as an independent artist trying to sell your product (CDs and Merchandise) after all, as an independent artist, in essence, You Are in Business. Please make no mistake about this. You are in the business of selling yourself, your band, and your products. And as in any business, you have to explore the market environment for your particular offering in order to be competitive, and make certain that you are concentrating your efforts in the right place; which of course is your particular niche music market. Whether your genre of music is Rock, Pop, R&B, Hip Hop, Punk, or whatever, it matters not. What matters is that if you are in the Alternative Rock Market then this is where you need to focus your marketing research and implement your subsequent marketing tactics.

The Music Industry Climate in General and in Your Particular Niche

First of all, you want to research and determine the music industry climate in general — all genres. You do not need to focus too much time and attention on this it’s more important that you research your particular market. So how do you research your music market and what exactly is it that you are trying to determine and why? Let’s say for example, your band is in the Rock/Alternative Rock Genre.

Describe the current state of the music industry in that particular music market and lay out in detail just how you plan to overcome any strategic barriers that you may come up against as an artist.

Describe in details thinks such as:

What distribution channels are best suited for your particular CD?
Explore the radio market – Which best suits your recording?
How saturated is your particular market
Do a competitive analysis- Outline your strengths and weaknesses verses your competitors
What kind of touring opportunities are available in your market?
What is the best music media to pursue?
Describe the optimal geographic regions for your music
Who would you consider to be your most aggressive competitors?
Explore and detail the demographics of your fan base
Define and detail your target market and audience

The Challenge:

A brief summary of the product… the record that is to be promoted, and associated goals, such as record sales you project that you will receive, and other strategic goals…
Describe the music industry trends as they exist today
What is your most challenging market and how will you overcome it?
What trends in the industry are on your side and which are not?
Detail and list your marketing strategies and the time frame for implementation
Determine a street date for your new release
Describe the distribution channels in detail you plan to pursue
Define which regions you will focus your distribution on
Define which forms of music media you plan to go after
Determine your touring regions best suited to you as an artist

Now what we have talked about in this article is merely the tip of the iceberg. The plan needs to go into far more detail then is discussed here. This article is only geared toward giving you an idea of what you need to do and just how important actually having a written music marketing plan really is. Part 3 will go into the financial aspects of a formal marketing plan.

If you’re truly serious about advancing your music career you may want to consider having your music marketing plan prepared by a music industry expert with experience in planning the careers of independent musicians.