Marketing Lessons from the Heartland
As marketers, we have to look for marketing inspiration in a variety of facets of life, from the music we like to the television shows and movies we spend our evenings absorbing. Finding new and interesting ways to market, gleaning all we can from our environments, is one of the most important parts of staying fresh and successful in the marketing world.
Here in Nashville, a large part of our environment is the country music industry. From the honky tonks on Broadway to the country music stars that live and work in our community, country music is one of Nashville’s most important and recognizable qualities, so it’s no surprise that we’ve found marketing inspiration in some of country music’s culture. Here are a few marketing tips we’ve learned from the country music industry.
1. Know Your Audience
One thing that country music has perfected is the expert knowledge of its audience. Studying the demographics, habits and likes of its core audience, country music artists and their publicists are able to find the people most likely to engage with and buy the music they produce.
Identifying an audience is the first step to knowing how to market and get your product a brand following and customer loyalty.
2. Perfect Your Presentation
Presentation is a vital part of marketing that country music and its many stars have nailed. The style of country music’s many performers, whether male or female, communicates intimately with the audience they have targeted, helping the audience both identify and aspire to be like the country music stars.
Taking the time to nail your brand’s presentation, whether it’s your logo, your color scheme or the interior of your office can pay huge dividends when it comes to landing the customers who are most likely to be loyal to your brand in the long run.
3. Don’t Shy Away from Controversy
Another interesting marketing tip we can take from country music is the genre’s willingness to get controversial. Many times country music stars have gotten into public tiffs, hashing out differences in style, taste and artistry, only to move past their differences and reconcile publicly.
The appeal of controversy, and dealing well with that controversy, translate perfectly to your marketing efforts because controversy draws eyes to your brand, giving you the unique opportunity to make a great impression on fresh eyes. When people are waiting for your brand to make a move, you can measure and control your responses, bringing even more fans to your brand and appealing to new ones.
4. Don’t Try to Fix What Isn’t Broken
The criticisms of country music have often been criticisms of the genre’s lack of variety, whether in song lyrics, melodies or general musical styling. The naysayers of country bemoan the genre’s lack of a fresh or different direction, all the while missing what it is that country gets so right precisely by staying the same. Country music has been appealing and engaging for its audience for decades, and its fans consistently enjoy, and purchase, the music that country stars produce.
When you stumble upon a formula that consistently works for your brand, the naysayers will come out in droves to tell you that eventually, you’ll have to go in a completely new direction. While it is true that change can create a great resurgence for your brand, don’t let the negative comments of a few influence your overall marketing direction.
Country music is one of those things that has the power to unite, delight and maybe even polarize. But whether you love the music of the Heartland or don’t own a single country album, you can find plenty of marketing advice in the history of the genre.