I have always loved music, and how it had this way of moving people from all walks of life. At a young age, I knew I wanted to contribute to the art of music, and also wanted to give back by trying to recreate the same feelings that felt in others. My medical discharge from the military convinced me that it was time to pursue my passion of music. I had no artistic talent, so the logical thing to do was try to make that impact on the business side of music I had to do a lot of searching, but persistence paid off and I landed an exclusive internship at EMI / Capitol Records working in their marketing department Here, I worked directly under the national director of urban marketing Jesse Flores.
Under Jesse’s tutelage, I gained experience in the following three concepts: market research; relationships and networks; and the needs, wants, and demands of the consumer I researched day and night looking for record labels that offered student internships I obviously jumped at the chance when I saw that Capitol Records / EMI Marketing were offering internships for students I called the number listed and was invited by Jesse Flores to meet for lunch.
When Jesse Flores, the National Director of Urban Marketing for EMI, and I met, I instantly felt comfortable. Jesse gave me a brief description of what my duties would consist of Needless to say, Jesse was impressed and offered me the internship position, I was excited to find out that I would be starting the upcoming week.
When the day came for me to start I was excited, I met Jesse at the front desk of, and he gave me a quick tour of the Capitol Records building. The highlight and most inspiring part of this tour were when he walked me into this large and rotund room. This recording room was absolutely immaculate and had a pristine wood finish. Jesse informed me that this was where “The Beatles” use to record when they were in Los Angeles. The excitement and shock were short-lived jesse notified me that it was time to get to work. We went next door to the adjacent Gogerty building where his office was located I was introduced to the staff and shown my office.
This would be where I would perform most of my in-house duties I was taught early, being that this was a music marketing company, that marketing research is one of the pillars to success in this industry. Jesse had granted me access to the Nielson Soundscan and EDS (Broadcast Data System). I would track the sales of songs and albums using Nielson Soundscan, and track the number of times our artist songs were being played on the radio using the BDS system. The system also enabled me to see what regions of the US are the majority of our sales and radio spins were taking place in. What these tools effectively did was allow me to see where I felt the record company needed to concentrate our marketing efforts I calculated these numbers and notified Jesse of the regions our sales and spins were lagging in. This was only the tip of the iceberg I would venture out into the “field” to learn more about music and marketing I found the “field” more exciting than being stuck in the office.
Everything outside of the office was considered the field, and we did this to build and/or maintain relationships and networks, this was considered the second most important pillar of music marketing. There was an annual event called The Urban Network Summit. It lasted 4 days and was held in Palm Springs, CA, It was the biggest urban music conference held west of the Mississippi, Every big-name executive attended this event. Panels were held on various topics. Of course, the main topic at this time was how to handle the music industry in the digital age. Our labels artists would also perform at these events I was in charge of making sure that all the RSVP guests were in attendance at our presentation, and that they were seated in the right place with the proper gift bag “marketing tool” in its location. It was vital to build these relationships and network because these individuals represented the radio stations and large merchant chains in their respective regions.
Without them our records would not sell, thus creating a problem. I got a thrill out of making sure it never got that far I thoroughly enjoyed going out and being amongst the people. This is where I felt at home and most comfortable. The needs, wants, and demands of the consumer play a major role in the success of marketing Marketing is primarily psychological. Before I could move person’s emotions with music, I had to do so with 1 of their 6 senses l was tasked with coming up with fresh and new ideas because I was roughly around the age of the target demographic of that time I remember having an album release signing at the famous, now closed Tower Records on Sunset for Hip» Hop artist Ice Cube I was able to gain valuable feedback from the fans about what they wanted and expected out of our artist I studied this information closely.
Because of this information, I coordinated with Ice-Cube to discuss possible concert dates, and sites, and make recommendations about future album cover artwork, and collaborations the fans wanted to see him do with other artists. In retrospect, I discovered that I loved marketing My passion for marketing stemmed from my passion of music, In order to be successful at the marketing concepts, I needed to first listen to the consumer. The consumer is the driving force behind every concept of marketing I learned that you can force feed a product to the consumer, but that does not mean the consumer will swallowt I viewed marketing as this type of cat and mouse game I was the aggressive cat chasing this mouse, which was the consumer lam a believer in working smarter, and if you can help it not harder. So instead of wasting energy chasing the mouse, why don’t I just bait it in using cheese, marketing challenged me in trying to figure out what the cheese was, and I found that marketing research and advertising helped me figure out ways to maximize my marketing efforts.
I researched and observed the radio spins and record sales in multiple regions I knew that I wanted to compete with our competitors, so I boosted advertising in those regions. Sometimes it worked, and other times it did not Of course I made mistakes along the way, but I acknowledged those mistakes and quickly corrected them In this industry you can become too emotionally attached to an artist and their work. For them this could be their only or last shot. In this case I attempted to separate emotions from business and focus on the overall objective I did not allow emotions to get involved and make me want to allocate more resources to an artist marketing and advertising promotion, I informed them of the research I conducted, and supplied them with the markets feedback It was not always what they wanted to hear, but if you want to make it in this type of industry more times than not you must conform. It is simple, supply and demand. At that time the market dictated what was “hip” and profitable I’m sure that still applies today.
Building business relationships and networks came naturally to me. For some reason, I felt more comfortable establishing these “formal” relationships I found informal settings a little more difficult. I remember attending the Urban Network Summits, I observed all of the movers and shakers talking and schmoozing with one another. I knew that initially, their actions were only to make a good impression in order to close deals. But I acknowledged the fact that it was necessary. It was the music business and politics wrapped into one; music politics I wondered if this kind of “falseness” went against my code of ethics I quickly realized that it was business. That did not change the fact that I wanted to remain true to myself and my objectives, when I built a relationship and established a network I made sure those individuals knew my intentions.
Your name is everything in this industry, and when it is tarnished there is no coming back. As I started to discover what the needs, wants, and demands were from the consumers I began to market more effectively I myself am a consumer, so I related to being in their shoes. If I am going to spend my hard-earned money on a product, I want it to be worth it I always asked myself ifI was marketing quality. Was I touching the consumer in a way that made them feel compelled to purchase my product? Fortunately for me I was able to create that feeling. It was easy to detect if my message was resonating with my target audience. All I had to do was look at the spins on BDS and Soundscan and it would be right there The numbers did not lie. When I began to notice that I indeed satisfied the emotion of needing and wanting the product, than I have met the consumers demand, and that ultimately made me proud.
It made me proud because I knew how dedicated I was, and how much of my heart I had invested, Looking back I realize that I couldn‘t have learned all of these marketing techniques without Jesse. Jesse was more than a supervisor he was a mentor and big brother that I never had. It was definitely cool to rub shoulders with celebrities and artists, but Jesse‘s was the coolest shoulder of them all. I don’t know if 1 would have been as interested in marketing if it wasn’t for him. He made marketing seem effortless, even when he was stressed out and had deadlines to meet. Jesse showed me that the most important part of being successful at the three concepts is to maintain my composure and never forget where I came from. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”.
This is integrated into the research portion of marketing which links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information. This information is used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems it is important to remember that marketing has many layers to it. The research aspect of marketing is the layer that is the most critical and scientific. Burnett (2008) postulates “In many respects, marketing research has advanced faster than any other specialized area in marketing management”. This is because every market you research is unique and presents its own problem In this case the market was music. Therefore, the concept of and understanding marketing research is valued and vital to the success of any organization. Secondly, Burnett continues by saying that “the mechanics of marketing research must be controlled so that the right facts are obtained in [sic] the answer to the correct problem”.
The core concept of market research is the “facts.” It is logical to believe that the researcher must develop, control, and implement market research in order to develop a hypothesis. This hypothesis would essentially help the market researcher figure out what needs to be the focus of their marketing strategy. My marketing research at Capitol / EMI Marketing consisted of researching BDS and Nielson Soundscan numbers. Those numbers enabled me to develop a hypothesis I would then test that hypothesis in a controlled environment to see how effective it was Depending on its effectiveness, the hypothesis would move forward eventually impacting the larger markets. The aforementioned is tied directly into relationships and networks that result from marketing research efforts Huilten (2007) posits “that in order to build and establish relationships, the concepts of trust and commitment are to be seen as prerequisites”
Huilten continues by saying that the firm can surely benefit from discovering which customers are the ‘best’ and differentiating them in terms of loyalty and profitability. For this reason, in this case a music marketing firm; should take the thoughts and opinions of its loyal and committed customers into great consideration, a great deal of resources goes into developing a brand and selling it. Also, a great deal of trust develops between the talent and fans. For the fans, their emotional attachment takes precedence over everything; cost of music, concerts, memorabilia, etc. It is one thing to generate a profit, it is another to do so and touch people, In the end, we are able to develop a relationship with our customers who will constantly return and show their loyalty. This is what proud brand like Capitol Records has been doing since its inception, marketing starts with human needs, wants, and demands. People need food, air, water, clothing, and shelter to survive. Wants are desires for specific satisfiers of needs Human wants are continually shaped and reshaped by social forces.
It is logical to believe that wants evolve into demands when the wants of the consumer is supported by purchasing power. This framework creates a clearer picture of the relationship behind what most people who work in this field believe to be an important facet to successful marketing. Keirsey and Bates (1984) detail Maslow’s research on the human‘s nature to want, need, and desire. Maslow (1954) said “motives displace each other as a person grows up, we start with physiological needs. We learn to take it for granted that these needs will be fulfilled and, once fulfilled, we graduate to safety needs, soon these are taken for granted and are no longer motivating us. So we ascend to social needs” Maslow continues to describe how the people who don’t make it to the top develop self-actualization; a full blown motive once they overcome their fixations at lower levels. Maslow’s model on the hierarchy of needs explains how there is a science to marketing to consumers I have learned that the research part of marketing can be applied in a multitude of different ways. Being able to target a demographic and develop a strategy on that demographic works in any area.
I use this technique when I develop targeting techniques in my daily work. Over time people develop a set of norms. In my case, those norms are planning certain things ahead of time I usually set parameters based on marketing research, in this case being that people usually plan expensive trips weeks if not months in advance. If this specific criterion is not met, I conduct further market research based on that research I will decide whether or not to continue a formal investigation. I also see how market research is being conducted by everyday households in their daily activities. Various websites such as Angie’s list and Yelp were developed to provide consumers with 21“ century market research, such as consumer feedback. The market is essentially providing free research and supplying that to other consumers via the internet.
Consumers feel more comfortable about these findings because they do not feel that there is a motive behind the everyday consumer providing the feedback I now use this concept to make decisions about where I dine shop, work out, etc. Building relationships and networking is something that happens naturally but is also a transferable skill. More importantly, it’s about how much you find that you have in common with whomever you are building this relationship and/or network with. I have found that commonality is the key to the success of the relationship. As the saying goes “it’s all about who you know.” This concept can be applied to almost anything. Professionally, I was not a big believer in this concept. I thought that I was “selling out” by trying to get to know management.
I now see that there are perks that come with being in their good graces I don‘t do it for the perks, but more for me to learn what it takes to be a manager in my field. This concept can also be used in a social environment. How many times have we heard of business deals closing over some random meeting and a drink? It can be blamed on the drink or being in the right place at the right time. I have seen how an informal meeting develops into profitable relationships and networks. A comfortable setting works wonders in any situation. Trying to use this concept in this specific setting could also be a downfall. If I don’t find commonality with a person in an informal and comfortable environment, I choose to leave it alone.
This concept can be applied this way, but it important to remember that these types of relationships and networks usually end in a bad way. Lastly, using needs, wants, and demands can be used to actually help me decipher what I really need, want, and demand. I have noticed that in today’s society people manifest what they deem is a “need,” When I now encounter something I “feel” I need, I take a step back and reflect on the effect this need will have on my life. Will I be in debt? Will I be fulfilled? Does it fall in line with my beliefs? Those are some general examples, but some filter has to exist in order to notice the difference between a real need and a manifested need. This concept has the broadest ways of applying it.
The most common way to apply this concept is in shopping I am what some people would call “thrifty”. When I shop, I try to decipher what that product value is to me I try to share the way I apply this concept with my family members and friends. Practicing this concept in this fashion will save a lot of people time and money, especially if they realize that most products depreciate immediately after purchasing it. There is a direct relation in truly understanding the definition of this concept, as it pertains to consuming and debt. Of course, this does not apply to a person who has reached a level of what Maslow described as self-actualization, ultimately, at the end of the day the only thing I feel I need, want, and desire is the love of God.