The marketing strategy for Elusive Records is to ensure the artists get the best publicity to increase album sales. This is why the promotional activities are taken as such great opportunities to ensure adequate exposure for the overall marketing objectives. The Old Blue Last and Peacock are known as exemplary venues for Indie artists. The marketing plan targets such exclusive venues to extend its long-standing strategy of popularizing Slavaki and Elusive Record. The two clubs are known for their popularity with Indie record performance. The marketing strategy is based on Promotion, one of the four Ps put forward by the likes of Borden and McCarthy. The promotional activities will be based on promotional strategies (push, pull, etc.), advertising, personal selling and sales force, and sales promotion. With an assembled team of the promoter, business manager, production manager, backline technician, personal manager, sound engineer, tour management, and publicist, we expect to achieve our goals, which will be monitored on the spot and immediately after the event.
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The planned two-day concerts at the two locations present fantastic opportunities for marketing Slavaki and Elusive Records. The event will kick off from 8th to 9th January 2010. As an Indie record, we have to take every big marketing opportunity to market our record label to keep up with the established record labels. The two clubs are known to present opportunities for the indie artist in the past for heart-throbbing live performances with thousands of attendance having graced his past performances in the same venue and other venues around the world. The location of the concert is also suited for the marketing strategy of Elusive because of its influence from the neighboring Greenwich University.
We will assemble all the team to get our artists to participate fully in the one-week event to popularize Elusively, retain the existing fans, increase album sales, and acquire a new fan base. This plan gives detailed marketing activities that will be carried out, starting from the preparation stage to the end of the show.
The genre of music done by Elusive label, rock and pop make it important to select venues that are popular with this genre of music. Slavaki, as the main artist is a metal performer, and selecting a venue with appropriate space and history of metal performance would be the most appropriate thing for the objectives of this event. That is considering the market segmentation strategy and our Elusive as an indie record label.
After a thorough survey of the available venues (clubs) for live music concert performances, the preliminary list was long, with varied strengths and weaknesses. However, the final list of the better options available included: (1) Excel (one Western Gateway, Docklands); (2) Dominion (located at Tottenham Court Road, Fitzrovia); Fabric (Charterhouse Street, Clerkenwell). The three venues had excellent environments.
Excel has a very good history of having the biggest space in London, winning the title as the only venue with the capacity to host trade shows, showcases, and award ceremonies (Spoonfed, 2009). However, it is noted that it’s difficult to access the place, as records have it that shows such as Boat Show and Brit Awards which were planned to be hosted here had to be changed to another venue in West London (Spoonfed, 2009). Furthermore, from the types of shows, the venue is popular for, musical jigs are not one of them.
Fabric is another venue that made it to the A-list with its international recognition as the most reliable club in the UK with internationally recognized DJs (Spoonfed, 2009). However, after considering the marketing scope for this plan it is not the most appropriate venue as the club is known for mixing a variety of music to attract a wide range of revelers from the international market (Spoonfed, 2009). This may present an awkward position for our marketing intention; attracting mainly the UK market and rock and pop music lovers.
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Dominion, described by Spoonfed (2009) as having a “massive stage and thousands of deeply raked seats”, is a traditionally popular venue for rock and pop musicals. The space, accessibility, and rock and pop culture make it the venue for a concert. However, according to the timing of our marketing period, it did not provide an event appropriate for marketing.
O2 Arena is known to be popular with corporate-sponsored events, due to its fantastic ambiance for modern entertainment (Spoonfed, 2009), a factor that would present a strategic marketing environment for the Elusive label.
However, O2 Arena has some drawbacks as well: its location is a disadvantage as it is in a secluded location, what Spoonfed (2009) describes as “middle of nowhere”, and secondly, the transport link to this location is not favorable, especially if there is a one-night event where the attendance is expected to be big.
The choice of Peacock Bar and The Old Blue is large as a result of their minimal cost, easy accessibility, and popularity with pop and rock music. The cost is a very critical aspect because Elusive Records is an Indie record thus may not be in a position to spend big in terms of marketing. The whole strategy is to get publicity at the most minimal cost possible. Spoonfed describe The Old Blue Last as the best indie venue in London and Peacock as the most transformed venue for an Indie performer (Spoonfed, 2009)
The following are the objectives of this plan:
- To maintain the fan base for Elusive Record Label
- To increase the Elusive Record’s publicity through promotions in two venues. The venues are estimated to host 500 revelers each; hence acquiring a new fan base will be our main strategy.
- To maximize the album sales (through sales of CDs/ DVDs, and Internet Music Downloads
- To get the potential sponsors for future promotions
This plan is based on the marketing mix framework (4 P’s of Marketing). According to this framework, the marketing choices are based on the following controllable areas: product, price, place (distribution), and promotion- making up the 4-Ps (NetMBA, 2007). Neil H. Borden popularized the concept when he used the term marketing mix in his teaching, and later published an article, the Concept of the Marketing Mix in 1964 (NetMBA, 2007). However, Borden created a very broad category of the marketing mix that comprised of product, planning, pricing, branding, distribution channels, personal selling, advertising, promotions, packaging, display, servicing, physical handling, and fact-finding, and analysis (NetMBA, 2007). Borden’s categories were later simplified by McCarthy [Jerome] by grouping them into 4 Ps highlighted above (NetMBA, 2007). However, this marketing plan is based on promoting the Elusive label, thus the last P for promotion will be our main focus and of course the main principle for this promotion.
Marketing mix gives promotion a perspective of marketing communication (Kotler & Lee, 2009). So the basis here is to communicate the product information to the right target market or market segment in general. The actual goal, in this case, would be to generate a positive response from the show attendants, thus the potential elusive fan base. The marketing communication approach would therefore entail the following:
- Promotional strategy (push, pull, etc.)
- Personal selling & salesforce
- Sales promotions
Promotion strategy: Push and Pull strategy
One of the major reasons for this promotional strategy is to create strong consumer demand for elusive records. In this way, a push strategy will be very favorable. As elusive Label, the sales force will be ready to apply the ‘push’ strategy to get wholesalers and large retailers to penetrate the market. At the same time, direct contact with the consumer will be very critical as they will have the chance to interact with Elusive record label artists, thus the possibility of creating a euphoria needed in the music industry. This is in line with Theodor Adorno’s mass culture and ‘pseudo-individualization’, cited in Welty (1981). According to Adorno, pseudo-individualization, or what is known as market differentiation by modern marketers is what drives the sales of music products; something that is successfully achieved by the individual involvement of the producer (Welty, 1981). In this case the artist, Slavaki is our producer.
However, the pull strategy will not be used as it involves heavy commercial expenditure for advertisement promotions, which at present is not available for the elusive record label. It may be considered in the future if the promotion planned succeeds in attracting sponsors for further publicity.
For the two events promotional activity, we are planning to make known that the Elusive Record Label team will be performing at the two clubs on two consecutive days. This will be done through the distribution of fliers, advertisements on specific magazines for rock and pop (classified sections which are relatively cheaper), word of mouth, and placing ads on specific entertainment and social sites. To distribute our fliers, we plan to link up with the two venues to help in the event advertisement. The Old Blue has placed an ad on its website that helps artists plan for their events through online advertisements.
The popular rock and pop magazines to be used are Mojo and NME (only the classified sections for cost-cutting reasons). As noted earlier, it is critical to note that one of the best ways to help an indie record in marketing is to maximize publicity and reduce the cost. This is the idea behind using only the classified sections of the magazines just to offer guides to the potential attendants of our shows.
Personal selling & salesforce
According to Kotler & Lee (2009), personal selling through the use of the available sales force is one of the best ways of getting the attention of the customer and fostering a long-term relationship with the producer. Isn’t this what Elusive Record Label needs? They further outline six main activities of a sales force: (1) prospecting- attempts to find new customers; communicating with the established and potential customers; Selling- the close contact with the customer enables answering of the questions and closing of the sales at the same time; servicing- providing the necessary support and services during sales; information gathering-acquiring the necessary information about the market to help reorganize the process of marketing planning in future; and allocation- very critical as the sales team will be able to allocate the available stock in case of shortage (Kotler & Lee, 2009). In addition, it is possible to monitor the demographic orientation of the buyers of Elusive record labels at these events to help restructure appropriately the marketing strategies in future campaigns.
Possible techniques for sales promotion are numerous. However, for this kind of marketing, we will apply premium promotion of Buy-One-Get-One-Free, a strategy that worked so well for Eastwest in promoting their Eastwest/Quantum Leap Symphonic Choirs play and Leap Silk editions (Remix Magazine, 2009). The prices will be set such that the cost of production is covered in the marketing to avoid running at a loss, keeping in mind that this is a promotional campaign that can only be successful at a cost.
Cause-related and fair-trade
It is a common phenomenon to find that some charitable organizations may seize such opportunities to advance their cause (Kotler & Lee, 2009). Even though it’s early to speculate that this will happen, we have put it into consideration to ensure that we link up with any charitable organization with such a plan to enhance Elusive Record Label’s publicity. It’s common knowledge that celebrities and charities go hand in hand all over the globe.
Promotion is expected to run for two days (From 8th – 9th January 2010. However, we intend to settle at the venue a day earlier, that is, on 7th January 2010.
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The following will be the person in charge of the promotional activities:
Responsible for financial matters concerning Elusive Record Label as the group accountant, hence provide accounting services.
Responsible for hiring and managing of the event personnel. He/she will be responsible for preparing the budgets and doing enquiries about the quotations for the equipments, staff, transportation and the accommodation required for the event. He/she liaise with the venue to make sure that all production requirements are available.
Represents the artist on media briefings and respond to journalists and other media personnel promptly. Create or update artist’s (Slavaki) image, often advising on grooming, hair and clothing.
Responsible for all of the instruments, amplifiers, equipment and the stage set. Also supervise the unloading of equipment from the truck and set it up on stage. Work very closely with musicians so as to make sure their instruments are in perfect working condition and must help if strings break or equipment fails during a show.
Operate the front of house (FOH) console, which controls the audience hears. Putting the console in an optimum position for the control of the sound system. Also provide the channel listings for the venues and make sure they have the right mixing console and sound equipment.
Arrange and administer the technical requirements and staff for a show. Also plays the role of coordinating the activities of both the local and touring staff and so therefore must have an overview of the entire production.
Helps the artist with major career decisions such as making record deals and publishing deals. On an event like this, s/he will oversee the work of agents, stage managers to make sure everything runs smoothly and is in elusive artists’ best interest.
Responsible for providing the venue for each show and for advertising and marketing the sales of tickets. Supply the artist’s rider requirements, and ensuring that the safety of both the public and the artist during the concert is taken into consideration and that it is in compliance with licensing regulations.
|Activity||No. of Activities||@ Cost (Average)||Total Cost (pounds)|
|Licensing & Insurance(Premise licence, public performance licence, performing rights society licence, and venue safety insurance )||4||120||360|
|Designing & Printing of fliers||350||350||350|
|Advertising (Classified sections of magazines)||150||150||150|
Total 2640 Pounds
Evaluation And Control
To ensure the fan base is retained, we will strive to attend to the loyal fans so that they can get the best offers in terms of extra benefits for the loyal purchase of the albums. This would be done by additional albums for those who purchase more than one Elusive record albums. This will also help us analyze the strength of the fan base. At the same time, the number of new purchases will be recorded and a form of the survey will be conducted by our team to ensure the new album buyers are noted for our evaluation purposes. From the shows, we expect the number of online buyers to increase exponentially, especially from university students. This is because our flyers will illustrate all the options with which Elusive Records’ music can be bought, e.g. CDs and DVDs, Internet Music Downloads. So we will monitor the trend of purchase immediately after the show and note the demographic trend of the purchase.
Kotler, P. & Lee N. (2009), Up and Out of Poverty: The Social Marketing Solution, Wharton School Publishing.
Lastminute.com (2009). Web.
NetMBA (2007), The Marketing Mix. Web.
Remix Magazine (2009), Eastwest heat things up with its ‘Buy one get one free’ worldwide promotion of play products. Web.
Spoonfed (2009). Web.
Welty, G (1981), The Materialist Science of Culture and the Critique of Ideology. Quarterly Journal of Ideology Vol. V, No. 2.