If you ain’t measuring, you ain’t marketing – Advice from Bobby Borg

In Music Marketing for the DIY Musicianself-made artist and entrepreneur Bobby Borg outlines the best business methods to help up-and-coming musicians effectively achieve their goals. In this article he wrote for Echoes, Bobby emphasizes the importance of “measuring” in the music marketplace. Read more here!

 

Want to increase the effectiveness of your music promotions? The importance of measuring when marketing your music can’t be ignored.

Measure Marketing

A student recently approached me with a complaint that only six people showed up to his live performance. He sent out an email to 1,000 names, posted on a few social networks, and told his friends and family. Feeling like a promotion loser (his words), he was ready to call it quits.

But after using some basic analytical tools, we quickly discovered that fewer than 10 of the 1,000 people on his list were opening his emails. We focused on re-writing his emails with catchier headlines, more benefits, and a specific “call to action.”

At his next gig, not only did 628 people open his email, 66 people showed up and paid. That’s a pretty strong increase!

So make no mistake, marketing your music – in fact, any marketing – is not about “doing things,” it’s about “doing the right things.” This is the essence of marketing measurement and why it is so important to your career.

How to measure

Measuring is the process of creating systems to collect, analyze, and act on information that is relevant to the goals of your marketing plan. These “systems” can include anything from using web analytical tools (like the ones on Facebook and YouTube that tell you the geographic regions in which people are most interested in your music), counting your sales every night and analyzing thoroughly why you experienced an increase or decrease in revenue, or just asking people at your gigs, “How did you hear about us?” In the latter case, if no one responds with, “We saw your ad in the paper,” then you had better stop placing ads in that paper. It’s that simple!

What to measure

You can measure virtually anything you want. For instance, measuring your customers’ awareness of your brand, and whether you’re at the “top of their minds” when discussing a certain category (such as “local bands in L.A.” or “studios in Nashville”) can be helpful in determining the success of your public relations strategies.

Measuring your fans’ attitudes about your products and services can help you determine their level of satisfaction with you and their likelihood to recommend you to friends and family. And paying attention and measuring how well your products and services perform in each of your distribution outlets can help you see where you’re generating the most sales and where you’re wasting the most time.

Read the rest of the article here.

Win Charlie Watts’ Gretsch Drum Kit

Contest Slide 770x420

Guitar Player and Rolling Stones Gear have teamed up to give you a chance to Win the Brands of the Rolling Stones! Now you can own some of the major brands of equipment the Rolling Stones played including Fender, Martin, Framus, Zemaitis, Gretsch, and Vox in this exciting new sweepstakes! They are also giving away the new book Rolling Stones Gear: All the Stones’ Instruments from Stage to Studio by Andy Babiuk and Greg Prevost. If nothing else, enter to win a set of gorgeous Gretsch drums just like Charlie used to love! Read below for an excerpt about the kit from Rolling Stones Gear. 

 

Charlie used his 1950s maple Gretsch kit and included an Italian UFIP 18-inch Chinese cymbal. Later, when UFIP was Gretsch RollingStonesDrumsGerman-owned, Richard King (who supplied Charlie with a lot of his gear) remarked: “[Charlie] did accept an endorsement from an Italian cymbal company UFIP. He likes their 18-inch China crash cymbal, and when the new German owner sent Charlie sixty to try out, only two were up to his standards.” Charlie later revealed: “I play a UFIP cymbal. I play it the Chinese way, with the edges up. I like them because they’re very trashy. They do tend to crack, and I can only drill them so much before they lose the sound and go dead. I’ve kept them all though, for thirty years.” Charlie, not a man of many changes, shed further light on his cymbals, a setup that has remained steady throughout the years: “John DeChristopher at 
Zildjian is always sending me cymbals. He’s a
lovely guy, but I never use them right away! I 
choose the ones I like, put them away, and let
 them marinate. For me, finding a cymbal is about
going into a second-hand shop and digging. I 
prefer one of Shelly Manne’s old cymbals to ten 
new ones. Even a guy in a dance band or a club;
 HIS cymbals get a sound and a look about them.
I don’t like new drums either, and I HATE new
shoes.” He continued: “I like things that are 
well made, like Zildjians, but that are fifty years
old. I use an old 18-inch flat ride, and I’m scared
 stiff it’s going to go. They’ve sent me new ones, but they’re never as good. I found it in Paris in ’70- something with Chuch Magee. We were bombed out of our ’eads at the time, but I’ve never stopped using it. I’ve used it in a piano trio, and I’ve used it behind Keith, and it’s fabulous. It’s a beautiful cymbal to record with.” Concerning Charlie’s stage sound, Benji Lefevre, the front-of-the-house soundman/sound engineer for the tour, commented: “Charlie tunes it his way, and it just produces the Charlie Watts sound, so I don’t mess with it. He does, however, have a very light jazzy bass drum technique, which enables me to use delicate high quality microphones on it.”

Get to the choppa: A Modern Sci Fi Films FAQ excerpt

Thirty years ago, we saw Arnie take to the screen in his most iconic role as the Terminator! Modern Sci Fi Films FAQ (new from Applause Theatre and Cinema Books) includes a special synopsis of this classic robot action film. Don’t worry – we won’t include any spoilers for those who haven’t seen it yet.

 

Robots and Robot Wannabes

Do You Worry About Rust?

The word “robot” is Czech in origin. Their word, “robota,” refers to drudgery, and, in general, a robot is a device designed to perform tasks usually done by a human (apparently, my time spent up to my elbows in dish soap would make me a “robot”).  As such, robots tend to appear in humanoid form, at least in the cinematic world.

The concept of a humanoid robot made sense in Hollywood, as the easiest way to portray one was to build a stiff metallic costume that could be worn by an actor or stunt man. That is, at least, until robots became reality in the 1960s and 1970s. Function overtook form, as the real robots of the world—such as the Stanford Cart—looked more like overloaded tea carts than mechanical men.

The miniaturization of technology took the “man-in-suit” out of the equation in many movies that featured robots. Still, actors Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker served robots C-3PO and R2-D2 well from inside their stuffy confines in the Star Wars epics. Ditto Peter Weller in RoboCop.

Stop-motion animation and computer-generated graphics made non- humanoid robots an alternative to men in suits. Take, for example, 1984’s The Terminator. Once stripped of its cyborg flesh, the T-800 skeleton was presented by way of a full-sized remote-controlled figure built by Stan Winston, as well as stop-motion animation by Doug Beswick, Gene Warren Jr., and the Fantasy II effects team.

The Terminator

Synopsis

  • 1984—American/Orion—108 min./color
  • Director: James Cameron
  • Original music: Brad Fiedel
  • Film editing: Mark Goldblatt
  • Art direction: George Costello

Cast

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator)
  • Michael Biehn (Kyle Reese)
  • Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor)
  • Paul Winfield (Lt. Traxler)
  • Lance Henriksen (Det. Hal Vukovich) 


In 2029, a raging conflict persists between an army of war machines and guerrilla soldiers. The machines send one of their own back to 1984 Los Angeles, where they intend on killing Sarah Connor. If they don’t, she will give birth to John Connor, who is the leader against the machines in the future war. This killing machine, a “terminator,”—Model T-800—is an incredibly sophisticated cyborg. It’s constructed of human tissue, with a high-tech hydraulic skeleton and a single mandate—to kill Sarah. It arrives in a flash of lightning and immediately clothes its nude body by killing a group of toughs and taking their clothes.

But the Terminator is not the only time traveler. Kyle Reese also arrives from the future, sent by John Connor to save Sarah. She is a young single girl who seems dependent on many people. Looking in a phone book, the Terminator finds three Sarah Connors listed. He seeks them out, coldly killing the first two. Going to Sarah’s apartment, the Terminator kills her roommate and room- mate’s boyfriend. 
Sarah is not home, and she is disturbed when she hears on the news that two Sarah Connors have been murdered. She becomes even more fearful when she observes Reese following her. She calls her apartment from a disco, but only gets her answering machine. Not realizing the Terminator is still there, she leaves a message telling her roommate where she is. She then calls police, and Lt. Traxler tells her to stay put. 
In the disco, the Terminator arrives and zeroes in on Sarah, but Reese saves her by firing a salvo of shotgun blasts into the cyborg. It doesn’t faze him, and he responds with fierce gunfire, killing dozens of innocent patrons. Sarah and Reese escape in the fray, but the Terminator takes off after them. They duck him in a car chase, where Reese lets Sarah in on the whole story.

 Read more from Modern Sci Fi Films FAQ here

Watch: Pensado Papers Promo

The Pensado Papers takes readers behind the scenes on the journey that Dave Pensado has shared with his manager and best friend, Herb Trawick, all the way from death’s door to platinum records to Internet sensation. It features unique insights into the engineering regime of a recording genius, a creative philosophy that results in achievement and success, examples of Dave and Herb’s powerful and inspirational friendship, amazing teachings from guests on Pensado’s Place, and above all, fun! Here, Herb and Dave discuss the making of the book.

Marketing tips from Bobby Borg: Getting approval from your fans

In Music Marketing for the DIY Musician, Bobby Borg provides tons of tips on how to promote and distribute your work as a musician. Bobby recently wrote an article for Sonicbids Blog on one of the best (and most affordable) resources you can use to prep your music before sending it out to any record labels – fans! Read more here. 

Testing and Feedback: 5 Steps to Getting Approval From Your Fans Before Committing Your Valuable Resources

Testing and feedback is the process of getting your music into presentable form, trying it out on your most likely fans, and making necessary improvements before committing your time and money manufacturing, distributing, and 00124611promoting it. Without market research, you could easily spend thousands of your hard-earned dollars recording music that’s unmarketable to music supervisors, labels, radio stations, and even your own target fans – and that would be tragic! Make no mistake: testing and feedback increases your chances for success. Remember that creating music in a vacuum and simply hoping that people will love it is like shooting in the dark.

1. Develop and demo your products and services

The first step in the testing and feedback process is to get your music (or other products) into presentable form so you can test them on your target audience. This could mean simply putting together a pitch to present your ideas conceptually, or creating an “inexpensive”demo/prototype. Whatever approach you take, just be willing to pay some dues! Don’t rush the process. If needed, you might even enlist the professional advice of consultants, co-writers, and others to set you on track. This is crucial! Great marketing campaigns start with great songs first and foremost.

2. Test your products/services out on your most likely fans

Once you’ve invested the necessary effort to get your products and services into presentable form, it’s time to craft a variety of simple survey questions. Your questions might include: “On a scale from one to five, how unique do you think my style is?” or “On a scale of one to five, do you think this song should be included on my forthcoming debut EP?” Whatever it is you want to test, just make your questions precise so that you collect the most accurate and unbiased results.

Read the rest of the article on Sonicbids.

listen: C. Eric Banister on the High and Low Podcast

Eric Banister had a chat with the folks at the High and Low Podcast to talk about his Johnny Cash FAQ, which they call “one of the most comprehensive treatments of Johnny’s music you can find.”

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00119344Johnny Cash remains one of the most recognizable artists in the world. Starting in 1956, he released an album every year until his death in 2003. In addition to these albums, there were also some posthumous releases in the years after his death. From rockabilly to country, folk to comedy, gospel to classical, the prolific Cash touched them all. His hit singles crossed over from country to pop, as he transcended genres and became a superstar around the globe.

Cash skyrocketed from the beginning, flying through the ’60s until he was one of the country’s biggest stars by the end of the decade. Following his own muse through the ’70s, Cash slowly faded commercially until he nearly disappeared in the ’80s. Instead of giving up, he made an incredible late-career run in the ’90s that took him into the new millennium, along the way collaborating with various contemporary rock and pop artists.

His offstage problems often overshadowed the music, and his addiction often takes center stage in the story, pushing the music off the page. But Johnny Cash FAQ celebrates the musical genius of Cash and takes a look at every album Cash released, the stories behind the hits, and how he sustained a fantastic nearly 50-year career.

Landscapes in Piano Repertoire

The Composer’s Landscape features eight insightful essays on the piano repertoire, each chapter focusing on a single composer: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, and Mendelssohn. In this book, Carol Montparker uses landscape as a metaphor for the score, whether it be a well-tended garden of Mozart or the thorny thickets on a Schumann page.  In her introduction, Montparker beautifully explains the reasoning behind her “landscape” metaphor.

A few words and metaphors will explain why I gave the series the name “the Composer’s landscape.” music is a language, and that language has a very broad spectrum. often referred to as “the universal language,” still it encompasses many styles, genres, and dialects. not only does each composer write in a unique language, but performing artists have to learn to “speak” and “sing” in these various tongues. Very often pianists find that they are fluent and conversant in many composers’ languages—but not all. Very few pianists play every composer equally convincingly. even if we are lucky enough to be born with talent, it usually has a territorial boundary, as my great teacher Leopold Mittman put it.

00124843To my eyes, a page from any score is a landscape, with its own contours and terrain, that is directly related to the language of that composer—a kind of visual depiction of the language. When a musician beholds a page from a Schumann score, it has an altogether different look from a page of Mozart; it can be as different as a jungle is from a well-tended garden, and an experienced musician can glance at a page and discern which composer wrote it, just from the appearance of the writing style.

Yes, there is the same system of notation: notes, clefs, phrase marks, dynamics, lines and spaces, and so on. But what gets much more com- plex is the “topography”: the shapes—the peaks and depths, the patches of bramble or thickets to plow through, the open plains to traverse, the circuitous routes of the melodic lines, the clotted harmonies, the busy thoroughfares where all the voices converge, the layers of their impor- tance, and the depth of meanings, stacked like the geological strata of a canyon, through which we must dig in order to get to the core of truth. We must, in essence, be explorers and, for me, the metaphor of landscape works so well that I could find endless parallels between the manuscript and any kind of geographical terrain.

Most concerts are eclectic and varied. This series proved to be a rare opportunity to present and examine one composer at a time and take note of the extraordinary and essential elements that distinguish one composer’s landscape from the next, and what the unique challenges are for the explorer-pianist.