Tuesday, August 3, 2010


U2: Music Marketing Tweaked for a Hypercompetitive Digital World, While Still Appealing to Emotion


Clever use of the four P’s of marketing is only the beginning to a successful marketing plan in a business world that is becoming more hypercompetitive due to corporate partnerships, the growth of the internet, and the consolidation of companies and brands. Amid these challenges, marketers are well advised to draft multi channel marketing plans that use the best digital technology and corporate sponsorships to reach their target market.

For example, a rock band may want to allow people to upload fan photos and videos to their web-site with the hopes of connecting with the emotions of fans who have experienced the bands show, or even something different than that – a Blackberry sponsorship. This drives traffic and sales on the band’s web-site by appealing to the inclusion emotion. Yet, a multi channel plan would also see the band partnering with Apple iTunes to sell individual songs and digital albums, but not DVDs, t-shirts, and other fan merchandise that would be found on the band’s web-site, and also sold at retail outlets like Target and Best Buy.

Also, the band’s web-site is well advised to offer a free downloadable music video as a promotion to buy a concert DVD, or in the case of U2, a complete concert posted free on YouTube – the promotion. The case of U2 is interesting because they were trying to fill the online marketing space in their target market with the hopes of promoting a major tour, several records, DVDs, and importantly pushing other musical brands out of the media spotlight. They were promoting the enterprise of U2 at a significant cost because many people may not buy the U2 DVD that was offered for free on YouTube. Yet many more people are aware of the U2 brand because of their free YouTube show. Note a smaller band could not get away with U2’s marketing plan because they do not have the catalogue of cds, DVDs, and merchandise that U2 has. U2 is in the maturity phase of the product life cycle and uses the above business partnerships to reduce their costs.

Jeremy Swenson, MBA – 2010, is an experienced marketer, marketing manager, sales person, and business analyst/academic. He has extensive product experience with mortgages, loan/lines, checking accounts, savings accounts, money markets accounts, pay day loans, CDs, property and causality insurance, playing jazz, and even some basic experience auditing employee benefit programs. Additionally, his background includes federal work experience as a Rural Associate Carrier with the U.S.P.S. and as an Enumerator with the U.S. Census Bureau (Dept. of Commerce) in 2000. You can reach Jeremy at jer.swenson@live.com.
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