December 02, 2011

4 P's of Marketing for Concert Promotion

Any good marketing student knows that the 4 P's form the basis for, well, just about everything in marketing. You may have had a Marketing 101 class that reviewed this until you started having dreams about it, but how exactly does it apply to the music industry? Well, for a general overview of it's role in the music industry overall, have a look at the previously posted "The 4 P's of Marketing for the Music Industry." Today, we're getting more specific and looking at what this means to a concert promoter.

A concert promoter is a person or entity who schedule shows for venues by finding and negotiating with bands and makes sure everything gets done to ensure the concert is a success. It could be one person at a small venue or a huge organization like Live Nation.

Product
Product refers to the actual thing you are trying to get someone to buy. When you're selling a concert you're really selling an experience, not just a ticket. It's the chance to see an artist live, connect with other fans, relax, have fun, get exclusive merchandise, and maybe to try to catch a glimpse and an autograph as the band leaves the venue. Similarly, different ticket levels are like selling a different experience. Are you selling to someone who just wants to be there and doesn't care where they sit? Or to someone who must have the front row tickets, VIP backstage pass, and exclusive merchandise pack? Does the venue even have seats at all? Is it at a bar where the music is secondary to enjoying drinks and seeing friends? Or a local niche venue where music lovers come to hear the next big thing? Or is it an arena featuring a show or the current superstar? Each of these factors has a big influence on who will come to the show, how much they'll be willing to pay, what kind of costs must go into the production, and how profitable the show will likely be.

Price


Price is obviously whatever you are selling the product for. It should be a balance between what the venue and artist need to charge in order to make money and what the artist's fans are willing and capable of paying. However, profitability for the promoter will depend greatly on the kind of deal they offer the artist. I'll discuss this in detail in a later post, but for, there are several different contract types used in concert promotion to determine how much money a musician will be paid for their performance. The price for a ticket is influenced by all of the factors we discussed in product including different seating levels and packages, the popularity and genre of the artist, the size and style of the venue, and the costs of holding the event.

Place
Place refers to distribution, so in this circumstance it refers to the place where people can purchase tickets. These days it tends to mean online sites like Ticket Master but it could mean through a radio station, in person at a venue or record store, or any other place tickets might be available.

Promotion
Promotion is the means by which people will find out about the product. For example, if Lady Gaga was going on tour, the dates would be posted online, announced on local radio stations, and sent via email lists. If a local act was performing it might rely more on posters and local music stores and cafes. Overall, it can include anything from advertising on the radio, billboards, posters, flyers, social network promotions, contests, email updates, street team promotions, sponsorships from radio stations or other larger companies, etc.