Sell More Music & Segment

This article originally appeared on the Internal Affairs blog.


Before we get in to market segmentation, I have a quick story to share.

One member of my mailing list emailed me a few weeks ago with a story. He is a music producer, trying to sell instrumentals online and he has A LOT of business problems.

Anyway, he was telling me how he offers three genres of instrumentals for licensing. He then told me how he markets all three genres to exactly the same audience, yet only manages to sell a few $20 beats here and there.

He wants to quit. I explained to him why he shouldn’t with one simple word.

Segment.

But before I delve deeper, I just want to say that I’m going to save the issues I have with his pricing strategy for another time. Second of all and more importantly, if you’re making any mistakes and you feel like quitting, I want to tell you that it’s okay.

Everyone makes mistakes when they are starting out. Your ambition takes over and you are in a rush to make that first sale and you attempt ANY questionable promotional strategy recommended by “Big Booty Beatz”.

And some of you guys really do take some sleazy advice, but it’s fine. You’re in rehab now.

Before you even take your first steps in promotion, I want you to sit down, grab a pen and paper and…

Segment.

“Alright! I’ll segment! But, what the Hell is it?” I hear you cry.

Well…

An Introduction to Segmentation

Market segmentation is the process of dividing (segmenting) a market in to smaller groups. The groups are then made up of customers who all share similar characteristics. Why?

Customers have various needs, various budgets, various locations, etc.

And let’s face it, not every business or product is going to be able to answer the needs of every single segment of a market, and this is EXACTLY why we have niche markets.

(If you’d like to read the benefits and drawbacks of niche markets, click here.)

Segmentation is about being SPECIFIC.

Furthermore, the benefits to segmenting markets are vast and the opportunities are virtually endless. Think about this for a second…

I’m a huge fan of Swansea City, who are a Premier League football team (or if you’re American — soccer).

Imagine if I segmented a part of my mailing list to find Swansea City or general Premier League fans, and sent that segment a Swansea City shirt. Quite an expensive marketing campaign, but this would turn some of those readers in to avid fans of Internal Affairs (and that’s really important to me).

Additionally, if my reader (the producer I mentioned at the beginning) focused on the segments which targeted the specific genres he sold (instead of targeting artists generally) he wouldn’t be struggling to get people to buy his beats for $20.

Why?

He’d have a better understanding of his clientele, and could promote his beats in a more valuable and meaningful way.

Just to play with another example (because I like examples), imagine if one of the genres he sold was R&B and the other was West Coast Hip Hop. He would not be selling those instrumentals to the same people…

R&B instrumentals would attract singers while the West Coast Hip Hop instrumentals would attract rappers, probably on the West Coast.

To push the example even further, his marketing campaign could target both segments individually. He could write two blog posts. One about the best studio microphones for singers, the second could be about the best microphones for rappers.

He could then promote those posts on Facebook, and the blog post targeting rappers could be promoted specifically towards rappers on the West Coast. Do you see how valuable it is!?

You better say “Yes”.

Anyway, let’s get in to…

The Four Bases

We now know why to segment, but how do we do it?

Well, there are four main bases to segmenting a market and they are geographic, demographic/firmographic, psychographic and behaviouristic.

Geographic is associated with the location of the customer. Therefore, you’d consider the region they are located, whether it was urban or rural and the population density of that region… You might even want to think about the weather and climate, if you plan to tour there!

Now, demographic and firmographic are virtually the same things. Demographic is focused on consumers (who your fans are) and firmographic is focused on businesses (the artists you work with/produce for, companies you license music to, etc.). These two areas cover a wide range of variables including the age of the consumer or business, the consumer’s gender, the size of the customer’s family, their occupation, income, education and religion.

Psychographic covers the lifestyle elements of your customer. Therefore, you’d consider what their hobbies, opinions, other interests and even social class are.

And finally, the behavioural variables include brand loyalty, the benefits the customer wants to receive from buying from you, their usage rate (how much they’ll listen to your album, or attend gigs), and their readiness to purchase.

That really was jam-packed full of information, but I told you to sit back and grab a pen and paper!

One Last Thing

I have a few requests.

  1. I noticed a lot of you have been slacking a lot when I’ve asked you to comment (and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT)… I want you to take an extra two minutes of your time to write a comment telling me your first thoughts on how you’ll be using segmentation in the future. Let me know if you want me to expand on any of the points I make. I’ll be happy to… And remember, if you don’t comment, I know who you are!
  2. If you know anyone in the music industry who is struggling with defining their audience, I want you to send them this link. Remember how I gave the example of giving value to my readers by buying them a Swansea City shirt? Use this blog post as a Swansea shirt, and send it to a friend of yours.

Now, this really is the last thing. If you’re new to Internal Affairs, why not give this post a recommendation and follow us on Medium?

Thank you for reading,

Jordan


About Jordan Brace

Jordan teaches business concepts and marketing strategies for the music-minded entrepreneur. Furthermore, he tests strategies before sharing them with his readership. He also demonstrates how they are effective to his record label and how they will be effective to other music businesses by integrating the data and information found in academic journals to support real world applications.

If you want to start learning the strategies he applies to both his record label and his blog Internal Affairs, sign up to the Internal Affairs newsletter by clicking here.