Marketing Lessons from an 8-Year-Old

Reprinted from Bob Baker's
Indie Music Promotion Blog

This morning I was driving my 8-year-old daughter to school when she asked me to cue up a very familiar song on the CD player. If you have kids, you know that children often love repeated exposure to stuff they like. They'll contently watch a favorite movie over and over again, driving the adults in the house batty from the repetition.

One of her favorite songs these days is "Accidentally in Love" by Counting Crows. I'd like to think she enjoys it so much because I recently played it in a part-time cover band and dedicated it to her at a show she attended. But the truth more likely has something to do with the Shrek 2 soundtrack :-)

Anyway, this morning we were on our second spin of "So she said, 'What's the problem, baby' ..." when I finally asked her, "Why do you like this song so much?"

Her answer: "I don't know. It just puts me in a good mood."

Wow. That might sound like a simplistic answer, but when you think about it, isn't that at the core of enjoyng any type of music, at any stage of life? You enjoy your favorite music because it makes you feel good.

The key words there are *feel* and *good*. Generally speaking, music makes the person enjoying it feel good -- or better about themselves than they might have before hearing it.

There are exceptions: Sometimes people listen to particular types of music when they are sad or angry or not feeling "good." In these instances, people use music to match their mood -- to cradle and support them in whatever state they happen to be in. But, regardless of the mood, people always use music to "feel," whether it's good or otherwise.

But I contend that most of the time people turn to music to feel better about themselves. To, as my daughter says, put themselves in a good mood. Music fans might say they love an act because of the vocalist's skills or the guitar player's chops or the groove laid down by the bass player. But those things are just the means that lead to the ultimate fan payoff: feeling good.

How does your music make your fans feel? In what way do you elevate their mood to "good" -- or, better yet, great? The answers to those questions can be different for every artist. But asking them and pondering the answers will help you understand the true relationship you have with your fans.

Bottom line: Putting more people in a "good mood" will help your music career more than just about any marketing tactic you could ever conceive.

Bob Baker is the author of "Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook," "Unleash the Artist Within" and "Branding Yourself Online." He also publishes, a web site, blog and e-zine that deliver free music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas to musicians of all kinds. Visit for more details.

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Very true indeed and a nice article. Infact most of us are now musicians or involved in the music scene precisely because the music that we listened to made us feel great and inspired us so much that we decided to make our own music.

I always battle it amongst my bandmates past and present that at the end of a day a simple song which `touches' people or has `soul' will always be way more effective than a technical musical masterpiece with little emotive content. Music is all about emotion for me, I dont care if the musician used 3 chords or 30!

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