We continue our series on breakthrough artists by taking a look at audiences and discussing how, compared to celebrity artists, emerging/breakthrough artists are better suited to target the audiences brands are most interested in reaching.
As a quick recap, last week we discussed influence — breakthrough artists are 9x more influential than celebrity artists in driving engagement with a brand’s message. Breakthrough artists connect more deeply with their audiences, have lower levels of endorsement saturation, and have a higher level of authenticity than celebrity artists.
By partnering with breakthrough artists to deliver their message, brands not have greater influence over the audiences they reach, but they are able to better target specific audiences that match the brand’s ideal customer profiles. Brands can benefit from the importance music has on an individual’s identity, reach a targeted audience that matches the brand’s objectives, and connect with regional audiences in a more culturally relevant way.
Identifying an Audience
In a recent article, we looked at how music and identity are intertwined and how brands can use this to forge a closer connection with their audience. Because music is inherently tied to those who make it, the sound and language that ultimately define a person’s identity drive fans to connect with the artists who create the music they love. For many fans, the connection they feel to an artist is, in and of itself, a part of their identity.
Brands have been tapping into celebrity artist fan bases for years, capitalizing on fan groups from Beatlemaniacs to The Beyhive. The nature of their mass appeal means that celebrity artists are constrained by the need to entertain and create music that falls into broader genre groups and appeals to a more general audience. Breakthrough artists, however, are not bound by the same constraints and are often on the cutting edge of music creation, forming fresh sounds that fall into narrow, and often new, genres. Because of this freedom, the music created by breakthrough artists better allows an individual to define and express their identity through music, and these artists often draw loyal followings of individuals who share similar psychographic profiles.
The demographics and psychographics of each fan base that unify the group are very important for marketers. By using available data about fans to identify audiences using demographics and psychographics, and then reaching these audiences through the music that taps into their chosen identity, marketers have a better chance of delivering messages in a way that will “reach [audiences] through experiences that are welcomed instead of interruptive.” This data-driven approach leads to a more personal, human connection with audiences, and using highly influential breakthrough artists to deliver a brand’s message can make the message more impactful.
Broad vs. Targeted Reach
Music has the power to bring together people from disparate backgrounds, cultures, and regions, and celebrity artists often have broad audiences made up of very different individuals. While these audiences provide a huge pool of diverse individuals, they make target marketing difficult. When brands partner with celebrity artists for endorsement deals, they are using a “shotgun approach” which is more than likely targeting individuals outside of their consumer profile with zero interest in the brand’s offerings. Additionally, the scale of the celebrity artist’s audience and the need to make music that appeals to the “general audience,” make it difficult for marketers to craft messages that speak to the individual music fan in a direct, meaningful way.
Breakthrough artists tend to have very specific audience groups with similar psychographic profiles, which means that brands partnering with breakthrough artists can better target the audiences that they want to reach. By finding breakthrough artists whose audiences match a brand’s objectives, a brand can create a more targeted campaign, and reduce the risk of spending marketing budget to reach individuals who don’t fit the brand’s target. Next week, we will delve deeper into the ROI of using breakthrough artists and look at how partnering with multiple breakthrough artists can help a brand’s message reach the same number of individuals as a celebrity artist, but with higher levels of conversion and engagement based on better targeting.
Regional and Cultural Relevance
When trying to reach a target audience, geographic location is an important consideration for brands. While many artists do have a national (or international) following, they often have a particularly avid fan base in specific regions. Mention The Toadies most places in the US, and you’ll find fans who remember their hits of the 1990s with nostalgia but don’t know that they put out a new album in 2017. Mention The Toadies in Texas, and you’ll find avid fans who attend Dia de los Toadies faithfully every year and have collections of ticket stubs from all the times they have been to a Toadies concert. There are also pockets of dedicated fans in locations far from an artist’s origins; 1980s pop star Morrissey has an avid fan base of young Latina women in Southern California. Finding music that is regionally relevant can help brands connect better with an audience in a targeted geographic area.
Another area where marketers have often fallen short is marketing to multicultural audiences. Brands may have realized the purchasing power that members of the Hispanic community hold, but have not taken other demographic information - including regional differences - into consideration when crafting their message. While music plays a large part in the daily lives of members of the Hispanic community, and marketers have the opportunity to connect with Hispanic audiences through music, differences in music preferences vary by region, cultural background, origin country, age, life stage, etc., and choosing the wrong artist can end up seeming tone deaf. Understanding the many factors that segment the Hispanic population can help brands craft more targeted messages and find artists who help them connect with individuals in a more meaningful way.
Breakthrough Artists = Increased Targeting and Relevance
Breakthrough artists offer brands a chance to better target their audiences through the music that defines — by tapping into the personal identity of a fan base, and recognizing regional and cultural preferences, brands can create a more targeted way of delivering their message.
Brands have long recognized the power that music has to deliver their message and understand the value of targeting specific audiences with relevant messages. But as more brands seek to partner with breakthrough artists as brand ambassadors and endorsers, many brands struggle to identify the right artists to partner with that fulfill their brand objectives. As featured in Billboard, Music Audience Exchange’s Artist Matching Engine maps the demographic, geographic, and psychographic of the audience a brand is trying to reach to the music and artists that are most relevant to that audience.
Next week, we will discuss the overall value benefit for brands who partner with breakthrough artists — dollar for dollar, breakthrough artists are a better investment than celebrity artists for brand collaboration.
Music Audience Exchange (MAX) was founded in 2014 with a mission to help champion incredible music and the artists who make it through strategic, data-driven partnerships with brands. MAX brings brands into the music promotional space in a way that puts engaging content into the world through a value-exchange model that drives the brand's objectives, and elevates breakthrough bands along the way.If you’d like to learn more about Music Audience Exchange and what a music promotion program would look like for your brand, send us a note.