Wooo, the competition is stiff out there. With more and more companies jockeying for clients in the same spaces, it is becoming increasingly important to stand out from the pack. Increasingly important, yet increasingly difficult. A firm handshake and friendly demeanor, while still valuable, are no longer the path to acquiring and keeping clients. As marketing strategies become more complex and innovative, businesses need to get creative with their marketing plans.
How can you avoid the same marketing sold song and dance? With a new song and dance, of course. And we mean that literally as well as metaphorically speaking. Using a live band or musical recording as a marketing tool isn’t something you’re going to find in the business handbook. That means getting the creative juices flowing when it comes to using music in your marketing, but it also means the advantage goes to you.
You might not have ever considered going in this direction with your marketing, but here are some ways and reasons it can be part of an out-of-the-box strategy and make a lasting impression on clients and potential clients.
Personalized song recordings
Who hasn’t at one time or another received a postcard in the mail from their car dealership, insurance agent, or even dentist wishing them a happy birthday or anniversary? While you’re first thought might be “Aw, they remembered!’, those postcards are more than just a friendly note. They are a marketing strategy used to keep friendly communication with clients and a way of saying “Hey! Just reminding you we’re still here!” Nothing wrong with that strategy per se, it works to some degree.
But what do you do with those cards? Usually, after a smile, they get tossed in the garbage and not thought about again until another one comes next year. What you want to give your client is something lasting, something that won’t get thrown away and something that will stay on their mind. You want something that displays personal interest but also showcases your creativity.
Send your client the gift of music. Hiring a live band to do a personalized recording for your client can check off all those boxes mentioned above. Make it a way to say happy birthday, happy anniversary, or congratulations on your promotion (or another exciting professional milestone). We guarantee that will never get thrown in the garbage and forgotten.
Use a live band for a surprise performance
The more modern and wayyyy cooler version of the singing telegram, think of a surprise live band performance more like a planned flash mob. Coming out of seemingly nowhere, surprising your client with an entertaining live music performance at their office (or other place of work) or at the restaurant where you are conducting a business meal is a fun way to make that big bang of an impression.
A valuable asset for market gurus
Perhaps your main professional mission IS marketing. You need to constantly have the wheels turning to come up with fresh ideas on how to help your clients market their business. No matter the size of your client’s business, they can take a cue from some of the big boys. Larger brands often team up with talented musical artists to promote or feature in their marketing and ads. Why can’t you?
OK, so you might not have the celeb connections to pull in big stars for your clients, but what about supporting rising local talent by factoring them into your client’s marketing or advertising? Music (whether performed by famous musicians or not) brings in new audiences and appeals to a wide variety of people. Finding a band that can not only call to your client’s target audience but also to those in the target’s peripherals is a win-win-win.
Tailor your event’s music to appeal to your client
This one might require a little detective work on your part, but a little sleuthing can end up being fun for everyone involved. Use your resources (social media, client database, or even phone calls to administrative personnel) to find out what kind of music get’s the toes of your top account’s tapping. Even just knowing where they are from might give you a clue to which type of music is close to their heart.
For example, let’s say your biggest account is based in New Orleans. The client arrives at your happy hour party, conference, or event and breaks into a smile when they hear the familiar sounds of a live New Orleans brass band playing. It’s not only a heck of a welcome for your client, but it’s also a great way to foster a more relaxed atmosphere and forge a lasting business connection.
Live music as an interactive event experience
Conferences, seminars, and similar professional events can be interesting and informative to those in the fields they cater to. It can also be tough to sit and just listen for an entire day. Minds wander, it gets harder to retain information, and legs get antsy.Or how do you draw people to your booth/table and have them remember your company when you are surrounded by a sea of similar companies?Those who organize these events know the importance of audio and visual aids to attract and keep the attention of their audience. Studies have shown the strong correlation between music and memory, that is what makes it such an effective marketing tool.Having a live band play at your event—before, after, or between speakers, near your booth or table, or other appropriate time/area is an excellent way to ensure that clients never forget your company. It infuses the event with an energy that recorded music just doesn’t have. It certainly grabs attention and stimulates the brain.But let’s take that a step further, making the experience musical and interactive is going to have a huge impact on clients or potential clients. What are some ways to do that?
- Have the band ask your client to join them on stage. It’s not too often someone is singled out as lucky enough to join the band onstage. Nobody is going to forget the time they got up on stage to sing or dance with a band in front of a live audience.
- Ask the band to let the client play onstage with them. Who hasn’t gone to a concert and daydreamed about what it would be like to get up there and play onstage with the band. Obviously, you need to know your client and if they can play an instrument before you attempt this.
- Second line parade leader. Some live bands, particularly New Orleans style brass bands, can organize second-line parades. Generally, in this type of event, guests of honor follow directly behind the band as they parade around their route. Have your client be the guest of honor and lead the march around the conference center or event arena.
- Song dedications. A client may not be the kind of person that would really enjoy getting on stage to sing, dance, or play with the band. Having the band dedicate a song to these types of clients is a creative way to make them still feel special and part of the action without putting them on the spot to perform.
Having pre-recorded music or a DJ play is not a unique idea when it comes to marketing and grabbing attention, but it lacks that important human connection factor that a live band possesses. Live music has the potential to be an interactive experience all around and that is next-level marketing.
Live concerts and client connection
Business dinners, lunches, golf outings—it’s not uncommon to spend some business leisure time schmoozing with your top accounts. In fact, it’s not just fun, it’s an important way to stay connected with important clients. But these types of meetings can be run of the mill—for example, everyone eats every day and many clients frequently eat out. What’s to really distinguish one lunch meeting from any other food outing? It’s hard to stand out that way.
We’ve already talked about how effective music can be in this area, so why not go outside the usual business outing box. Have you ever thought about taking your client to a live concert? It’s an event that just about everybody loves (you don’t need any skills to do it like golf or performing with the band), making it a pretty safe bet.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to try to score to $200+ seats to see a megastar at a huge arena (although there’s nothing wrong if you can and want to go that route). Live bands (including local bands) play smaller venues all the time (a smaller venue might be more conducive to talking). The point is to take advantage of creative opportunities to have memorable 1 on 1 time with your clients.
Ah, the old mix tape. A piece of nostalgia that spans more than one generation. Of course, these days it will be hard to find an actual cassette tape (or player) but no matter what format it’s in, the idea is still the same.
This is where your creativity and sense of humor can really shine. Thinking about the deal you are negotiating or just sales in general and find songs with titles that relate. For example, in the song Opportunities, the Pet Shop Boys appropriately sing “I’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks, let’s make lots of money”. Some other song titles that might work include:
- Bright Future in Sales—Fountains of Wayne
- Hustlin’—Rick Ross
- I Need a Dollar—Aloe Blacc
- Money Money Money—Abba
- Goin’ Mobile—The Who
Of course, you need to know your audience. Let’s say clients in finance who fall into the golden oldies-loving baby boomer generation might not appreciate Rick Ross rapping the same way a Millennial in a media industry might. Make sure the music is appropriate (and can be generally appreciated) by your audience.
Music can be such a powerful tool when it comes to account-based marketing. It can be used in so many fun and cool ways that will wow clients and potential clients. The areas we talked about aren’t necessarily comprehensive. It’s up to you to fire up that imagination and find new ways to use music to make a monster impression.