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The Five (well actually six) W’s of Marketing

the 5 w's marketingYou’ve probably heard of the Five W’s: Who, What, When, Where, and Why? They are the five essential bits of info without which no marketing campaign can effectively run. Like most people who studied Marketing before getting a job, we all rote learned the different W’s and how to (supposedly) adapt them to any product. Depending on what business sector you work in, if you are client- or retail-facing, the actual details on each section change.

They are also a great tool for remembering what info to send us at The Orchard when you are planning your releases. The global retail marketing team spends hours each week sifting through a mountain of information about releases and we often find that crucial bit of info we need is missing.

So what do we actually need from you as a label in order to market a release successfully?

Well I tend to add an extra W at the end to build a picture of exactly the info I need. So here are the adapted W’s that I look for from any release that I’m planning a marketing campaign on:

  • Who – Tell me something about the artist. Are they young/old/deceased? Where are they from? We market to retail stores in lots of different countries and they are all keen to support local artists! If it’s a compilation, please give us info on the best known artists.
  • What – Is it their first album? A greatest hits compilation? A live recording of their greatest hits? If it’s a compilation, is there a theme? Is it a particular genre? Is it a single from a forthcoming album? Lots of stores have different sections where new artists, debut releases, greatest hits and compilations can be featured.
  • When – What date is it released on? Is there any significance on the date – an anniversary perhaps? It’s also worth remembering that different countries have different release dates so it’s worth checking with your client rep about release dates and how it could affect your release. Are you releasing before (or after!) the physical version of a release? Are you releasing on one store before all others? We also need to know well in advance of release date so the earlier you let us know the more we can do!
  • Where – What territories do you think this release will be a success in? Does the band have lots of fans in a certain territory? Is the band touring in a particular country? We have retail stores in lots of different countries so we are always looking for a hook to market a release in lots of different territories.
  • Why – Why should a store feature your release? Does the band have a good sales history? Are you advertising a release and tagging the adverts to a particular store? Is the band or artist doing a social media campaign linking through to a particular store?
  • Whatever else – As it says really – any other info you think is relevant. Please tell us what promo results you’ve had (please be mindful though that promo results in one territory very rarely mean anything outside of that territory, so if it’s a release you want promoting in France, we need to know the results from French PR). Do you have bonus content that we can use for different stores to make deluxe versions? What are the reasons you feel fans will buy this release?

By sticking to these fairly simple guidelines we can quickly build up the info we need for our various retail pitches. Of course we understand it’s not always possible to get us all the info we need in a timely manner; but the more info we get, the better able we are to pass on this info to the stores that we work with so they can make an informed decision about placements in their stores.

Image courtesy of DeviontArt

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