The Marketing Mix (musical)

DiRaega By DiRaega, 20th Jan 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Sales & Marketing

A discussion of the marketing mix, broadly relating to music

The Marketing Mix (Musical)


The New Oxford American Dictionary defines Marketing as:

Marketing | noun | The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

I think that this is an adequate explanation but necessitates further thought. Marketing is a crucial part of todays business environment. Absolutely anything that is sold, exchanged, traded or manufactured must be marketed, and as a result the marketing industry has sprung up to cater for this particular need. In order to sell a product you must take into account one of the oldest set of questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why? You must know Who you are selling to, What they want, Where they will buy it, When they will buy it, and Why they would buy it. All of these were later reclassified under The Four P’s; Price, Promotion, Product and Place.

There is an alternate way of classifying the aforementioned questions which has become more common in recent years. It involves interpreting them from the customers point of view. They are known as The Four C’s and are relative to the Four P’s as is listed below:
Price becomes Cost
Product becomes Customer Needs and Wants
Promotion becomes Communication
Place becomes Convenience

I shall discuss each of these further under their relevant “P” headings.

Throughout this piece of work I shall explore the history of marketing. I shall take a close in-depth look at the four P’s (mentioned above) and other elements of the marketing mix such as the four C’s.

A Brief History of Marketing
Originally a product would be created and people would buy it mainly through lack of choice or indifference e.g. If you needed shoes then you would buy some shoes. Colour, brand and design were largely irrelevant.

After 1945 and the end of the second world war people found that they had much more disposable income than before and so could afford to be a bit more selective. They could wait and compare differences to find the most suitable item. It was around this time that companies began to tentatively approach the idea of marketing.

Initially Marketing was based on the idea that you have a product and need to convince the public to buy it. This meant it became important to build up familiarity and a sense of ease with both your brand and company name. This was the basis of Brand Recognition and more importantly Brand Loyalty.

As time went on marketing departments started to realize that it was costly attempting to sell a product that may or may not even be wanted. It could prove much more lucrative to ask up-front what the customers want and then to simply make that product. This led to Market Research; finding out what people expect from the product and what could be considered a fair price. It was at the start of the 1960’s when Professor Neil Borden defined the four P’s (For full explanation see further sections).

Later on other variants and additions were tried. Nickels and Jolson discussed Packaging. Kotler thought about Public Opinion and Political Power, and Booms and Bitner had a further three to contribute; People, Process and Physical Evidence

The Marketing Mix


Price is a hugely important part of the marketing mix. It is determined by a variety of things such as cost of materials, manufacturing, brand name and availability.

It affects the customers perceptions of the product by placing a value on it. In the customers mind the price can be a reflection of the materials used in the creation i.e. An expensive gold necklace could be perceived as being made from better quality gold whereas an inexpensive gold necklace might seem to be made of inferior gold regardless of actual quality.

Price can also be affected by the brand name it is sold under: Versace can demand a much higher price than Marks & Spencer. As can Bentley than Ford in the car markets.

In the Music Industry price is a lot more flexible and is generally set by the retailer rather than the artist or the record label. However as a guide they can set the PPD (Published Price to Dealer) to which the retailer can then add their usual mark-up percentage. In digital sales such as iTunes the price may well be a fixed price for each track regardless of artist (On iTunes 79p per track).

Recently some retail outlets have started to introduce Whole Number Pricing. This is quite a good idea as it simplifies the shopping experience slightly by making it easier to estimate totals. In contrast to the usual standard pricing method of £N.99, Whole Number Pricing can be more “high visibility” as the font can be in much larger writing on a sticker of the same size. This method began with Fopp in an attempt to make their stores both easily accessible to customers, and easier to organise and run by staff. Other stores have also adopted this now, HMV uses Whole Number Pricing with their sale offers, they promotionally price DVD’s and CD’s for £3, £5 and £7.


In the eyes of the consumer the cost is very often the most deciding factor. It can be influenced by such small differences. For example most shops may price something as £7.99 rather than eight pounds; Even though there is only a one penny difference it seems like more as it reduces the largest denomination (in this case pounds sterling) by one digit.

Cost is important because in any one month the average person has a lot of necessary expenses (such as bills, food etc). At times when money is tight (such as during the current Credit Crunch) luxury items are less of a priority. Therefore finding a CD at an affordable price can be motivation enough for someone to treat themselves.


There are a lot of different ways to promote an artist or product. These depend on the other elements of the marketing mix. The product, the place and the price all affect how you would promote your product. Promotion is crucial to getting attention to the right people in the right place.

Listed below are only a few of the different promotional streams available:

Word of mouth
Audience participation
Newspapers and magazines

Each and every one of these different promotional streams have their merits.

Word of Mouth
Word of mouth (WOM) can be very effective when promoting an artist who may be more close to home. By this I mean a not quite so high profile artist who perhaps does not yet have a record deal and is performing consistently locally.

Radio can cater to low and high profile artists. Advertising on local radio stations such as Eagle Radio can be a lucrative promotional tool for local artists. National radio stations like Radio 2 are very strong promotional tools for high profile artists, both newer and older.

Television has always been an effective way of promoting artists. Over the last ten years the number of music shows has increased tenfold. Top of the Pops was for a long time one of the only instances of music television, having been launched in 1964. MTV followed in 1981 and these two dominated Music Television at that time. Now however there are music orientated shows on every day in every country. Some of these include T4, Virgin 1, TMF, Kerrang!, Q music, MOJO and NME. Many of these are streams through which artists already known in the industry can be promoted. However there are others which are not quite so mainstream which dedicate themselves to promoting lesser known artists.

For music, television is an excellent source of revenue in it’s own right. Nearly every single programme and advert has music synched with it. This not only gets an artists music out there but they also get paid for it being used. An excellent example of this is The Feeling’s hit song “Join With Us” which featured in a Toyota Auris advert. It helped to push their sound out to a wider audience. However, this can be a negative thing for a band as in the case of The Rembrandts. Their song “I’ll be there for you” was used as the theme song for the hit U.S show Friends. Unfortunately it is one of the only songs that they were known for and overshadowed the rest of their later work.

Another reason why Television is so popular when promoting an artist is because almost every household in the UK, the United States and most of Europe own a Television. Therefore the audience it reaches is far greater than certain other forms of promotion such as WOM.

Audience Participation
Audience has always been a great way of marketing. It creates a sense of familiarity with a product and can make the product stand out from it’s competition. Radiohead ran a competition in which they asked fans to create their own remixes of the song “Nude” from the latest album. The component parts were made available for download (vocals, bass, guitar, drums and strings) and contestants could use these and add more instruments to create a remix and upload it to a website specifically for this purpose (Http:// The different versions could then be voted on to choose a winner. This was an excellent marketing method as it garnered huge interest and also gave fans the opportunity to feel as though they were working with Radiohead.

Newspapers and Magazines
These are an extremely effective method of marketing within the music industry. Many different demographics have their own magazine to cater for them. This makes it extremely easy to market a band to a specific market. For example an up and coming death metal band would be best advertised in Kerrang! or Metal Hammer, whereas an R&B singer could warrant an advert in MOJO. Newspapers also can be a great way to advertise music. Concerts, albums and single releases can all benefit from an advert, but that isn’t all. Recently Prince gave away copies of one of his latest albums free with copies of the Daily Telegraph.


It goes without saying that a customer is less likely to buy a product that they know little about. Therefore it is hugely important for a customer to feel as though they are making an informed decision. It can help to think of a customer-product relationship as essentially the same as a person to person relationship. Building any significant relationship involves communication, to listen and learn from each other. This can apply to a business model through the use of focus groups. By having a chance to interact directly with the company a customer can feel more involved.


At the core of the whole Marketing Mix is and will always be the product. Without a strong product the rest of the marketing can only do so much. In this respect it is always important for a product to stay modern and up-to-date.

For example Take That reformed last year with an updated image and sound. I think that an important part of this reinvention was to capture the attention of the fans that they had ten years ago by reflecting their current tastes.

There are two ways in which a product can be formed. One is to construct or make the product and market it to fit a certain demographic. The other is the decide on what demographic you want to target and design your product around that chosen target audience. Obviously the correct choice of marketing is essential when working in either of these two areas.

For the last forty years the music scene has been home to many artist collaborations. Some of these being Aerosmith and Run DMC, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, Madonna and Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, to name a few.
There are many reasons as to why these collaborations may take place, a few of these are listed below.

The artist might want to reinvent themselves. One such example is Madonna who has repeatedly reinvented herself to follow the current trends and to appeal to new fan-bases. It is because of this that she has successfully maintained her popularity throughout the last two decades.

The record Company may want to reinvent a particular artist. To do this they may suggest a collaboration with an artist who is possibly younger, more popular or more up to date. This is true in most of the cases mentioned above.

In order to appeal to two distinct and separate demographics. By merging both the markets as well as the artist this could potentially double the audience. Cross-Genre collaborations such as “Walk this Way’” by Aerosmith and Run DMC were hugely successful because they skillfully incorporated common elements of both styles such as a powerful drum beat and powerful sing-along lyrics.

Customer Needs and Wants

Sometimes the customers actual needs and wants can be overshadowed by the product that the company wants to sell. As an example Robinson’s may try to launch a banana and mint flavour soft drink regardless of whether people actually want to buy it. It would prove much more profitable to find out what flavour people want and then to create that product. Sometimes a particular demographic can be extremely small. The self-publishing website LULU cites an instance of one of its users creating s specialist book which is only of interest to about 120 people in the world, of whom he knows about 100 personally. The website also goes on to say that “These people need this book.”


Place is an equally important part of the marketing mix if not more so. It is crucial to have your product available in the correct markets to maximise both sales and marketing effectiveness.

In the music industry it is crucial to ensure that an artist is seen or heard by potential fans. Potential fans can include the existing fans of other artists in a similar style. For example the Sugababes and Girls Aloud share a common audience.

The last two years has seen closures of major record stores such as Zavvi, Fopp, MVC and Music Zone. This left HMV as one of the only mainstream high street retailers of music. As a result of this occurrence, many supermarkets have made a move into the entertainment sector. These stores include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, ASDA, and other stores of this ilk. Usually supermarkets will dedicate a specific area relative to the size of the store to cater for products corresponding to the entertainment industry.

Tesco is responsible for an extremely large percentage of music sold. Due to their dominance of the UK consumer market, it is now considered to be a priority for mainstream artists to have their albums sold in Tesco. There is more chance of getting to the number one slot when an album is available in every street corner Tesco metro.

There is one particular reason as to why Tesco can be such a deciding factor in record sales; More people shop in tesco than in any other supermarket. One out of every £3 spent in the UK is spent in Tesco.


If a customer needs a specific type of item then they are more likely to shop for them in either the nearest shop or the easiest location (possibly an internet retailer such as Amazon). As a customer each of the three separate places discussed above (HMV, Tesco and Amazon) are easily accessible. They are each instantly recognizable as the leaders within their own markets. Between the three of them they can get to an extremely large proportion of the population

References 6/7/09 00:20 4/07/09 15:57 6/7/09 00:35 5/7/09 23:35 accessed 26/7/09 - 09.45 AM accessed 26/7/09 - 10.26AM

“The Marketing Mix of IMC: A Move From The 4 P’s to the 4 C’s” Khalilah T. Smith, 2003

“Marketing For Dummies” Mortimer et al, 2nd Ed, 2009, 9780470741795


Business, Communication, Consumer, Cost, Marketing, Marketing Strategies, Music, Music Marketing, Musical Education, Musician, Musicians, Place, Price, Prices, Product, Promotion

Meet the author

author avatar DiRaega
I am a professional drum tutor. I like writing random stories and nonsense comes to me quite easily.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
20th Jan 2011 (#)

some really great info here, you should use the Add a Section feature - have a look at some STAR PAGES most use Sections and you can see how it would improve your page.
Marketing is always a tough sell (haha)

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?