How to Hit a Music Marketing Home Run at Your Next Gig

Posted by Drew Stoga on July 26, 2011

By Bob Baker, www.TheBuzzFactor.com

Some time ago I received this email from Jordan Olsen of The Gorgeous Hussies (a Salt Lake City-based funk-rock band):

"Hey Bob, I was reading about the marketing techniques of this minor league baseball team owner on different ways he attracts people to games by not being a marketing 'purest.' Reading the story, I instantly thought about your repeated suggestions to market outside of the box. So I thought I'd forward this to you."

Thanks, Jordan. What a great idea starter! Here are just some of the creative promotion night themes that minor league teams have used:

Awful Night - Attempting to produce the worst atmosphere ever at a baseball game, the Altoona Curve had music by William Shatner and Milli Vanilli, a gate giveaway of a 12-inch square of bubble wrap, pregame autograph sessions with non-celebrities, and a special presentation to the 1962 Mets -- baseball's worst team ever.

Silent Night - The Charleston Riverdogs went for another record against the Capital City Bombers when they tried to play the quietest game ever. For the first five innings, there was no talking. Fans wore duct tape over their mouths and held placards that read "YEAH!," "BOO!" and "HEY BEER MAN!" Also, ushers were replaced by librarians and golf marshals held up "Quiet Please" signs.

Richard Nixon Bobblehead Night - The Nashua Pride decided to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the Watergate break-in by giving out 1,000 Nixon bobbleheads. Anyone named Woodward or Bernstein got in free, and there was 18 1/2 minutes of silence recognizing the gap in the Watergate tape.

Ted Williams Popsicle Night - When Williams' body was cryogenically frozen, the Bisbee-Douglas Copper Kings gave popsicles to the first 500 fans.

I've long advocated looking to other industries and forms of entertainment for marketing concepts. Good ideas can always be borrowed and customized for your particular situation. You have to admit, you could easily use the same line of thinking as these minor league baseball teams did to add a special twist to some of your upcoming gigs.

Which announcement would be more likely to bring people out?

"Hey, we're playing again at the Corner Bar this Saturday. Please stop by."

Or ...

"Come help us celebrate Halloween in July this Saturday at the Corner Bar! That's right, everyone wearing a costume gets in free. And at 11 PM we'll hold the 1st annual Halloween in July Costume Contest. The winner will be chosen based on audience response, so bring 40 of your best friends!"

Use your creativity and have some fun! You do that with your music. Why not with your marketing too?

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Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Online,” Berkleemusic’s “Music Marketing 101” course, and many other books and promotion resources for DIY artists, managers and music biz pros. You’ll find Bob’s free ezine, blog, podcast, video clips and articles at www.TheBuzzFactor.com and www.MusicPromotionBlog.com.

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What is your best marketing tactic? How do you engage with and grow your fan base? Share your most effective marketing practices in the comments section below -- be sure to include the RESULTS of your efforts. Bob will select the winning comment and two runners-up. The winner will receive a personally signed copy of the book and the eBook. The two runners-up will get a free copy of the eBook (in PDF, ePub and Kindle format). And, of course, GigMasters will feature the winning comments in a post on Inside the Gig (with links to the winners’ Profiles).

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