Where Will We Go From Here...
In today's technological world, we find a challenging and ever-expanding marketplace for almost any product or service. Such is the case for the services and products of Edgar Risk Ventures. Through the worldwide reach of the Internet, innovative and resourceful companies can market their 'wares' around the world, literally. It may seem unlikely that someone in, say, South America would contact us to package and market them as an artist. Unlikely, perhaps, but certainly not impossible to do, or impossible that they would buy product from us. Our production clients will, based on our past experience, come from areas 'closer to home,' but, through the far-reaching aspects of Bob Edgar's career, we have learned that contacts from anywhere in the world are certainly possible.
Most important in our marketing approach will be the utilization of the contact and relationship base in the entertainment industry already established by Bob Edgar. The initial projects already identified by Edgar Risk Ventures come from his contacts and influence.
Word-of-mouth advertising represents an important aspect, as well, with the quality of each project holding paramount value in the furtherance of our good reputation. Entertainers, by nature, are a conversant lot, and word-of-mouth advertising, although difficult to track and predict, can represent a major percentage of customer attraction.
Comprehensive utilization of the marketing opportunities offered through Internet usage will be the anchor for most of our marketing programs. The Edgar Risk Ventures website will be a focal point where anyone interested in our services may migrate for further information and contact. References to the website will be incorporated into all collateral marketing pieces and campaigns. Internet search engine placement using correct keywords and meta tags will be employed to attract a maximum number of visitors to our website. Regular evaluations of search engine placement activity will guide our continuing strategy.
Unlike marketing a specific brand of toothpaste where large numbers of purchases create cash flow and profitability, Edgar Risk Ventures believes that word-of-mouth advertising, combined with the effective utilization of our website and traditional marketing avenues, will create enough business to carry us well into our second year of operation and beyond. There are enough individual projects identified at present to easily occupy the first nine to twelve months of operation.
As we progress further into our future, we will focus on the strengths and factors that produced the most successful and rewarding projects and continue the incorporation of those factors into our day-to-day operations. Traditional advertising will be continuously employed, but predominantly will, as our experience has shown, serve mainly as a support and recognition tool, providing credibility but not necessarily bringing in the majority of our clients. We do believe that most of our clients will be word-of-mouth referrals or those who come to us via interest in our website as well as in our released product.
Successfully proffering your wares in the music industry is a delicate balance of offering a quality product and strategically placing that product where it can be seen and acquired. To a large extent the 'big boys' have the upper hand in reaching the masses. Unless you understand the audience and the idiosyncrasies inherent in that audience (and there are always idiosyncrasies), you may be one of those unfortunate many who spend large amounts of money appealing to the very people who could not care less about your project and its associated artist/product.
Not all of our projects will include a market component...most will. Each individual artist who employs the services of Edgar Risk Ventures brings their own audience segment with them. Artists inexperienced in music marketing usually cannot effectively recognize their own market. Identification of and the subsequent approach to that market will be an inherent element of each project we embrace. There are specific channels open in each individual genre, as well as the national and international opportunities available when warranted. Allow us to explain our approach and rationale in story form...
It Could (and does) Happen This Way...
Suppose that a musically gifted man, Earl Anthony (a completely made-up name), now in his early thirties and regularly playing in his own country band, hears a CD recently produced for his drummer's brother by Edgar Risk Ventures. Earl, too, has been planning to record...just hasn't quite put it together yet. He's impressed with the quality of sound, the arranging, the packaging of the CD product, even though he's not particularly impressed with his drummer's brother as a musician. (Alas, entertainers are notoriously critical of each other.) The drummer mentions something about a website that he saw when his brother was in production with Edgar Risk Ventures and gives Earl the website address. Earl visits the site, several times, and finally decides to contact the company...just to see how they respond.
Edgar Risk Ventures receives the rather hesitant inquiry from Earl and responds promptly with both general information and polite questions designed to 'open' the path to more in-depth communication. Earl replies with answers to the questions, is enjoying the email camaraderie with someone in the 'music business' and eventually makes an initial telephone appointment to discuss a possible CD project of his own. Following this are a couple of lengthy sessions discussing Earl's objectives, his aspirations, listening to home demos of his band and observing Earl as he performs live on stage. Edgar Risk Ventures presents Earl with a proposal for a CD project. Earl accepts...and life is breathed into a brand new project by three individual investors who have previously participated in ERV projects and enjoyed both the process as well as their return on investment. Earl, himself, becomes the fourth investor, having saved a modest sum for this venture.
Earl is groomed for studio production work by Bob Edgar, who takes Earl under his wing, diplomatically offering professional guidance as well as encouragement. Earl is a good studio candidate, applying himself conscientiously and creatively. Bob Edgar is gradually impressed with Earl's artistry and vocal renditions during the first portion of the recording sessions--he passes along his views to the rest of the principals at ERV. ERV now begins to tentatively eye further avenues of market appeal pending the completion of the CD.
During the actual production period, arrangements are put in place for CD replication, packaging, distribution and marketing. Inclusion of the Earl Anthony CD into the Edgar Risk Ventures website is planned and the webmaster begins appropriate arrangements to correlate the website announcements and CD ordering capability with the release. The initial market thrust, as requested by Earl, is to the local area surrounding his home town. This is a 'safe' market for him, but ERV believes that a regional campaign will be more appropriate based on their observation of audience acceptance of Earl's entertainment efforts. ERV now begins to think that inclusion of a digital satellite release would offer a 'read' on this artist's recorded charisma and appeal, being an economical yet reliable path for this validation. The regional campaign was incorporated into the project from the beginning. The digital satellite component is now included, as well, with ERV footing the bill for these costs. They are minimal compared to the value of the market test they provide. Based on the continuing integrity of the recorded product as well as Earl's stage presence, ERV begins to consider additional marketing avenues. Meanwhile, marketing pieces to accompany the CD throughout the targeted region are prepared, radio contacts are made and appropriate arrangements and licensing are acquired for both the regional and satellite releases.
Close monitoring of satellite charts as well as radio audience receptivity are maintained by Edgar Risk Ventures as an individual cut (song) from the CD is released into the public sector. Within six days, Earl Anthony hits the satellite charts and shows some upward movement. ERV begins tentative plans for immediate shipment of additional quantities of CDs to regional music stores. The ongoing analysis of the digital satellite charts indicates continued and growing acceptance of Earl Anthony as a vocalist. A major market for his product appears to be forming in the Netherlands, where country music is enjoying a 'hot' market. Preliminary inquiries are made to radio stations throughout the Netherlands followed by email marketing pieces. Orders begin to come into the ERV website, as well as order requests from stores in the target region. Another cut from the CD is chosen for release (to follow within eight to ten weeks from the initial release) and preparations begin to support its marketability. This component is an adjunct to the original project, will require additional funding from the original investors, but will supplement revenues arriving from the initial marketing of the product. This is how a project grows, matures and endures in the music marketplace.
Edgar Risk Ventures begins an assessment of venues available in the regional area for a promoted performance by Earl Anthony. This component, also, was not incorporated into the original project, but is now added due to the apparent receptivity of the market audience. One of the initial project investors (an avid country music fan) agrees to underwrite the costs associated with this decision for a percentage of profits from this component. A suitable venue is contracted and preparations begin for a promoted performance by Earl Anthony and his band in a location central to the regional area being marketed. A promo team is sent to the region to prepare the market, place the ads, coordinate sponsorship through the local radio station, arrange for partnering of concessions, etc.
While maintaining the forward thrust of Earl Anthony's maiden voyage into the commercial market, ERV closely monitors his digital satellite charting. This tool is key to understanding the 'reach' of this particular artist. It is also a reliable barometer for consideration of a national release in the United States. Although numbers are not always identical, popularity reflected through the satellite charts more often than not mirror the popularity potential for the same artist through a traditional national release in the U.S. This method of 'trying the market' is much more economical than just jumping into a national release...and tied together with the results of the regional target market, provides substantial validation for increased exposure. Tentative plans are begun by ERV to prepare a new project proposal for Earl Anthony for a multi-level project (release of several cuts from a new CD through various venues).
The promoted performance is carried through, following three weeks of a concentrated and strategic advertising campaign. On the initial performance night, the venue, a community college theater capable of seating 900, is filled to capacity. ERV has learned, through its reach into this market, that thousands of CDs have been sold in the last seven weeks in the regional area surrounding the venue and the local radio stations have been reporting constant demand for Earl Anthony airplay. ERV therefore arranged for three performances by Earl over a three-day span. Earl and ERV (not to mention the gratified investor) are encouraged to see the venue fill each night. The promoted performance component of the project has proven successful.
A U.S. national release is incorporated into the multi-level project being prepared for Earl Anthony. Project investors are contacted and another level and round of market approach is planned. ERV, primarily through Bob Edgar, begins a 'conversational campaign' for Earl through production and recording contacts in the industry. The potential for attracting a major label with this artist is apparent. All participants would stand to benefit from such an outcome, which becomes more possible every day.
Well, in a nutshell, utilizing a 'pretend' artist and project, we have taken you through the market utilization and potentials inherent in the production/marketing of a music artist and product. Each project carries its own variables. The capable, prudent and informed approach, which ERV will provide to each client and project, will maximize the potentials and increase the profitability factors collectively.