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Targetting Untapped & Unconventional Markets

June 16, 2011

Creative thought and opportunity can lead to great new avenues and there are opportunities that as a musician will pass you by everyday if you are inattentive and don’t look.

One such example of how to tap into a new market using creative thought and the right opportunity is something that I did with my label (Diminished Fifth Records) a few years back. I had noticed a random message on a local messageboard saying there would be a Tattoo Festival held in the lovely city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Every person in my band and over half the artists on my roster have visible tattoos. In fact in the heavy metal world tattoos are very common, so I approached the festival, bought a booth and sponsored the event. Since then we’ve had a booth with CDs and T-Shirts for sale every year, helped to provide music for them to play over the loud speakers and even had a few bands from the roster perform at the festival’s entertainment nights and after parties.

At the end of the 2009 Tattoo Festival (which was the third year of the festival and the third year we’ve been involved) I approached each vendor, introduced myself and gave them free copies of our compilation CD to take to their shops (artists were there from all over the world with heavy focus on North American tattoo artists). One month after the Maritime Tattoo Festival I was in Toronto, Ontario for NXNE Festival and decided to check out NIX Tattoo Festival which was going on at the hotel I was staying at. As we walked past one vendor I stopped dead in my tracks, lo and behold an Iron Giant song off our compilation CD was blasting out from his stereo.

Ontario’s Protest the Hero are another great example of knowing your fanbase and reaching them unconventionally. They created a custom shirt specifically targeted at their Newfoundland fans which features a fisherman and the saying “Tis the Rum, My Son” and they even offered Free Shipping to anyone in Newfoundland who ordered it from their online store! Genius! Even though this is a small demographic it was a very smart idea which really gives fans a sense of interaction with the fan. This is especially helpful when tackling harder to reach or more rural markets.

Reducing this all to a single point, if you know your fans, you can find a way to reach them using unconventional routes with a little creative thought.

-Josh

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