I was listening to a story about hip-hop artist T-Pain last night and was reminded of just how important it is to think about 'marketing' - not just advertising - at this planning time of year. The trends that we use to shape brand experiences have powerful impacts on all sorts of larger marketing questions - from product development to operational planning.
Consider this incredible example about how shifts in audience behavior wildly changed the business sources for the Zomba record label:
- Artist T-Pain has a signature vocal style that has played a defining role in hip-hop and R&B music this year
- Four of his singles are in the Billboard's Top 10
- He owns up to 1/3 of the popular playlists on some R&B stations
But here's where it gets interesting for marketers:
- His top single has had 1.5 million digital downloads at $.99/each
- BUT - that same single has had 3 MILLION ringtone downloads at $2.50 - $3/each
Record execs call ringtones a personalization product. And, it's interesting, in an era when boom boxes and big stereos have been replaced with earbuds, maybe your ringing pocket is the last bastion of showing off your style through your favorite band...
Not to show my radical uncoolness at the end of a hip-hop post, but, as the aging rocker said, Times, they are a changin' (,marketers).