Tap into audience culture through music

“The earth has music for those who listen.”

Whilst many brands use music across many channels, few brands capitalize on the true value of connecting with their audience through music.

Music is arguably the most powerful tool to connect with or evoke emotions within an individual. Think about how hearing a particular song or sound can bring to memory a whole sequence of events and emotions – and in turn, the effect on our behavior. We hear the song, we want to go out and buy this, or rent that old movie, or go to that place again.

So how do you tap into your audience’s culture in order to extend your brands’ influence and marketing effectiveness? 

1. Make sound and music a strategic imperative and not just an add on

First up, sound and music have to become a strategic imperative on the marketing agenda. As important as the creative and visual elements of a marketing campaign are, so are sound and music – they have the ability to truly embed your messaging and positively bring about behavior change. This power needs to be recognized and brought onto the agenda as a strategic lever and not simply a ‘so what type of music are we going to use as a backing track?’ scenario. 

2. Know your audience

“It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.” This couldn’t be truer when music and sound used in marketing efforts are not in tune with the audience. Think about a badly dubbed movie, or using music that simply doesn’t resonate with a particular culture; it really just falls on deaf ears and can even damage the brand. The important thing is to know your audience and then to select and or create the relevant music and soundscapes which truly resonate and connect with the audience, opening minds and hearts to your messaging. Using appropriate music and sound in different countries and cultures can have a dramatic effect on market impact vs trying to choose a one size fits all. 

3. Integrate sound and music across marketing activities and channels

“When words fail, sounds can often speak.” Music and sound can often take the place of words; and play a vital role in changing behavior. Think for a moment about restaurants and how they use music to affect the behavior of their patrons. A recent study conducted by researchers from HUI Research, in partnership with Soundtrack Your Brand, a Spotify-backed company that provides music streaming for businesses, demonstrated that not only is music a critical part of brand experience, but playing the right music can have a massive impact on sales.

The study is the largest-ever of its kind, tracking 1.8 million sales transactions and 2,101 customer surveys at restaurants over a period of five months.

The results showed that “brand fit music,” which is music that strongly matches a concept’s personality, lifted overall restaurant sales by 9.1 percent overplaying a randomized selection of the most streamed tunes on Spotify. It drove even larger growth in specific categories, such as desserts, which rose by 15.6 percent; shakes and smoothies, which rose by 15 percent; and side dishes, which grew by 11 percent.

The important factor is to understand and know when and where to use relevant and appropriate music and sound to influence the behavior of your target audience. 

4. Involve your audience

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Music and sound can be the perfect catalyst for involving your audience. All too often brands stick to the old and tired visual involvement – enter competitions etc. However, involving your audience through music and sound not only aids in the recall but also gets them talking and sharing. Instead of winning a hamper, why not, win a custom song, just for you? Instead of entering our competition online and win, why not, send through your top five rated songs of all time and win? Involving your audience doesn’t just mean a competition but could also mean receiving valuable insight from them and then using that insight to better serve their needs. 

5. Be true to who you are

Today many brands have lost their way when it comes to being true to who they are. The marketing and advertising game has now become about AI and of course all about the numbers. Much authenticity has been lost in this process as retailers and brands clamor for growth and sales just to survive. But the authentic brands are standing out from the rest; those brands which are true to who they really are. Music and sound can be leveraged to a great extent in this regard. How so? Well, think about how each and every individual has their own personal music preferences and choices which are true just to them. And so it is with a brand. Music can define a brand and keep on redefining the brand as it goes through serving multiple generations.

If you are looking to tap into your audience culture through music, why not contact us, we’d love to discuss your needs and share our thoughts.

The Change Cultivators podcast is proudly produced by CB4.