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Marketing the band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by wcnewby, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. I had a post on about what people charge for their bands because I am on a marketing campaign for mine. I needed to know what the going rate was. I learned a few things from the responses and have devised a strategy that would be brilliant if it works, and yet another wasted effort if it doesn't.

    If you want to keep getting what you are getting, keep doing what you are doing.... in that spirit I'm thinking something new is in order.

    Given, a cover band gets about 100 dollars per piece. What if you would include radio marketing with your price? I did some quick research and found that for a thirty second spot at whatever time they choose (a local country western station as we are a country western band) I would pay 9 dollars. For a thirty second spot between 5am and midnight it is 18. I could get 5 spots between 5am and midnight for 90 dollars... we are a four piece so the finished cost for the gig would be 490 dollars.... but we do radio advertising for their establishment (on their dime, and with our name ;)

    I'm running the idea past the guys, but I thought I would share it here... where it was born.
  2. What about production costs for a finished advertisement?
  3. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I often hear radio DJs do spots for larger companies where they basically read off a cue card on air.
    If the band knows a good writer (or one of them can do it) Id imagine production costs could be nothing.

    I had no idea one could get a radio ad on air for so cheap.
  4. I'm a writer, and we could record our own commercial with stuff we already have for recording ourselves. I didn't know radio was that cheap either. I think it would work to have one basic commercial with the front bit or the rear bit designed so that you could record the name of the establishment for each one. Naturally, you could save them so if you got repeat work you wouldn't have to do it over.

    The best way to get anywhere with anyone is to make a situation where everyone wins. You can't expect a bar to hire you if they aren't going to get the money back in drink sales. Anything you can do to make that happen ensures that you get hired again. Seeing that is the easy part, making it happen is the hard bit.

    when it comes down to brass tacks, we get paid with beer money.

  5. I think itÂ’s going to be very hard selling that idea to dives - but, pitch it and see if you can sale it, and if you have any luck with it, please post an update. Thanks and good luck.
  6. I don't really want to work in "dives" but I will do it. I have friends in low places and they are usually the most fun. Imagine yourself trying to sell a gig at one of these dives... and all you have is a cd. The owner is taking a gamble that they will lose your price plus what he usually looses most nights. I think the promise of "free" advertising may be the apple such people need to pull the trigger.

    The guys seem on board with the idea, we will talk about producing the spot at next practice. I will post an update when we have implemented this strategy. It feels like a winner idea.
  7. Most classy venues (not dives) that might be interested, already advertise and or have contacts - but, if you can get block time for cheaper, they might be interested. Please keep us updated. Good luck and best wishes.
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Radio ads in my region will run you thousands of dollars unless you go onto college/community radio. Definitely not worth it in my opinion. My drummer is convinced that a radio ad is all you need to get people down to a venue and was pretty close to buying ad time, I told him to not waste his money. Next week we have a gig for a local charity, I have a friend who is on the morning show of our local rock station, she has been plugging the show and had an ad made an run for it. I am expecting a ****** turnout still, and am hoping to use this ****** turnout to explain to my drummer how spending $2000+ for a $600 evening is a stupid move.

    If you expect a venue who is booking you to pay you to promote the show, you are in for quite a shock. In the old days it was the venues job to get people in the door, the band just had to keep them in the building and drinking. Nowadays since people don't go out anymore and bars are not as successful, bar owners expect bands to not only entertain the crowd, but to bring one with them. I would be absolutely amazed if a bar owner actually paid you extra for marketing and didn't just take it out of your cut.
  9. Diabolus,
    I agree with your assessment of bars and the biz as that is how the scene is in Ottawa. That said, if the OP can get his ad done reasonably cheaply and can air his five commercials for an additional $90 it may be worth the investment, at least the first time. To gauge, the OP will want to get a good idea of how much of the turnout were their regular crowd and/or tagalongs, add another 10-20 heads of the bars regulars and see the delta based on how many people turned out. Who knows? This may pay off in St Germain, Wisconsin.
  10. lfmn16

    lfmn16 SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Do some research before you spend any money. When I looked into this a while back, I read that radio advertising is most effective when used as part of an overall strategy, not a stand alone campaign. I also read that in order to be effective, multiple ads need to be run long term. It works through repetition. I doubt that running 5 ads a week before the gig is going to help.
  11. 5 ads isn't going to do much. Radio works best on volume...a lot of ads on the same day, or the same daypart, spread throughout a week.

    5AM-midnight is a huge swath of time. Your ads could be hitting times when hardly anyone is listening.

    I used to sell radio advertising so I do know a little bit of what I'm talking about.
  12. Big_E


    Nov 1, 2013
    As said. An effective advertising campaign will utilize multiple outlets: radio, print, broadcast, online. All of those are dependent on volume to have a measureable benefit.

    Your 5 random ads will air at the time with the least listeners most likely. The advertisers who pay extra for drive time, prime time, news, etc. will bump the rotations for the random slots to less desirable times.

    If you want to give it a go. I would suggest 10 - 20 spots per day about a week before the show or fewer spots during peak hours and popular programing. Ask them for the listener numbers for all time slots.
  13. There is no question that advertising is the way to go to get a crowd in the door. There is also no question that a cheap a*s dive owner wont pay for it... even though it is for his own good. I have been thinking of what I would do with the five adds, 1 two days before then two the next day and two the day of. Vs five the day of, or two the day before and three the day of, or one per day.... given, more would be better, but I don't want to raise the price of the gig too much.

    My pitch will be at a reasonable price without the advertising, and I am going to throw the advertising in for "free." As far as not drawing that much of a crowd, you are still putting your name on the radio... in a way that would be more effective than just making a commercial for your band looking for gigs... ie; you are a band that has gigs... you are on the radio, you must be good, other people like you.... I will hire you.

    That is how I hope it works.
  14. Man, you're better off saving your money. Really. 5 ads randomly inserted a few days before a gig is going to get you nothing in terms of extra people at your show.
  15. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Spend the $90 on free drinks for patrons, put "free beer" up on the little busted lettering sign out in front of the bar, I bet you'll get a much brighter response.
  16. So you don't believe that radio adds will bring in 10 extra people who buy two five dollar drinks which covers the cost of reaching them. To me it doesn't seem like that much of a stretch.

    The real pay-off would be having our band's name on the radio for free... and not asking for gigs, but advertising that we have them. If I was a bar owner I would sooner hire a band that I heard advertising their gigs on the radio than one I'd never heard of.

    I must admit that I could be wrong, as there are a couple of people who think it won't be effective, even among the guys in the band. I will believe that is ineffective when I notice it not being effective or when someone who has done it says that it was not effective for them.

    You have to be willing to try things when you aren't getting what you want, and unwilling to change when you are.

    just sayin

  17. I firmly believe that if we want to make more money and have more gigs that we have to be worth it. We have to have the bar owner looking over his shoulder for the fire marshal while working his register like a slot machine. If you do that, word will get out, you will get hired. What you get hired for is a function of what he knows he will make from a full bar.

    This is taking for granted that you have done the work and the band is tight, that you watch your sound, that you don't get wasted, don't take hour and a half breaks, start on time.... in general, are a good band... which will make filling a bar even easier. It just looks so good on paper. ;)
  18. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Hey, I'm all for trying something, I just think free beer is going to get a better response. But by all means, try it and let us know how it works out! :D

    Are you really wanting to put all your efforts into getting more dive bar gigs? My band has had good luck by making ourselves easily found online, getting weddings, private parties, and municipal events. More pay, less dealing with obnoxious drunks.
  19. Not dive bar gigs, nice bar gigs... I like bar gigs, some drunk people are fun. OTOH I do not like getting burned to a crisp by the sun, or frozen by the wind, eaten by mosquitos, tuning every song because it is like Africa outside. ;) I do like more money, I'll give you that.

    On free beer, that would somewhat suck the wind out of the bar sales. It would make a funny "jackass" episode. Band shows up to bar to play gig and brings free beer, bar makes no money band attempts to collect for gig... high drama.... I would watch that. ;)
  20. lfmn16

    lfmn16 SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Well, maybe you know more about this than the guy who used to sell radio advertising. just sayin

    Good luck, it sounds like you've made up your mind.

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