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Bob Baker brings marketing know-how to the MRC

October 13, 2010

This weekend, the MRC welcomed indie music marketing guru Bob Baker to give a presentation on guerrilla marketing and what he calls “Octopus Marketing.”

A musician himself, Bob has written seven books in the  last 15 years about the music business, indie marketing, publicity and other related subjects.

His presentation focused on two main points: making a big splash without spending much money, and using your web site as your communications hub, tying into Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, iLike, LastFM and other “tentacles” from your “octopus.”

He also brought a wealth of ideas and suggestions with him for small, practical steps independent artists can make — like purchasing clothing from thrift shops for cheap and ironing on your band’s logo, thereby making it a custom clothing line and charging a premium at the merch table.  Another example was stamps for door guys to stamp patrons that have your band’s logo and URL.

He also stressed to musicians that marketing is not something that should happen after the recording process is complete.  It is something that should be inherent in the band and the project, instead of an afterthought.  To underscore the point, he said, “Do you think Lady Gaga was trying to figure out how to market her project after the fact? No – she started the project knowing who she was – Lady Gaga!”

The main point is that the internet has afforded musicians many cheap and free opportunities to promote, but the key is using the tools strategically and being creative about opportunities of the moment and keeping your finger on the pulse of pop culture.

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