AC/DC is a band based in Australia. The band was formed in 1973 by two brothers Angus and Malcolm Young (The Official AC/DC Site). The two had a tight connection and support for the band ever since until the illness and departure of Malcom this year. There were additional members in the band that consisted of Larry van Kriedt, who was the base leader, the vocalist Dave Evans, Colin Burgess, ex-drummer of Masters Apprentices.
Background Information on the Band
On the road to success, the band was supported by one of Australia’s legends Ray Arnold and his partner Allan Kissack. The first performance of the band was on New Year’s Eve at Bondi Lifesaver in 1973 (The Official AC/DC Site). The band is considered a pioneer of heavy metal and for this reason it is well known as hard rock or blues rock band. Since their foundation, the band has held one of the highest grossing impacts in the rock industry despite considering themselves as simply a rock and roll band. The first album of the band was dubbed High Voltage released in February of 1975 (The Official AC/DC Site). There were several changes that had occurred before the release of this album; the band had taken Bon Scott as the lead vocalist, and Mark Evans remained the base guitarist and Phil was the drummer. Some of the members deviated leaving the pioneers still stabilizing the band that was attained in 1977.
The idea of the band was conjured, deciphered and developed by Malcolm and Angus Young after their sister Margaret Young brought forth the AC/DC concept as she saw the initials on a sewing machine. The letters stand for Alternating Current and Direct Current; the brothers felt that it symbolized the raw energy and potential of the band and the power that drove their performances. However, the colloquial name of the band is Acca Dacca and it is well known in Australia. Currently, the band enjoys a high performing and highly rated fifteen albums acclaimed worldwide.
The success of a record label’s album release relies on a well-researched, augmented marketing plan. The marketing plan is tailored to the needs of the target market and projected sales (Sa Dias). A good marketing plan for a record label or band in this case should adopt an algorithm. The algorithm should align the goals and objectives of the label and tailor them to the expectations of the masses. The success of AC/DC and can be attributed to the constant high-performance levels that meet the expectations of the clients (The Official AC/DC Site). Music lovers are driven by any new upcoming album especially if it has hit songs. In this case, the band has loyal followers who are eager and dedicated to supporting the band’s efforts buying their albums and attending all concerts and performances. A band that has gained popularity like AC/DC has a high probability of entering the market selling a new album due to the loyalty of the fans (Sa Dias). However, despite this, a marketing plan must be adopted to ensure that the return on investment is recovered, and the band enjoys better performance both on stage and in the market.
According to Forrest and DeVoe, a marketing plan is the cornerstone of every release by a record label (Forrest and DeVoe). It is the foundation upon which various aspects of promoting a record label are coordinated. Promoting the album, there are two dimensions that have to be considered in the market (Forrest and DeVoe). They are the consumer and the trade. Maintain the band’s name to a high elevation is practically essential for the future of the band. On the other hand, meeting the expectations of the consumer is important for cementing loyalty and increasing the consumer base. The music market is ever changing due to changes in listeners and followers’ preferences and as such, the lack of a documented approach towards marketing an album may be stated. Therefore, each album may adopt a slightly different approach to its sales technique based on the current demands and market changes. In addition, the dynamic nature of the music industry makes it impossible to adopt the same selling tactic for all the albums of a recording label.
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Ways of Advertising the Album
Album promotion is an essential approach to increasing the sales of the record label. There are means and approaches that can be used to promote the sales of the album. Adopting a marketing plan is just a preliminary step. The plan has to be made available to all the people involved in marketing and promoting of the record label. In the case of AC/DC, the official launch of the record has to be accompanied by a conclusive marketing plan to ensure the success of the album. To enhance cohesion and an open communication of the marketing aspects, all the parties involved in promoting the label have to adopt an open communication system. The system eliminates any form of misunderstanding that may arise from improper communication and also curtails any unnecessary repetitive work (Forrest and DeVoe). Once the communication is segmented, this will result in high end promotional tactics that will influence the performance of the band positively. There are various aspects of the market that need an open communication model.
Marketing as an entity requires several peculiar skills and qualities to succeed. Among theses characteristics is the need for proper coordination between the entities involved in the market. Marketing campaign is an approach that favors different products and services in different niches. Promoting a record label is not an exception. There are means and approaches that can be used to induce more sales and increase the credibility of the band. Based on the current international status quo of the band, it is evident that the constant provision of electrifying, high quality, and powerful metal rock has enabled them to carve a niche for themselves (Brooksbank). Therefore, maintaining this status and promoting the release of the upcoming album is the aim of the marketing tactics to be adopted. Traditional and modern marketing approaches augur well for this need; it will be discussed in the section below.
Traditional Marketing Approaches
Despite the current trends and changes in the marketing area cultivated by changes in information systems and technology, traditional forms of communication and promotion are still effective. They unite different generations and communicate the marketing needs effectively and concisely. In the case of AC/DC, their music spans through generations as the band has withstood the test of time. Being formed in the 1970s, this band has fans that cut across multiple generations (The Official AC/DC Site). Therefore, adopting a communication model that addresses different fans on the basis of age is essential for the success of the album. Different traditional promotional methods are addressed in this paper
Before the launch or release of the album, radio promotion is an effective tool of informing and communicating with potential customers and fans about the upcoming album. Through radio, information is communicated widely and in most cases it is repetitive. Radio promotion can take the form of advertisement where the album of the band can be advertised at peak hours, for example just before the news program (Sa Dias). This promotion tactic bridges the gap between the old and the young since radios are universal and people of different ages listen to them. Another radio promotion approach is holding interviews and reviews with famous radio presenters. In this case, AC/DC can present selected songs from their album to air on the national radio stations (The Official AC/DC Site). The choice of the presentation songs should be driven by the need to meet the clients expectations and in this case, hit songs should be aired. Media personalities that are influential within the country should be indulged to review the album and also promote the band holding on-air discussions with them or some of their members. This earns the band more loyal followers as people tend to identify personally with the band members. The essence of holding an on-air performance and critical evaluation is to recount the journey through challenges and fame that the band has undergone. Proper targeting of the favorite show should be done to ensure that the maximum audience has been reached (Sa Dias). The tactic promotes the band’s brand and their authenticity and stand is maintained. In addition, a leak up of any upcoming events and shows can be given to ensure that the masses are motivated to attend as they feel personal identification with the band.
With the current propagation of the internet and information communication, it is worth noting that radio presentation is no longer limited to geographic boundaries. On the contrary, it spans across multiple continents, and this increases listenership. Diehard fans of the band can keep up with the current trends in the band. A good example that the band can emulate is the trance movement that is spearheaded by Armin Van Burren (Jackson). The music has listeners from across the globe through the personas channel. Adopting this promotional tactic ensures that the fans of the band are incorporated during the release and launch of the album.
The most effective communication and marketing tool is the use of magazines. The effectiveness of this approach is based on the fact that magazines do not only communicate the current events in the advertisers’ brand, it communicates changes in their lifestyle. The AC/DC crash magazine is an effective way of communicating with the subscribers (The Official AC/DC Site). Since its foundation, the band has been influential in the music industry and has constantly gained applause among its fans leading to a constant increase in membership as well as the number of magazine subscribers. Therefore, channeling information in this route regarding the upcoming event will ensure that subscribers and one time buyers of the magazine are informed about the new album. The boost to the sales of the new album will inevitably be provided, and the band will continually enjoy a top notch place in the music industry. There are various advantages associated with magazine advertising. Among them is the lifespan of the magazine. Targeting a show and album release that are to be held on December 2, 2014, a September issue of the magazine will inherently communicate the information loud and clear (The Official AC/DC Site). The fact that many subscribers pick their issue at the end of the month gives them a whole day to prepare for the release of the album in case they did not receive the news.
A magazine is spacious, and this makes it possible to communicate a wide range of information regarding the upcoming album prior to its release. The information to be communicated can entail the structure of the album, its appearance and a list of songs included in the album. In addition, to make the magazine appear, the events of past shows can be included in a sneak peak to reveal what to expect during the show and the launch of the album. Magazines also come in handy as they target a certain clientele, and this ensures the continuity of the business. In the case of AC/DC, the magazine will communicate the concept of the performance and the lifestyle of the artists. Therefore, the users will have a more appealing point of contact and personal identification with the band. The magazine positions the band in the limelight and contributes enormously to the band’s success.
The way best suited to capture the attention of fans is the use of billboards. The promotion of the album can be enhanced by this process as it enhances the visualization of the band and their performances. Billboards are a creative traditional and yet an effective way of communicating the message clearly and precisely to the users (The Official AC/DC Site). There are numerous varying reasons why the use of billboards is important. The ability to conceptualize the idea and effectively communicate it is enhanced using this process. In addition, strategically placing the board in areas with more viewers means communicating the entire message to a vast majority from one point. Therefore, it is critically essential to communicate the message of the events to be held and the venue. In addition, a billboard gives the viewers a timeframe for which they can see the ad. Therefore, prior to the launch of the album, the use of billboards creates the anticipation for the fans, and this guarantees their presence during the launch event of the album
Print Media Advertising
Newspapers and magazines have a constant base membership of daily readers and monthly subscribers respectively. Therefore, taking advantage of this audience to communicate the activities of the band guarantees a high turn up rate during the launch of the campaign (Sa Dias). In some newspapers, some middle sections are purely dedicated to entertainment during certain days such as weekends and taking advantage of this space is essential for the success of the album. For example, AC/DC must adopt an approach that synthesizes monthly communication of the upcoming event in an attempt of promoting the sales of the new record. However, it should be noted that this forms of advertising spans over a small geographical coverage.
Roadshows and tours are one of the oldest ways of promoting a product. The method is still effective when it comes to promoting a musical album. Organizing tours inside and outside the country creates awareness to the fans and captures the attention of potential lovers of rock and roll music. Roadshows and tours are a strategic approach that increases the audience’s anticipation of the upcoming music album. During the launch of the album, people are willing and ready to appear as the shows held previously prepared them for the upcoming event. As an internationally acclaimed band, AC/DC can hold international shows and performances with the aim of communicating with their fans about the upcoming albums (The Official AC/DC Site). In this shows, a playlist that shows the songs included in the album should be added and played at random and trailers of the videos and songs should be shown.
Modern marketing has been enhanced by the presence of the internet. Reaching customers far and wide is one of the greatest merits of using online advertising. There are various approaches used for promoting an album online and reaching the target group of users. However, some of this methods are not effective while others have not been utilized maximally to receive increased viewership.
One way to get in touch with fans and followers is to design a website. AC/DC band has done an excellent job in creating the website that promotes their record label (The Official AC/DC Site). The site is pure rock from the look and feel, and it communicates directly to the diehard fans using this approach. Members can identify with the band and the label just by visiting their website. One of the merits of having a website is that users can subscribe to online newsletter by providing their emails. Once users subscribe to the site, their information is stored safely on the servers, and this leads to a more speculative, personal interaction with the band as shown.
One marketing and promotion principle that works and has stood the test of time is personal identification with the customer. Information retrieved from the subscribers database can be used to communicate directly and widely with users employing a personal approach. Here, the name and the email address of the user are used as primary key identifiers that provide greetings from the band and yet communicate a universal message (Zineldin). The use of personal identifying information makes the users feel engaged and recognized by the band, and this will inherently increase the turn-up level during the launch of the album. The approach guarantees that the promotion of the album meets the target market globally.
The statistics indicate that social media are among the highest visited sited daily. Therefore, reaching fans and clients at their comfort zone ensures that the message is properly communicated and delivered to the vast majority. Websites such as Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook among others increase the propagation of news worldwide. Therefore, the pages of the band on these platforms should be properly managed to ensure that the followers are properly engaged and entertained. Twitter, for example, is an interactive platform that routes the tweets of the band to the follower’s phone in the form of short messages. Therefore, there is increased receivership of the message within a short time and a global acclamation of the band’s upcoming events.
Subscribing to an RSS feed from the band’s website also increases the propagation of the news. The band’s news and the upcoming events are communicated across multiple blogs, channels, and news websites that have subscribed to the feed. (Zineldin). It results in an increased awareness of the band’s upcoming events and performances.
One of the reasons why movies perform extremely well in the industry is the channel subscription. The use of social media subscription channels such as YouTube and Vimeo will drastically increase the receivership of the band. Using this platform, trailers of the upcoming events can be communicated to the audience. However, to ensure that the sale of the album is not affected, no full video or music should be posted online. The use of trailers creates anticipation and increases the zeal for the fans to buy the album. The idea is not to provide the music on this channels, but rather to inform how and where to find the music.
Lastly, once the marketing and promotion tactics are put in motion, the audience have to be informed on where to buy the albums after its release. The album is not to be released prior to the launch as it kills the expectation and enthusiasm about the performance. Also, the albums can be released in batches starting with the audio to promote sales, and the video coming later once the sales of the audio version have been maximized (Zineldin). Using these approaches, the album will not only be promoted but the sales will also be increased.