A Marketing Plan Outline for Independent Record Releases
By Christopher Knab,
MusicDish Network Sponsor

Plan your record release as if you were an actual record label, taking on the role of both the Product Manager and the Director of Promotions/Marketing. Imagine that your label will be releasing a CD in three months. (This plan presumes the project is currently wrapping things up in the studio and should be ready for mastering.).

You need to prepare:

* The marketing plan that you think would work best for the release.

* The timeline you'll use to put the CD and promotional material together (basically setting your deadlines).

Remember that your plan may be distributed to employees, and any independent radio and retail promotion people, and publicists you may hire. This plan must be very carefully written and all details must be clearly described. This outline will be their introduction to your marketing ideas.

1. Design a detailed overview of your marketing plan.

* Consider all marketing and promotional considerations listed below.

* Propose what you think would work best in each of the areas to help market the record.

* Remember to keep a cohesiveness between all areas - working towards the same goal; sales.

* Remember you will need several practical tools/materials to achieve your goals.( Computers, hardware/software, office supplies, etc).

Address the following specific topics in your plan:

Objective: State a clear and concise objective or goal for your marketing plan. Who is your audience? How will you reach them? Be very specific and detailed.

Image: Maintain the artist's image consistently throughout each graphic.

Packaging: Give a detailed description of the artwork to be used for the cover of the CD/Tape. Describe the package layout and the information you'll have to obtain for the booklet, front and back cover, (barcode?), etc.

Publicity: Consider any and all print and broadcast media plans. Which trade and consumer publications, and genre specific newspapers, magazines, and fanzines? Websites? Describe ingredients for press kits, and topics for press releases. Create fact sheets.

Radio: What radio format(s) will be targeted, which songs? any special promotions? Any independent radio promoters?

Sales: Describe Distribution and Retail plans. Any in-store play material/ promotions? What other specific sales opportunities: mail order, live shows, website sales? Create Distributor One Sheet.

Video: Is the concept in-line with the overall image of the artist? Is a video cost effective?

Touring: Describe the timeframe for touring, and other promotional events to coordinate while on the road. Consider specific clubs, halls, fairs, festivals, etc.

Advertising: What, if any ads will be placed in the print, and other media? Describe the costs/benefits?

Misc: Record release party? Novelty item? Any other clever ideas?

2. Design a 12 week plan for the product and promotional tools.

* Lay out what needs to be accomplished each week to get the record out, with week 12 being the ŒStreet Dateš for your release. (The day the public can begin to buy your record at retail stores.)

* Include all stages of preparing your product for release ( mastering, artwork design, printing, pressing, and delivery of manufactured product to any distributors.)

* Include in the timeline when to start working on the promotional tactics (listed above) that you will implement, plus any materials you may need (photos, press releases, novelty items, display materials, website promotions, ads).

* Give a specific weekly deadline for each element of your project.

If you take this outline seriously, it will help you orchestrate all the many tasks that are necessary to properly prepare a professional marketing plan to help sell your record.

Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © Tag It 2004 - Republished with Permission