Pat suggested I start a blog for Smaller Indiana. Since I have never attempted to write a blog and Doug Karr influenced me enough at the MBO conference, here is the first shot.

I have always had the dangerous habit of looking at all marketing material positioned along the sides of roads and highways. I’m surprised I haven’t been hospitalized for rear ending a semi or any other type of compact vehicle in the road. It does have its uses though. I was driving down 96th Street and happened across a billboard for a local musician. The billboard read, “Frank Buchannon. Album Available Now.,” it was accompanied by a huge picture of this guy leaning against a red barn with what I assume was a guitar or could have been a sax… maybe a it was piano.

The reason for my angst, music print marketing and advertising needs to change. The truth is, the billboard was a waste of money. Why do I care about Frank Buchannon when I am driving down 96th Street? It doesn’t give me a sales pitch. The billboard doesn’t have any substance. It didn’t pull me, it didn’t fascinate me, it didn’t sell me on the fact I needed to go and listen to this guy’s music on the web.

The music market has wasted millions of dollars on magazine advertising and billboard advertising because they don’t understand a fundamental rule of marketing, give them something to hold on to, damn it! I can open a magazine and read twenty to thirty advertisements for artists and all it gives is a name, a face, and a web address.

Let me say, that music marketing has gotten better on the web and in the next decade print advertising for music will fade if not disappear. But come on Frank, spend that money somewhere else!

If I were to run into Frank at a Starbucks I would say, “Oh HEY! Your that guy from the billboard….” And that’s about it.