Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Even Prince Does Direct Marketing

This is something I never thought I would be lucky enough to write about--Prince and Direct Marketing! Oh Joy--my mundane marketing world is getting exciting!

Found an interesting article today, Prince Does Direct Marketing with Latest Album. The article discusses how Prince used fundamental DM principles to market himself. His decision (which apparently is not making all music people happy) was to give away copies of his latest album away to promote the album and his shows.

From the article: "Prince's latest album entitled Planet Earth was recently released in the UK in three million copies of The Mail newspaper...Record shops in the UK were angered with the promotion, saying that the move devalues the music itself and that it should be sold, while some UK bloggers who uploaded the album for free after receiving their free copy in The Mail said Prince makes the majority of his money with ticket sales and tour merchandise and saw it as a way to get the word out rather than devaluing the music."

Here's my take on this--if it makes Prince fans happy (and how can FREE ever make them unhappy), then it's a great thing. I'm sure that this move has built loyalty among his key fanbase. The promotion has made headlines (heck, even me, a marketing blogger, is talking about it), thus boosting awareness of the new album. Sampling, or giving away free product, is certainly not a new marketing tactic, and I think it was used correctly in this instance.

I take my hat off to Prince. Not only a brilliant musician and one of the most creative people in our time, but he's also a savvy marketer. I guess I'm not surprised in the least :)

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