Marketing? Who Needs It?
My first week back home after an extended series of workshop roadshows was somewhat anti-climactic… I just took it really easy basically. But there is no rest for the wicked and Saturday I had another workshop at the Bassline.
Doing what I am doing is a weird process. The 1st Bassline workshop attracted over 30 attendees and went really well. About 50 odd people RSVP’d on the book of face. This Saturday passed the same number of people said they were coming yet we only had 10 show up. Is this because of Ma Sisulu’s passing and funeral on that day? Or is this because artists don’t really want to know about marketing?
It has been my experience that, within workshops, the marketing is the last thing artists seem to want to hear. Which is weird because they all seem to want to become famous and trust me, this music marketing ting is not rocket science! Maybe it’s just too real, that you have to work on your public image and top of mind consciousness. It’s the ultimate expression of the idea that you don’t just become famous, you have to work at it with planning, clear intent and forethought. In short it’s not very romantic or very rock n roll!
Whatever the reason, the marketing workshop on Saturday went well. But the numbers were bad. So I am not sure, do I carry on with these things? There has to be a limit to how many times I can do the same workshops in each city. Maybe I have reached that. It is impossible to tell!
Truth is there has never been as much interest in what I am doing from formal structures as there is now. And I can only reach the markets I can reach through my networks right now. I don’t have the financial muscle to break out into new markets and advertise and tour to other markets. I can’t charge enough money at the door to undertake such an initiative.
This is why funding for this kind of activity is SO imperative. But maybe there is light at the end of that particular tunnel… who knows? What I do know is that, once the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown is over, that will be the end of my series of workshop roadshows. I need to find a new model, and right now I am a bit short of ideas. I am sure we’ll find some new ones. But for now, I also like the idea of a bit of rest!