10 questions. 10 insights. 1 professional.
With music industry experts providing thoughtful discussions from insightful queries, we take a deeper look into how it all works.
Hayley Marchant – Senior Marketing Manager / Co-ordinator / Creative Content Designer
(Warner, 2012-2014, Universal, 2016-2019; Columbia, 2020)
Next up, we venture into the world of marketing in the music industry. From Warner to Universal, our next individual has dabbled and sought through the majority of the major record labels across England’s capital.
Installing creative content, managing marketing campaigns and establishing crucial reputation, she has become the key contact between label and artistry.
For someone who wishes to venture into similar fields in the future, this was an exciting one for me. So, for the second instalment in the series, we ask 10 questions to 1 professional and get 10 insights into the world of music marketing. Hope you guys enjoy.
To begin with, tell us how you first started out … ______________________________________________________________
“I had always wanted to work in music since I was a teenager, so when I went to uni I made sure to do a lot of extra curricular stuff that was music orientated e.g. student radio, events etc. Then in my final year I applied for a job at a record label, and that is where my career started.”
What was your ‘big breakthrough’ in marketing in the music industry?
Would you say internships are the way forward or do you think they’re an outdated way of gaining experience?_______________________________________________________________
“I think it is quite hard to get your foot in the door in the industry, so by gaining work experience or an internship is normally the best way to go, as you can build contacts etc.
Different companies have different structured internships, and they have improved a lot in the last few years, for example the majors offer a year paid internship with a lot then offered permanent positions at the end of their year.
Either way a year is a long time to get a clear overview of how everything works, and what you might want to do next. It then opens the door for new opportunities for what is next.
There are also assistant entry level jobs that you can apply for, but it’s all about just building experience, even if it has not been at a big company, to show your passion and drive.
I was lucky to get an assistant job as opposed to an internship, but there are some great intern opps [opportunities] across the business and every intern I have worked with has gone on to do great things.”
Give us a lowdown into your day-to-day activities – what part of your job do you enjoy most?______________________________________________________________
“In marketing you are the epi-centre of any campaign, so your job is to make sure everything is moving, everyone is updated and the strategy has been created and everyones knows what they need to.
Good communication is key.
So from creating a timeline and strategy for singles and albums, working on creative and branding (videos, photos, social content etc), coming up with fan engagement initiatives, working closely with artist, management, A&R, promo teams (radio, TV, press) on what can be achieved.
Also setting up marketing spends where appropriate, as well as being in charge of managing a marketing budget which includes creative and ad spend.
I like coming up with unique ideas to engage a fan base and trying new things an artist may have not done before. When you work with an artist who has a highly engaged fan base there are so many fun things you can do.”
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far?_______________________________________________________________
“I think establishing what direction you want your career to go in. And making sure to gain as much different experience as you can to become more well rounded. I felt like the more companies I worked for the more I understood what I liked and didn’t like for my career.”
What is the one thing that you would change about the music industry for good?_______________________________________________________________
“I think we are slowly moving in this direction; but making sure it is as diverse as possible, and equal opportunity for all/ easier ways for people who are less fortunate to get those opportunities to get their foot in the door.”
What is the one thing that you love about the music industry; and more specifically the area in which you work?_______________________________________________________________
“Just the fact I get to work on something I love, i.e music, and being in marketing you get to be creative, & work with such talented people, not just musicians but directors, photographers, designers, stylists, dancers etc.”
What important tips and tricks have you’ve learnt, that can you use to get into marketing in the music industry?_______________________________________________________________
“Gain as much experience as you can, show you have a passion and a drive- it does not need to be a job, it can be that you set up your own music night, or you have a music blog. Showing initiative and an ability to do your thing and be creative will go a long way.”
With an ever-changing industry, how difficult is it to keep up with trends and implement them into your artist roster?_______________________________________________________________
“It can be hard to keep up to date with new trends or tech opps that come up, but I try to read a lot (there are music related email updates you can sign up to to keep across stuff e.g. Music Business Worldwide and Music Week. I will also make sure I am across stuff like Tik Tok etc. or new social trends that come up.”
How do you create such unique marketing content, such as album artwork, to separate the good from the great?_______________________________________________________________
“It depends if the artist has a vision or you partner with the right creative who can help bring something unique and different to life. With great artwork, you can use this to create a whole brand and vision for the whole campaign, so there is consistency, and therefore will make everything stand out from outdoor, to live visuals, to merch.
The more people see your ‘brand’ the more awareness there will be of you.”
What do you think is next for you?
“I just want to continue growing my experience and getting to work with all different types of artists and creatives, and hopefully continue to grow a good reputation in the industry.”
Apt end as ever.
Thank you Hayley for taking the time out of your day to answer our questions!
So, what can we take from this?
Some pointers …
This was insightful – certainly from a marketing perspective. Showing initiative and your creativity has always been a tip I’ve been told to pursue over the years, and it’s still prevalent as ever. Whether that is writing a music blog, putting on your own gig night or even volunteering at a music festival, the small amount of going the extra mile is important.
It’s also important to note that Hayley herself did not pursue marketing at academic level. Which, just goes to show, that being passionate and adept in your knowledge of the path you wish to take is so important. You do not necessarily need an academia of some sorts to pursue what you love doing.
Of course, fortune favours the bold in this case, as Hayley struck gold fairly early on applying for a job at a record label. But, if anything, it just stirs me further to let me know that it works. It actually works venturing out there and going for it without any prior academic experience.
As ever, I had to ask Hayley the question regarding internships. With internships having a rather tarnished reputation in creative industries with the majority of them offering no financial gain, I wanted to see what Hayley thought of them.
It seems that the majority provide a brilliant way of building connections and can also give you some pretty good insight if you want to stick with it or not, especially since most of them last a year.
Of course, competition for these internships are fierce. But, that’s to be expected. You have to be in it to win it, after all.
Some factors to take into consideration are also location and relationships with your friends and family. Like the music industry, it is simply based off of revenue and risk.
Is the pay-off worth it in the long run?
Certainly worth thinking about.