Good vibrations: Why marketers should think like musicians.

 

When was the last time you thought about music? Not so much the songs and the feels, but the science of sound – the physics of how music happens. Boil it down to absolute basics and it’s all about vibration.

Sound waves are created by rattling the air in different ways. Our ears interpret those air-born rattles and turn the sounds into something that makes sense. Musical instruments are tools that rattle sounds in different ways. Drums make boom type rattles, violins have whiny rattles and orchestras are conducted by people who are expert at landing the right rattle from the right instrument at the right time. And that got me thinking about marketing.

COMMUNICATIONS ARE JUST LIKE MAKING MUSIC. SORT OF.

If you boil down the basics of communication, it’s all about massaging messages between senders and receivers. It’s about understanding what you’re trying to communicate and ‘rattling the air’ to land in a way that makes someone think, feel or do something different. In that respect, it’s just like music.

And, just like music, there’s a stack of different ways you can ‘rattle the air’ to generate an emotional reaction. But, just like music, the magic of air rattling is more about musicians than the instruments they play.

MODERN MARKETING HAS AN UNHEALTHY OBSESSION WITH TECHNOLOGY.

If you were wondering where this was going, this is it. Nobody ever talks about the genius of Jimi Hendrix’ guitar. They acknowledge and appreciate the genius of Jimi Hendrix. More importantly, most people wouldn’t begin to think they could pick up a Strat and rock it like Hendrix. We all get that the fact music comes from musicians.

So why do we keep thinking that marketing tools and technology can be played with expert precision without plenty of practice? It’s weird.

Marketing Automation tools don’t automate marketing, they automate the process of sending emails. Online video solutions don’t create great stories, they simplify the tools that great story tellers can use. Macs don’t make artwork, mac artists do. You get the idea. Because it’s obvious.

LET’S STOP TALKING TECH AND START MAKING MUSIC.

If you sum it all up and go back to rattling air, technology doesn’t really do anything more than amplify the fire power and add extra efficiency to the things we’re already doing. Musical Instruments don’t play music. Musicians do.

And the best ones do it in a way that changes our mood, plays on our emotions and sticks in our memories forever. Because the best musicians know what is to be human and use their talent to do something humans love. So rather than focus on tech. Let’s make like musicians and think human. Then, by all means use tech to make better music and better marketing.

That’s what I reckon, what do you think?

 
Michael Goldthorpe