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Italy Music Marketing Lesson: Venice

Two weeks ago, I went to Italy to visit family and see the country. I was a military brat, so I've been there plenty of times before, but nevertheless, it was a magnificent and learning experience, both artistically and as a guerrilla marketer. So for the next few weeks, I'm gonna take you on a brief tour of Italy, and show you what I learned from my trips. I'll take you from Venice to Florence, Pisa and Rome, plus few places thrown in. The travel industry is an outstanding resource for learning about marketing, so let's get started.

Italy Lesson: Venice

Of all the cities in Italy, Venice is my favorite. There's some sort of deep connection between me and Venice. Perhaps it is the old, rustic look to the city? Perhaps it is the enchanting waterways? The exquisite food? Or the beautiful and friendly people? Or maybe it's just a town that truly has a sense of itself. IT is one of Italy's greatest former city-states, and it currently is one of the most-visited vacation spots in the world. Yes, to many it is just a tourist town that sometimes smells bad in the summer, but the people there know marketing. They know how to get tourists into their shop, or drop a tip.

Let's take, for example, Rondo' Veneziano. This band has gained a small degree of fame in Italy, particulary in Venice. I suspect part of the notoriety is due to their name which alludes to Venice, and also their musical style. They play Classical music to upbeat electronic drums. After years of listening to copies of their tape, I was surprised to find that there was a five-piece band behind the music. Five women playing their violins with such incredible timing and skill you'd think there was a DJ.

Well, I was thrilled to find they would be playing Venice that night we arrived. And I found out in a fairly unusual manner. Among the hordes of street merchants, a man dressed in Victorian garb approached us and spoke in Italian, then English to tell us about this band. He was selling tickets...in the streets. Sure you find Hawkers doing this all the time, here, but it struck me as interesting... Even more so when we came across the second and third groups of Hawkers. It was a coordinated effort.

You see, what this lesson is about is getting people to your shows. It takes work, but think about it for a minute. What if they next time you had a gig, you went down there a week in advance, handed out flyers, sold tickets, gave out discount coupons that many clubs are so fond of? What if you had a mailing list with you telling them you could send them more info? Could you bring in twenty, thirty, fifty extra people to see you play, even though they've never heard of you before? Maybe. What if you add a theme to it? Dress to impress your selected audience. Or a theme that would inspire people of all ages. Think you could bring out a helluva lot of load of people out to see you. Do you think the club owner would consider booking you again? On a better night? Opening for one of the top local acts or maybe even a national act?

I'll tell you what. If you show that you're willing to put in that much effort, then hell yes! They'll book you. If you can pack a place, particularly on a bad night, then you are an asset to the club that they don't want to lose. They'll book you and treat you right. Plus, you will entertain countless people and gain some new fans, sell some CDs, and get people talking about you.

It just takes a little effort to learn from the Venice Lesson and that of Rondo' Veneziano. Organize your friends and bandmates, ask them, convince them, even bribe them if you have to (just weigh the costs), to help you hand out tickets and get some notice. Your musical career will proceed only as fast you are willing to work.

 

Marc Gunn is an actual working Celtic Geek musician. He was nicknamed “The Celtfather” for his incredible support of indie Celtic music and his award-winning Irish and Celtic Music Podcast. He has helped 1000s of musicians make money with their musical groups through The Bards Crier Music Marketing Tips. Now you can get FREE “how-to” music marketing and promotion advice, plus tips on how to sell more CDs when you subscribe today. Subscribe at www.bardscrier.com!

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