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Customizing Salesforce For The Music Industry

3When it comes to dealing with fans/customers, many artists and organizations within the industry rely on archaic and ineffective systems for keeping their teams in synch, which can lead to all kinds of inefficiencies and missed opportunities. Here we look at a more effective way in which groups in the music industry interact with potential customers.

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Guest post by Guy Barash, Founder & CEO of Dotted Eighth

Many music companies today rely on outdated task management systems to keep their teams in synch. Whether they use emails and phone calls, Excel, Google Drive, Filemaker, or other internal systems to keep track of their data and who’s doing what, there are bound to be problems and inefficiencies. Two different people might end up completing the same task, wasting both of their time. And if someone calls out sick, other team members won’t be able to pick up the slack if they weren’t included on every relevant email thread or shared on every Google doc. The result is missed opportunities, from a lack of both coordination and organization of data. 

In my experience, one way to fix those problems is by adopting Salesforce, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Salesforce gathers data from every interaction with a client in one place so that everyone on your team gets a full picture of every relationship. It also provides advanced insights and analytics, and is highly customizable. The platform is a standard in a variety of industries — including Automotive, Education, Government, Insurance, Retail, and more — but has not yet reached critical mass in the music industry. That needs to change.

Over the past two years, I’ve been working with a number of music companies such as Music Sales Corporation, G. Schirmer Inc., and Exactuals to get them up and running on custom Salesforce solutions. Whether it’s a synch department, a classical publisher, or a music-tech startup, the results have been exceptional, with each client capitalizing on significant trends that had previously been invisible to them. True, it can be difficult to migrate all your historical data to a new platform, or train your staff on how to use it properly and regularly, but once you’re set up, it is also an opportunity: you can simultaneously develop best practices for data entry and visualize your data in entirely new ways. Here are just a few examples of how Salesforce can help the music industry.

1.) Maximize Synch Opportunities

The main advantage of getting all your historical data in one place is that you start to see trends and patterns that you never noticed before. The first area where this can be a major help is also one of the fastest-growing sectors of the music industry: synchronization in TV, film, advertising, and more. Using Salesforce, songwriters, publishers, and other rights holders can see whether certain songs in their catalog are licensed more in particular seasons, what kinds of shows tend to license their music the most, and how much they have been receiving for placements, aiding in negotiations. In addition, they can see exactly what scenes various songs were pitched for and which ones were actually licensed, as well as which music supervisors or studios license their tracks the most. Put it all together, and you have a powerful tool you can use to ensure your songs get the most exposure possible and earn you the maximum amount of revenue.

2.) Keep Artist Assets Organized

7As managers, labels, and publishers know, there is a huge amount of artist assets that need to be available at a moment’s notice for all kinds of requests, from press photos to music files, bios, lyric sheets, album credits, and more. Now imagine that those assets all live on only one person’s computer, and that person is out on vacation for a week. Nothing is going to get done! Even in today’s cloud-based world, this scenario plays out more often than you think. But with Salesforce, everyone in your organization has access to all of these assets and can send them out easily if requested, even if the artist’s primary contact is unavailable. This way, teams become truly collaborative, and can keep cranking out synchs, pursuing radio play, and pitching album reviews, premieres, and artist features. In other words, keep things moving forward no matter what.

3.) Maximize Live Opportunities

Artists, as well as managers and booking agents looking to get their roster on the road, can use Salesforce to plot their tours so they get the most bang for their buck. For example, data from previous tours can tell them where they sell the most tickets, move the most merch, or get the most email list sign-ups. This is invaluable info for artists looking to plot a route that is likely to earn them a profit rather than costing a fortune. And for managers and booking agents with access to data from multiple bands, this data can highlight broader trends that can guide their decisions on a macro level: cities that are more receptive to particular genres, off-the-beaten-path towns with a passionate music community, and much more.

It’s also great for classical composers, such as myself. Using Salesforce, they can see which ensembles and orchestras play their compositions most often and who has paid them the most to commission new works in the past. It also allows them to keep all information regarding relationships they have fostered organized in one place, simplifying outreach around performances of compositions new and old.

These are only a few reasons why I encourage music companies of every stripe to consider adding Salesforce to their toolkit. From keeping your entire team organized to surfacing trends that can help artists make more money, it is an invaluable service that will keep your business pumping. And if you need assistance getting set up with Salesforce, reach out via the Dotted Eighth website to schedule a free consultation call.

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