Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Building a Marketing Team: Article 2

Music marketing takes work, lots of it, and you can’t do it alone. As we discussed in part one of building a music marketing team, you are the CEO, the person in charge and responsible for the vision, direction, and the financial foundation of your career or record label. As CEO one of your main jobs has got to be building a team around you that you can trust and count on to carry out your vision. The first person you should find or recruit would be your vice president or COO - Chief Operating Officer. This person is your right hand man or woman and should be somebody that you can spend a lot of time with, be able to bounce ideas off, trust that they will follow through with your direction and vision, and someone that you can fight or disagree with, yet still advance your career or record label.

COO Overview

The VP of your career or record label is responsible for carrying out your word or direction to the entire staff. This is accomplished through daily management, the direct overseeing of duties needed to accomplish your vision. The vice president of your company needs to be a team player not just a manager. This person needs to get along with the entire staff, know how to resolve disputes among staff members, know how to lead by example, and know how to motivate a team through achievement awards and praise rather then through scare tactics. Your VP is directly responsible for how your music marketing vision is carried out from the janitor’s daily duties up through your Marketing Director’s daily staff assignments.

Many times a VP is also the CMO - Chief Marketing Officer in small companies or record labels. As companies grow a Marketing Director or CMO will be brought on to allow the VP more general overseeing duties of a company’s direction rather than direct contact with the Individual activities themselves. A VP spends most of his time planning, reviewing, and adjusting the means in which a CEOs vision of the company’s music marketing campaign is acted upon. He reports directly to the CEO, usually on a daily basis, and is responsible for an accurate reporting of the progress or setbacks a music marketing campaign faces.

Daily Schedule:


Unlike the company’s CEO, the VP must be tied to his e-mail account on a continual basis throughout the day. Staff members, outside vendors, producers, promoters, venue owners, radio stations, and the press all use e-mail to communicate needs, wants, and desires to an independent record label. This means only checking e-mail in the morning, at lunch, or at night before going home will not keep the vice president aware of anything needed at a moments notice. Marketing music, effectively, requires that a response is given or an action is taken immediately after receiving the request. A cell phone capable of receiving e-mail and sending e-mail is a must-have item for any VP.


While going through e-mails a VPs day will start to form. Important, must do items, should be placed on an immediate list that is only for those items that must be accomplished before anything else. Items on this list would include ink for a printer, deadlines for turning in ad copy for magazine advertisements, or interviews with the press or media about a particular strategy of your campaign. A second list should be started that contains items that are not critical to the outcome of a successful marketing campaign. Things on this list would include meetings for future planning, meetings with outside vendors for future concepts or ideas, or anything else that would not slow down or stop the daily progress of the current music marketing strategy being employed by you or your record label.

The hardest part of a VPs job is setting up a schedule. As time goes on and your VP sees what is needed on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis they will know what to schedule for, what to avoid in their schedule, and how to best use their time to reach your vision. But, just starting out, they will make mistakes. You have got to allow your VP the ownership of his or her schedule. Meaning, you have to allow for the mistakes, you have to allow for some wasted time, and you have to allow for successes. The only way a VP can get his or her schedule under control is through trial and error.

The VPs daily planning must include time a for the unexpected. This is accomplished by building in downtime in a schedule. If there is no unexpected events, the VP can use this time to interact with his or her staff, have side meetings about particular actions, or simply review what is being done and how to increase the effectiveness of the entire staff.

A good VP will have the entire staff send an email at the end of their workday detailing their efforts made throughout the day to advance the companies vision. As the VP is going through e-mails what is needed will become obvious, what can wait should be put on a future to do list, and what needs more time spent for planning should be on another list. Each day the VP should review these staff e-mails and create the next days action plan.

Meeting with the CEO

After the VP has gone through his or her e-mail and developed a starter agenda for the day, the two of you will need to meet and discuss what is most important, what can be saved for another day, and what may need to be discussed further to ensure the proper action is taken. This is the time you should listen. Again, the best way to manage a vice president is to allow him or her the ability to run a staff the way they see fit as long as your vision is carried out. By you listening, and not directing, you will be able to make a judgment call as to whether or not your vision is being met through your vice president’s actions and interactions with your staff. This also gives your VP a sense of ownership in your record label. This doesn’t mean he or she actually owns the record label, it only means that they can take pride in their work because it is their work.

When you’re first starting out with you will find that you may need more than one meeting a day with your VP. As your relationship builds, you and your VP should get a sense of what method best works to get the desired results and move your vision forward. Meaning, your VP should be able to anticipate what you want, when you want it, and how you want it acted upon with out having to meet with you before assigning individual jobs to the rest of the staff. But, before this relationship is developed, it is highly advised that you meet with your VP daily, as early as possible, to ensure your vision is being acted upon and carried out by your entire staff in the most effective manner possible.

Action Planning the Follow Through

Another important part of a VPs planning is to create benchmarks or ways to ensure the plan has been carried out properly from the staff. This would include progress reports from all staff members, forwarded e-mail correspondence from outside vendors or press, or marketing material created for review. A VP should never plan an action without additionally planning a follow through action. Meaning, a VP cannot simply assign the task to a staff member to never check to see that it has been completed. Therefore, during a planning session, the VP must also future plan how he or she is going to follow up on each particular task assigned. The best method for this is to determine how long an assigned task will take and place a follow through meeting with the individual responsible for the task on the calendar for the day after the task should be complete.

Staff Meeting

Once you and your VP have met, your VP should hold a staff meeting. You should not attend this meeting. The only way your staff is going to respect the VP’s authority is to give it to him or her. If you attend the daily staff meetings, your staff will only think the VP is a talking puppet. What this causes is a staff that will be bothering you with questions throughout the day instead of utilizing the VP. You want your VP to handle the entire staff.

The staff meeting is a way for all members of your staff to discuss the agenda for the day, what transpired the previous day, and what might need attention or changes to get a better result from actions assigned. This meeting should not be long, less then an hour, unless a major campaign or music marketing strategy is being worked that needs additional time. This staff meeting has got to be a safe place where the entire staff knows your VP will listen and respond to their requests. It has to be in a relaxed environment that allows for creativity to unfold and ideas to be exchanged.

Personal Action Time

Once the VP completes his or her staff meeting they will need time for additional planning and personal action. Your VP should get feedback from the staff that will need to be placed on the next day, a week, or months planning agenda. In addition, the VP will get feedback as to what action items they need to personally take to help the staff do their jobs more effectively. Once your VP has amended the action plans for the day he or she should send you a revised schedule.

One-on-one meetings

During the staff meeting your VP will find that individual staff members need personal attention or specific details to carry out the task they are assigned. It is best for the individual staff members and your VP to meet one-on-one so that the rest of the staff can continue with their action items to be more effective. It is important that the one-on-one meetings be documented, action items are assigned, and benchmarks or tracking methods are put in place to ensure the meetings outcome is successful.

End of day wrap up

The VP is responsible for the action items your staff takes to meet your vision. Throughout his or her day they should be overseeing that the individual actions of each member of your team are headed in the right direction to move the company towards your music marketing vision. He or she must understand what each staff member’s job is, how to do it themselves, and what the most effective way is to carry out all tasks assigned. At the end of the day he or she should document all progress, setbacks, and communication he or she has had with staff members, outside vendors, or any other person he or she makes contact with throughout the day. The only way you know where your company is headed is by knowing what your staff is doing at all times. Since you do not have time to oversee each staff member’s duties, it is the sole responsibility of your VP to the e-mail you a daily update as to how your vision is being reached.
Article 3:
CMO, Marketing Director, Creative Director, McGyver, or...
“The Crazy Person in the Corner”

Article 4:
CCO, Street Team Leader, Gang Leader, or...
“The Person Who Likes to Hear Themselves Talk Even When No One is Listening!”

Article 5:
CCD, Creative Director, Dreamer, Craftsperson, The Inspired One, or...
“The Cool Kid on the Staff”

Article 6:
CPO, General Manager, Grunt, Labor Enforcer, Pee-On, or...
“The Person Who Likes to Roll Up Their Sleeves and Get the Job Done!”

Article 7:
Working as a team

(more posts in the future)

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