Marketing and mentorship, in real time

The past couple of days, my professional and personal passions have merged.  Although I missed – in person – this year’s Mesh (Toronto’s perennial digital media conference), I was monitoring some of the Twitter conversations via #meshcon. At the same time, I’ve been reflecting on the breakneck speed of the content (“official”, mainstream media and user-generated) that is being shared online with respect to next week’s release of the much anticipated Led Zeppelin remasters.

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I may take slight issue with some of his social media and “web practices” over the last couple of years, but Jimmy Page has rightfully, and practically single-handedly, solidified Led Zeppelin’s legacy and place in the history of music. Not just classic rock, but music. Period. The time was “gonna come” (sorry), and he stepped up.

There is no doubt in my mind that the love, care, time and effort Jimmy has devoted to the Led Zeppelin remasters will continue to ripple throughout the entire music industry for some time. (And this is when it all began to “mesh”.)

As well, I suspect that any band – whether they’ve been around for 10, 20 or 40 years – will now look at their catalogue in a completely new way. Gone will be the act of just releasing a remastered CD with an accompanying 2-page press release, a one-off in Classic Rock Magazine and a morning tv show appearance.

The entirety of a band’s musical and creative development as it relates to their recording process will be considered.  “Companion material” will be the new catch phrase…and just as much weight – with care, precision and respect – will be devoted to the creation and execution of the actual roll-out of such a project.

Access, interviews (from Jimmy Fallon to elpais.es), contests, live web-streamed listening events, photo opps, official Facebook updates and YouTube uploads – all in perfect sync and deserving of the material itself and its legacy. On this point alone, Jimmy has given the passionate fanbase much to take in. But to other artists, he has given a marketing template – a gift – that exemplifies a full-on classy, “no compromise” strength of vision.

Marketing isn’t a four-letter word.  It’s passion. It begins with “know thyself” and your fans and pay attention to them…then, give them what they want…because the sweet spot is, it’s what you want, too.

For the bands who are considering a similar project, has Jimmy set the bar too high? Maybe. But that’s what mentors do.

There is no doubt in my mind. His mentorship continues, mesh too.

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