Brockhampton, Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino Among Winners of Inaugural Deep Cutters Music Marketing Awards: Exclusive

Founder Amber Horsburgh shared her thoughts on the most compelling music marketing trends and what music marketers could learn from outside brands and ad agencies.

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BROCKHAMPTON. Photo credit: Ashley Grey

The number of generalized marketing & advertising awards runs in the several dozens, but I can still count the number of music-specific marketing awards on one hand. Why do you think music marketing hasn’t been widely celebrated yet, at least in a more formalized way?

There’s no incentive. Artists shopping for labels, booking agencies and management firms look to those companies’ artist rosters as the primary display of A&R strength, hoping to mimic a career trajectory of their blockbuster acts. They rarely look to the marketing department.

Before Downtown, you had experience at agencies outside of music like Big Spaceship. What do you think music could adapt from other industries when it comes to marketing strategy?

I think music can learn a lot from the strategic rigor that other brands put into developing their own campaigns — especially in architecting a more thoughtful approach to campaign execution, developing creative ideas for marketing and promotion and building key interest points to keep momentum alive around an album or single past a one-off New Music Friday release.

Are there any interesting trends you saw among Deep Cutters nominees and winners this year? Any new technologies or angles that should be on marketers’ and strategists’ radars?

While there still isn’t a mainstream use case for the technology, artificial intelligence is a wonderful canvas for creative thinkers. You’ll see many artists experimenting with AI among this year’s Deep Cutters nominees.

Was there anything that surprised you in the process of putting these awards together?

Brand partnerships are essential. In today’s environment, artists who want to do truly innovative marketing that scales must work with brands, and marketing departments should push for more creative-based partnerships beyond straight sync.

Music marketing consultant. Downtown Records & Big Spaceship alumni. Writes about music, strategy and feels at Deep Cuts