A Chat w/ Odell: “I define Digital Marketing as your Promotion Blueprint”

Digital Marketing is so vital to anyone’s business in 2016. You simply can not move forward without having an understanding of what it is and how to execute your campaigns. During this year’s A3C, my friend Odell, who is known for wearing a few different hats in media, moderated the “Digital Marketing: What’s Working in 2016” panel. Read below as he shares some insight on what he learned during the panel as well as his advice for up and coming artist and more.


You moderated the Digital Marketing Panel at this year’s A3C. First, who spoke on the panel?
Yes I moderated the Digital Marketing: What’s Working in 2016 Panel. Mike McGarry, Director of Emerging Content at Fitzgerald & Co. His resume includes working on current marketing campaigns for Coca Cola & past marketing work with The Beatles & Madonna. Dave Cool, Director of Artist Relations at traveled down from Montreal Canada to speak. He has over 20 years of experience working with independent & established artists. Dave is a constant speaker at Music festivals like SXSW, Canadian Music Week, while also being interviewed by CNN, Huff Post for his music knowledge.

What do you define as Digital Marketing?
I define Digital Marketing as your promotion blueprint. What you have laid out as a strategy and approach to reach people across digital platforms. The forgotten part is you want that digital interaction to lead to offline involvement along with making sure you are just as passionate offline as you are online.

What are three takeaways you learned from the panel and audience?
Value is the centerpiece of most interaction. People visit MCC & The Blow Up because you present value to your audience. Second you must define what your journey and purpose is and how you plan to get to your goals. Some people love YouTube & hate Twitter others love networking while avoiding Snapchat. There is no perfect recipe. Find out what works for YOU and enhance that. Lastly quit trying to take on the world by yourself. The fact is you doing it alone is just a bad model. So if you can’t afford a certain photographer, find one you can afford. Quit just asking friends to support you and start asking how you can partner up with people. Start paying your friends to assist and watch how fast things grow.

What mistakes do you personally see artist in 2016 make when it comes to marketing themselves digitally?
The first mistake is not having a marketing plan. Simply tweeting out Soundcloud and YouTube links sporadically is not a marketing plan. No direction is harmful while trying to do every social platform rather than doing a couple of them expertly is disastrous also. Treat networking like dating stop being thirsty and stalking people online. Let your work speak for itself at times. Lastly start asking people what they do when you meet them rather than running off your tired rehearsed self promotion monologue all the time.

You also work with WRFG 89.3 FM in Atlanta. Now in Seattle, radio is pretty much dead. We have 2-3 shows that we as a “scene” value, but in Atlanta and around the country it may be a different story. In your opinion, how important of a role does radio play in an up and coming artists career?
I mostly do production with the Beatz & Lyrics show that is on Dash Radio, an online outlet. But I do collaborate with the ATL Remix show on 89.3 quite often. There is nothing like turning the dial on the radio and hearing your music or hearing an interview you have done, so it still holds a place but the structure has completely changed. Program directors look at numbers & spreadsheets, target audiences are different market to market. People consume content on demand (podcasts, mobile apps) so loyalty to a time slot is becoming more rare (outside of morning & drive home slots). So being on radio doesn’t make or break you but make an attempt to get your music in rotation. At least be on the Radio personality’s radar. I must shout out DJ Hyphen & J.Moore along with DJ DV One who are key figures in Seattle radio. I am honored that we are fellow peers in radio and they always look out for me when I am in the 206.

What is the best advice you can offer an independent artist who wants to get their music played on radio and also possibly interviewed on air? Locally and nationally?
Study the show and station you want to get on. As a producer of Beatz & Lyrics I constantly shake my head at artists who say they want to be on the show and know nothing about it. Honestly it’s insulting at times because we work hard producing a weekly show marketing it and protecting our brand name. So when artists just say hey I need to be on your show, but cant even name all of the hosts or what time your show airs. It’s a huge turn off, that happens far too often. Start off with interaction then network and meet the radio personalities, program directors see if there is a common interest.

Between digital marketing, radio and other major components, it takes a lot of work to make it in the music world. What would you say is the most important tool above all an artist must have in order to win in this industry?
It takes a lot to make it in the game for recording artists but also for bloggers, producers, journalists etc. you should have a true love for it and I know this is commonly said. The fact remains how enthusiastic you are about it will help determine if others will be. I light up when I get the chance to cover a music festival or interview a local or major artist, so you start with the desire and the next thing is working your plan. My brother Jayforce tells me repeatedly “Slow Motion is better than no Motion” so you have to keep working regardless of the crowd size or downloads. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek out qualified mentors, not just people who sit around talking about what they are doing. Seek out the people you have to schedule time with because they are extremely busy building their empire.

Where can we find you?
Twitter: @artbyodell
Instagram: @artbyodell
“Odell’s Roundtable” Podcast:
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