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Relationship between Music and Business Marketing


Relationshipbetween Music and Business Marketing


Relationshipbetween Music and Business Marketing

Musiccan be defined as an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Itentails elements such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and sonic qualitiesof timbre and texture. Different social and cultural contextsinfluence the creation, performance and even the definition of music.Music mostly ranges from strictly organized compositions and theirperformances through improvisational music to aleatoric forms. Thereare several genres and subgenres of music. As an art, it can bedivided into a performing art, auditory art, and fine art. Music mayalso be divided as art music and folk music.

Fora long time, music has been an integral part of people’s lives. Itsapplication is so vast that one would not imagine a world withoutmusic. Music is everywhere in war and peace, in sorrow and joy, insports, in business, anywhere anytime, music is playing. Musicinterrelates freely with almost every aspect of life. It is not asurprise to turn on the radio or a television set and witness theamazing merger between art and commerce through music. From theancient times, before the birth of malls and the big media houses,music was being used as an essential part of business marketing.Today, almost every business advertisement has some music componentin it that is meant to make it appealing to the potential customers.As a result, studying music as part of the training for businessmarketing has become unavoidable. The reasons are clear-cut and thispaper aims to demonstrate how music cross-relates to businessmarketing.

Variousstimuli, or environmental cues, are used by retailers to influenceconsumer behavior towards purchasing a specific product that competeswith closely related products manufactured by competitors. Theseinclude music, color, and scents among others. However, music isconsidered to be the most commonly studied stimulus variable (Turley&amp Milliman, 2000). It is thus not surprising that most retailerswould consider music as the most important expense in their quest towoo the hearts of their customers to buy their products. Every day,billions are being used globally in the marketing of differentproducts. Many people would agree that advertisements without musicare less appealing and a few people would even bother to listen orwatch them.

Musicdifferentiates a common retail store from competing stores. It is aparticularly attractive, atmospheric variable that is relativelycheap to provide. It is easily changed, and is thought to havepredictable appeals to different people based on their ages andlifestyles. For instance, young adults usually listen to contemporarymusic such as rock and hip hop music, older professional adults mayprefer classical music, while middle-aged and blue-collar adults mayprefer country music. Such preferences are inevitably expected toresult in shoppers taking more time and money in stores playing musicthey like, and less time and money in stores that play music they donot like. Any retailer who anticipates remaining on top of his/hergame must, therefore, carefully study the target group aimed by thebusiness and consequently use the appropriate genre of music toattract them.

Besidesusing music for advertisements, larger stores often distinguish areasby varying the music played in each department. This practice isreferred to as zoning by the environmental music business. Businessowners are expectant that music in a particular store should be moreeffective when it is specified according to the listening preferencesof the demographic segment that shop in that particular department ascompared to when a similar type of music is played in alldepartments. This strategy has proved vital to very many businessessince it helps keep customers with different music preferences withinthe stores.

Northand Hargreaves (1998) conducted a study on “Music and ConsumerBehavior.” The results of this research reveal the astonishingimpact that music has on the mood and attitude of customers,especially shoppers at malls and other retail shops. Fast and loudmusic seems to be effective in creating a quick shopping atmospherethat results in higher sales. On the other hand, slow music couldarouse specific emotions among customers that could prompt them topurchase specific goods. It was found out that spouses would think ofbuying each other gifts such as flowers or jewelry on being arousedby particular songs that would make them think of each other. It isclear that music plays with the mood of the customer, and thereforethe mood of the customer determines what they buy. When this strategyis harnessed in companies, profits are bound to rise explaining whyany successful business marketer has to be acquainted with music aspart of his/her professional qualifications.

Accordingto Pavlov’s classical conditioning theory as it relates toadvertising, it is suggested that positive attitudes towards anadvertised commodity, services or a conditioned stimulus results tothe brand improvement by associating it in a commercial with stimulithat are reacted to positively by audiences, such as music, acelebrity, or a preferred color. However, research has sinceproduced conflicting results. Gorn (1982) using a case of coloredpens, ascertained that positive attitudes towards an advertisedproduct might develop when it is associated in a commercial withother stimuli such as music. Outcomes of two experiments resulted insupporting the notion that by simply associating a product withanother stimulus such as music can influence product preferences asmeasured by product choice. Furthermore, an individual who is makinga decision when exposed to a commercial advertisement is moreaffected by the information in it than an individual who is not in adecision-making mode. This work demonstrates the power and potentialthat music holds in influencing the success of business marketingthrough increased revenues generated from more sales.

Besidesbeing used for the purpose of marketing for other businesses, it mustalso be mentioned that music, on its own, is a business. In thisregard, it forms an integral part of the wider entertainmentindustry. Music employs so many people ranging from the very young tothe old. Consequently, many music production companies have sproutedout to support the different artists who require financial assistanceas well as those who seek identity. It should, however, be noted thatsome artists still opt to work individually. Despite being awell-paying business, music remains one of the most vibrant anddynamic ventures that requires professional commitment and effectivemarketing strategies. The competitiveness in this business demandsmuch effort and attention towards marketing as a way of appealing tothe listeners whether an artist works for a production group or as anindividual player. Incorporating music studies in business marketingis therefore very imperative.

Havingsaid much about the importance and role of music, both as an academicsubject and an art form, it must also be mentioned that there aresome few disadvantages of adjoining music with business marketing.These shortcomings can, however, be easily eluded. One mostoutstanding shortcoming is the fact that when music is used in anadvertisement for instance, and it is not appealing to the potentialcustomers, it may end up shunning them away from the product. Boththe young and old audiences are sensitive and selective in the typeof the music they listen to, thus the choice of music used inmarketing products must take into consideration all thesedisparities. Music influences the attitude of the customers towardsproducts being marketed. A good choice of music must always be madefor this purpose. Deep thought must also be taken into considerationin determining whether such a strategy is necessary since someproducts could be better marketed by the use of alternative methodssuch as skits, simple pictures among others.

Insummary, it has been made clear from the very beginning of this paperthat indeed music and business marketing are like conjoined twins,inseparable from each other. It is impossible to isolate the twosince they support each other. Marketing would not be what it iswithout music. Advertisements would be boring, and business as awhole would not be that interesting. It is, therefore beneficial andessential to keep business marketing as a course, hand in hand withmusic research. Unless the two are taught together, training businessmarketers will not be sufficient.


North,A. C., &amp Hargreaves, D. J. (1997). Music and consumer behavior.In D. J. Hargreaves &amp

A.C. North (Eds.), TheSociology of Music.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

North,A. C., &amp Hargreaves, D. J. (1998). The effect of music onatmosphere and purchase intention in a cafeteria. Journalof Applied Social Psychology, 28(24),2254-2273.

Turley,L. W., &amp Milliman, R. E. (2000). Atmospheric effects on shoppingbehavior: A review

ofexperimental evidence. Journalof Business Research, 49,193-211.