Macheso, Dondo show the way

HARARE - The recent album launches, by sungura musician Alick Macheso and that of Sam Dondo last week have shown that music is a business that needs serious planning and execution.

While Macheso launched his album titled Tsoka Dzerwendo at the Harare International Conference Centre, his marketing strategy to release the album three days before paid dividends.

It is important to note that Macheso’s album marketing was well above what we have come to witness in recent years.

The idea to bring in the Red Cross Society of Zimbabwe and Nash Paints in the mix added all the stamina, be it the publicity and the actual selling of the album which reports say, averaged around 100 000 and 200 000.

While the figures are disputable considering the local capacity to reproduce that figure in a short space of time, I marvelled at the prospect that for once music pirates were left holding onto an empty cup.

The Red Cross of Zimbabwe as a grass roots organisation whose work is spread across the country was indeed an idle vehicle for Macheso’s new album.

With the experience the organisation has in mobilising resources, the idea to sell the CD at a dollar each should have worked some magic, albeit little profits.

There were off shoots to this grand marketing plan in that all those who bought Macheso’s album heard his music and those who fell in love with it are now following his shows.

With their strong media contacts, Red Cross and Nash Paints made sure that the album was played on radio and Star FM was the first to play songs from the album.

With Star FM as their broadcasting media partner, this meant that even those who could not afford to buy the album heard it too.

It is my hope that other musicians who would like to launch an album have learnt a thing or two from Macheso’s grand strategy as the print media also got hooked on the euphoria.

Musicians have to take note  that the world we live in today is quite a fast one and more so technologically advanced and just launching an album without full thought will achieve little, if any mileage at all.

Musicians have to learn to partner corporate and companies that are already in the thick of things in terms of the business they are running.

One needs money to market any product and it is expensive, so musicians have to do their homework and identify the right partners. Of course, the sponsors need justification — why they should pour money into such an activity — and they need some return, more so in terms of publicity or visibility.

Equally, I am impressed with the way Dondo has launched his career because for him it was not just the album launch but the launch of his musical career.

Just like Macheso, Dondo was being sponsored by Impala and I am not sure if his backing band was named after the company.

In other words, if his band is called Impala, this means the company will gain but only if Dondo works hard and continues to be visible and to be featured in the media etc.

For the company, their brand is being pushed and this is good marketing for both — the artiste and Impala.

Like I said, it is not just business as usual, but that you have big minds stitching together a package for the musician, from the product launch to the time it is sold.

Dondo came with this idea to launch his album titled Dyara Minamato alongside the said “Big Five” — Macheso, Oliver Mtukudzi, Suluman Chimbetu, Peter Moyo and Winky D.

That is the style of marketing that young musicians should employ because unlike in the past we now have a very complicated market that can only be penetrating through well thought marketing ideas.

Dondo’s album launch was covered by Star FM, I mean the whole event and I cannot imagine how many people it reached.

But like I said before, all this needs a sponsor, someone who is able to pay all the musicians who would come and perform.

The company that sponsored Dondo’s venture could be smiling all the way to the bank because this was good business for them as hundreds of music fans are reported to have attended his gig.

In launching, the way he did, Dondo just woke up in every newspaper; stories and pictures of his launch album.

It is all up to him now to continue convincing the market that he can stand the heat.

Comments (1)

kip up the standard,to baba sharol say well done yu have counter attacked ana murondatsimba ,the pirates.zvinoda kutendwa nekuti ndezvashe vapupuri pupurai kana tsoka tserwendo dzafamba pakadai

leny chivhu aka baba harare - 21 April 2016

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