Marketing Gurus, Sardine Cans, and Double Speak


Oxymoron: a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (as cruel kindness); broadly : something (as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements.

This definition is a seeming fit for how we are to amass marketing strategies to bring more awareness to our brands. A good deal of my time is spent looking for better ways to help musicians market themselves. Intent on finding a way out of the sardine can mentality most indies unwittingly lock themselves into, there’s much work to be done.


What I find more and more in this “system” we call cyber marketing (this is not a reference to CyberPR) is a dumbing down mentality. It’s such an insult to read about these methodologies it makes you wonder who the actual target market is. When I say this makes direct mail marketing look sophisticated, I’m not even kidding.

I like pictures as much as anyone, but I gave up  just looking at just the pictures as a child. Many espouse to the idea of selling your product using pictures in support of leading photo platforms.  It’s increasingly difficult to curate visual content without infringement and I’m not an artist, illustrator, or photographer. More importantly how do you develop content about music using pictures? Moving pictures accompanied by sound?

Well, that’s been done.

In fact it’s one of the largest sardine cans we open every day.

It’s more than evident we just need to think for ourselves and develop innovative ways to tell the story behind the music. When we follow the path of others we are lining their pockets, fueling someone else’s brainchild and diminishing ourselves, our brands, our art.

About scout66

2017 marks the 33rd year of Janet Hansen’s career as a music marketing specialist. With three Grammy award-winning campaigns to her credit, Hansen has also contributed to the legacy of two of history’s most popular songs. “Classical Gas” by Mason Williams is the most-broadcast instrumental tune in history; and “Louie, Louie” by The Fabulous Wailers is the most-recorded rock song in history. In 2009 Hansen launched the unique music platform Scout66 to encourage reviews of live shows from the ticket-buying public. You may contact Janet at for information on consulting, campaigns, and tour support. Please follow us on Twitter at
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