A marketing director at a concert hall isn't exactly a publicist, a copywriter, or a social media manager, although the job encompasses aspects of all of these roles. Above all, marketing directors are strategists, responsible for developing and implementing effective methods (both broad and specific) of drawing attention to the venue and its schedule of events. The best marketing directors are well-versed in, and excited by, the arts, and they use this background to design effective new marketing campaigns.
Promoters need to be as disciplined as they are passionate, able to negotiate intelligently, keep tight control over expenses, and pay careful attention to the myriad details involved in producing a live music event.
Depending on the size and budget of the concert hall in question, marketing directors may supervise a sizable staff or do much of the legwork themselves. Speaking of legwork, there's a lot of it in marketing: preparing and placing ads in the media; composing news releases; sending email blasts; designing posters and flyers; updating the venue's website and social media accounts; writing and editing newsletters, brochures, and program notes; scheduling interviews for incoming performers with local media; and producing subscription campaigns.
Marketing directors may also cooperate with the development department, or initiate marketing collaborations with other organizations—a symphony orchestra that has a performance scheduled in the concert hall, for instance, or a local restaurant with which they're partnering for a special event.
At a Glance
As the head of the marketing department, marketing director is a senior position that requires a solid amount of career experience—five years, minimum. The job has no set-in-stone educational requirements, but a master's degree in marketing can increase one's chances of getting the position. While every marketing career is different, most marketing directors begin their careers as interns or assistants in an arts-oriented marketing environment, learning the ropes firsthand before progressing to become marketing representatives. Marketing is generally a meritocratic field, and those with a necessarily broad skillset and fierce work ethic can advance to become marketing managers and, finally, marketing directors.
Aspiring concert hall marketing directors should seek out marketing and development opportunities at concert halls, theaters, clubs, and other performance-oriented spaces. One should keep in mind that many museums and universities have their own performance and event spaces, all of which need skilled marketers.
- Spreadsheets and analytics
- Social media
- Graphic design
- Written and verbal communication
The ideal marketing director is creative, organized, flexible, and—most importantly—passionate. While one can certainly fake enthusiasm, it's more sustainable—both for the marketer and the marketing—to employ genuine enthusiasm in one's approach to marketing. Additionally, because the world of live performance can be tricky and unpredictable, it is critical that the marketing director can stay cool under pressure and solve problems on a dime.
Although marketing directors generally work during normal business hours, there's no such thing as a typical day for a marketer; each is spent juggling a dozen things that had to be done yesterday, responding nimbly to last-minute changes and unanticipated delays, and beginning to brainstorm about whatever comes next. Attendance at the concert hall's evening and weekend events is usually expected, while attendance of evening events at other, similar organizations provides an opportunity for networking.