Hip-Hop Production Company Benefits From Text Messages

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TrakRunnas Music successfully used text message marketing as a way to expand its marketing and draw new emerging hip-hop artists into using its new production studio.

TrakRunnas Music® is a new music production company that primarily serves artists in the hip-hop industry. It wanted to reach new and emerging artists in the Philadelphia area to encourage them to use its new production studio.

With a limited budget, TrakRunnas Music® (http://www.trakrunnasmusic.com) could not afford advertisements in hip-hop trade magazines. Trade magazine advertising would have a lot of waste and tended to be read by those already in the industry, not the emerging artists that TrakRunnas Music was interested in reaching.

After making a significant investment in its state-of-the-art home recording studio, TrakRunnas Music needed to sell time in the studio. It took out a small advertisement in the local weekly newspaper and obtained no new business. Next, it began utilizing an email campaign that also met with poor results.

“The bottom line,” said Badir McCleary, president of TrakRunnas Music, “is that our younger audience doesn’t read traditional newspapers and they don’t bother with email. We needed to find a new way to reach our audience.”

That’s when TrakRunnas discovered mobile marketing. “Our plan was simple,” said Martin Sistrunk also of TrakRunnas Music. “Each of us typed up all the mobile phone numbers we had into a database. Our friends and family sent us all the numbers they had and we added those to our database as well.” Beginning with an initial database of just a few hundred cell phones, TrakRunnas began sending out the messages from McCleary’s own cell phone, but as the list grew, it then contracted with Advanced Telecom (http://www.advancedtele.com) and used its TXTLaunchPad (http://www.TxtLaunchPad.com) service to send out the text messages from an internet site.

TrakRunnas Music began by sending out text messages alerting prospects to discounted unsold times in its studio. This helped the production company fill out its complete work day and gain new clients. TrakRunnas Music also benefited from the unique viral effect of its marketing within the hip-hop community. “People forwarded our messages to other artists that we hadn’t known before,” said McCleary. “We hadn’t counted on that happening.”

Each of the messages that TrakRunnas Music® sent out contained references to its web site. Traffic to the TrakRunnas Music web site increased by 75% and sales increased by 50% since it started using text messaging. “It grew so much that we had to put some of our regular customers on hold,” said Erica Henry, TrakRunnas Music's Production and Promotion Coordinator.

“I’m not surprised by the success TrakRunnas Music has had,” said Bob Bentz, Co-Owner of Advanced Telecom Services whose customers include the New York Times and a host of radio stations, newspapers, television stations, and sports teams. “Seventy percent of all promotional text messages are opened and read. I don’t think any other medium can make that claim.”

McCleary indicated that he is now offering music trivia to his subscribers as a way to keep them interested in his product and not choose to opt-out of the database. “We plan to continue to expand using text messaging because it is the best way to reach the hip-hop market, by far.”

Anthony Wayne is editor of the Text Message Blog (http://www.textmessageblog.blogspot.com). Wayne sends out over 2,400 text messages per month from his Nokia.

TrakRunnas Music (http://www.trakrunnasmusic.com) is a one-year old music production company based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Advanced Telecom Services (http://www.AdvancedTele.com) is a Philadelphia area company that provides the WebTXT (http://www.TXTLaunchPad.com) service.

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Robert Bentz
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