The Six Sigma Music Business: Keep your audiences coming back for more!
Six Sigma? What could a statistical math term possibly have to do with music? Well I could bore you with a long answer on the statistical benefits, or I could explain it in one simple sentence.
Six Sigma is about quality, service, and making sure that your customers or “audiences” keep coming back for more! Would you like your audiences to come back for more?
The more your audiences come back to see you;
• The more of your music they purchase.
• The more concert tickets you sell.
• The more promotional items you sell.
• The more venue’s you fill.
• The more publicity you get.
• The more money you earn!
Of course you want your audiences to come back for more! Every musician wants to have his or her music appreciated. Every musician wants to sell more albums and more concert tickets.
So what does six sigma have to do with that? Using six sigma techniques provides you with a clear understanding of what your customers expect. It helps you identify who your customers or audiences are and ensures you reach them.
Does six sigma mean you change your music to accommodate the masses? Well of course not! Your music is your creative essence. The key to success is not to change your music to fit the wrong audience, the key is to reach the right audience and make sure they always know where, when, and how to find you.
Do you actually know who your customers are? Can you tell me where they come from? How they found you? Or even what it is that they like about you, your music, or your work?
Most musicians and bands that I come across always say the same thing! “Of course we do!” Yet when I ask them how their audience found them they would always answer “At the bar!” When I asked for specifics I always got the same answer! “I don’t know”.
The key to music success is knowing who your audience is and how to reach them. If you where a Gospel Singer, where would you most likely find an audience that appreciates your music, in a church or a Jazz bar? I know, I made it a bit obvious but rest assured it is not always that clear.
Ok, so I said that six sigma means quality! What does that imply? Well in general terms six sigma means that out of 1,000,000 occurrences no more then 3.4 have defects. Looking at it from the music industry point of view it could mean that:
• For every 1,000,000 people that hear you sing all but 3 want more!
• For every 1,000,000 concerts that you perform all but 3 sell out completely!
• For every 1,000,000 albums you sell all but 3 customers want to buy more of your albums.
Do I need to go on? I think you pretty much have the idea! Think of the possibilities. A large audience full of very happy people or “customers”. How much money is that worth? Its mind boggling!
Ok, I know, the next question is always, “Why just 3, why not 4, 5, or even 100 out of 1,000,000, it is still a very small percentage of the total?”
Yes that is true and it is often the most common mistake that anyone in the industry can make. The key to understand this is in recognizing that it is impossible to actually measure lost opportunities. The one person that left your concert in disgust could have represented the record label that would have sold the largest quantity of your albums.
Many years ago companies where targeting the three sigma level of quality. This translates to about 2,700 defects per million. Consider what this would mean if it was applied to other processes used today.
• No modern computer would function
• 270 million wrong credit card transactions
• Don’t even think about getting on an airplane!
I think by now you have probably gotten the point. The thing to consider is this. How much money would you be making if every 999,997 people that listened to your music wanted to hear more!