Canadian Music Trade - February / March 2020 | Page 16

NAMM News 2020 : A Crossroads of OPPORTUNITY As the dust settles from The 2020 NAMM Show, the real work begins. The ideas, tips, strategies, and inspi- ration gleaned from our industry’s annual family reunion can provide a roadmap to power a successful year. The 2020 NAMM Show kicked off with the Breakfast of Champions, hosted by NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond. During this special educational session, Lamond interviewed several industry experts on a concept he calls “crossroads.” As we start 2020, our industry could be described as being in an “in-between period.” The digital transformation continues, and we are also in transition between technolo- gies such as conventional automobiles and self-driving cars, traditional medicines and new cures, along with the widespread adop- tion of artificial intelligence and the possibili- ties this new field will bring. So “in between” is the actual definition of a crossroads. But more than anything else, it’s a cross- roads of opportunity. It’s important to have an understanding that we can’t ignore the big picture while we tend to our day-to-day. We have to focus on the entire ecosystem of our business just to stay ahead. For some, that might mean diversifying. It might mean making some really tough decisions – maybe to abandon one segment for another more profitable one. Either way, we can’t forget that as we’re changing, the world around us is also changing. That means we must all choose to adapt, constantly. The concept of crossroads, if you take it further, is also a movement. It’s an embrace of all the professional communities in our industry and acknowledgment that they’re all interconnected. Think of it as a celebration of the diversity of our industry. Maybe you run a full-line retail store. A lot of you would then moonlight at a club doing sound, or at a church playing. How many of us are still active music makers ourselves? And point blank, because of that, none of us really fits into a specific box. We have different busi- nesses, professions, aspirations. We’re all wired differently. And still … all of you have an essential place in this industry. You belong. 2020 marks a new year, a new decade, 16 CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE and a new normal. It also means an opportunity to look at your business with clear, 2020 vision. We urge you all to find your own crossroads of opportunity. To give you a jump-start, we’ve rounded up a handful ideas and best practices to help create your business roadmap. Seek out and eliminate friction. Online retail giants have amplified consumer expectations in everything from checkout and shipping to returns and reorders. Identify any and all points of friction in your customer experience and work toward eradicating them. And whenever possible, involve staff in creating – and owning – the solutions. Consider new music education opportunities. Spotify and streaming have spawned an age of niche musical tastes. You might host a rock camp in your lesson program, but what about students of musical theatre or the blues? More and more, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Embrace tough conversations with staff. Don’t hold back on discussing touchy topics with your team, such as pay ceilings and promotions. Short-term discomfort will often create clarity, dispel common myths, and even get employees aspiring to positions within your company that they wouldn’t have otherwise. Optimize Instagram. One in 10 Insta- gram users now shop using the platform, according to Hootsuite’s stats. If you’re not already, make sure you’re harnessing the full power of Instagram to increase sales. Optimize your business profile with a strong bio and link to your website or a particular product. Likewise, consider experimenting with Instagram ads within your feed or in your Stories. Re-examine your policies. For instance, do you have a strict no-makeup-lesson policy in your education program? In the age of Uber and on-demand everything, will that policy alienate customers? Again, fight friction, even when it’s tough. Hey, Alexa, focus on voice search. These days, nearly 30 per cent of all internet searches are done without a screen. That im- pacts how your customers find you. Are you preparing your search engine optimization for voice search? Content (creation) is king. Musicians now think in terms of music and video. Does your product mix and lesson program reflect this shift? Also, chances are you have expertise in a particular area, be it repairs, an instrument, or a brand. Is there a marketing opportunity to present your insight via a company podcast or video series? Mobile first. On Black Friday 2019, mobile orders surged by 35 per cent, according to Salesforce – and it’s a trend that’s unlikely to abate. If you’re thinking about rede- signing your website, think beyond just mobile-friendly. Successful websites are now mobile-first, as opposed to being re-engineered for mobile later. This is a big project, of course, but figure it into your long-term planning. Need more ideas? Head on over to Namm. org/nammu to access NAMM U’s relevant, high-value education featuring best practices and ideas for the music products industry, helping industry professionals grow their businesses and careers. And make plans to join us at Summer NAMM to pick up more concepts to trans- form your business. This year’s show returns to Nashville’s Music City Center from July 9–11. Registration opens in April 2020. We look forward to seeing you there!