There’s a new development in the live music industry that provides a great example for smarter marketing, whether for b-to-b marketers or b-to-c.  “Less is More” … Let’s Make a Stronger Connection”.

Big stars such as Janet Jackson, Adele, Death Cab for Cutie, as well as decades-old-but-still-popular groups, are choosing to play to smaller audiences — say, 1,500 or even 450 people — instead of 6,000 people.

These people are smart marketers who have the best interests of their fans in mind, instead of focusing on a fatter wallet.

Their strategy?  Focus on their dedicated, loyal fan base first.  Make a highly personal connection.  Focus on increasing the loyalty of their fans — a smaller base maybe but a stronger one.  Create more buzz about their music.

Hmmm — seems to me that this strategy is akin to that of brands such as Apple, which of course sells to businesses as well as consumers.

And akin to many other brands which are carefully targeting (as in rifle, not shotgun) their customers and prospects with highly relevant content, solutions-based messaging, and personal service.  But that’s not all…

Smart marketers are also patient.  They take one careful step, then another.  The music stars who “go smaller” are testing things, introducing new songs, getting closer to their fans.  Then they’ll fine-tune things and roll out to a bigger fan base.

Does this sound like a pretty good marketing plan?  Think about it.