Marketing music: How one marketer connects global talent with Aussie audiences

Lady Gaga, Madonna, Gwen Stefani and Selena Gomez are just some of a stellar list of Universal Music marketing manager Chris Dyer’s incredible roster, but what does it take to connect and engage Australian audiences?

Keeping audiences connected with music talent is about engaging at the right moment and at the right time, according to Universal Music marketing manager, Chris Dyer.

Dyer, whose international roster includes the likes of Gwen Stefani, Madonna, Lady Gaga, OneRepublic, Selena Gomez, Sting, Iggy Azalea, Fergie and, knows what it takes to lead the public engagement strategy of some of the world’s greatest musical talent when they come to Australia.

Speaking to CMO at an exclusive media event for The Voice Australia, for which he is the marketing lead as part of his Australian roster, Dyer revealed keeping today’s audiences engaged is not all fun and games, but about refining a well-timed strategy.

“For instance, with last year’s The Voice winner, Alfie Arcuri, we decided we weren’t going to start his career launch with a full album, but with one, highly personal song, which we plan to release in a few weeks’ time,” he said. “The release is also aligned closely with this season’s The Voice finals, so that we can connect with the right audience at the right time.”

Australian audiences also want to connect with artists in an authentic, personal and emotional way, he claimed.

“We felt Alfie’s new song which his personal, heartfelt message would resonate and connect deeper with audiences, and stemming off the single release we could then gradually touch on wider social messages on issues such as marriage equality,” he said. “But we don’t launch everything at once, we drip feed components of the campaign to audiences carefully at various touchpoints.”

Universal Music marketing manager Chris Dyer with global music sensation Selena Gomez
Universal Music marketing manager Chris Dyer with global music sensation Selena Gomez

Dyer moved to his role at Universal Music in 2016 from a senior marketing manager role at The Ministry of Sound, where he oversaw marketing strategy across all priority Single and Compilation releases for Ministry Of Sound (MoS) Australia. He also oversaw commercial partnerships across all MoS A/NZ brands. 

Prior to that role, he held key marketing positions with Sony in the UK including project manager and marketing strategy manager for the X factor, and head of digital for Sony CMG.

Since his move to Sydney in 2015 from the UK, Dyer said he has enjoyed working in Australia managing global names for local audiences and taking ownership of an exciting and growing roster of talent.

“When I was in the UK, my dream was to work for Simon Cowell, and when I finally achieved that it was incredible,” he recalled. “We were instrumental in making talent like One Direction and Leona Lewis global household names. 

“But after a while, it felt a bit like a conveyor belt. We were overseeing the launch of their careers, but weren’t involved in closely managing them after that. So I started to look for my next career step.”

A former singer and performer himself, Dyer moved into music marketing after he entered a similar reality singing show to The Voice in his hometown in Ireland.

“I decided to move behind the scenes of the music industry and absolutely loved it,” he said. “In April this year I decided to go to Coachella, which was an incredible opportunity – and I’m connecting with incredible talent like Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez. I’ve never looked back.”

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