Mardi caught building the outbuilding
Last month The music network announced the winners of its annual business awards, TMN tinnies. In this week TMNs contributing editor, Christie EliezerIt puts five of the winners in the spotlight. First up is the music marketing business of the year, won by Mardi Caughts The Annex. TMN Tinnies 2021 were supported by Humm Events, iHeartRadio Australia, Ingrooves, TikTok and Vevo.
Mardi Caught’s background in major label marketing in Australia and the UK made a difference when she founded her music marketing company The Annex in Sydney in 2018.
Her leadership roles at EMI Music, MTV, Sony Music and seven years at Warner Music have enabled Caught to see firsthand the fundamental change in music marketing.
âThe labels were moving towards a venture capitalist business model, examining acts that were already gaining momentum and funding them,â recalls Caught.
âThe biggest difference was that we saw an opportunity to look at artists in development and do a bit of work beforehand to get some momentum. This is the room in which we started playing. “
Early customers such as Illy, Chugg Music, City Pop Records, Ourness (Genesis Owusu), Passenger, UNIFIED (Didirri and Kota Banks) and TMRW (PNAU) took advantage of the new company.
The Annex coordinated the rollouts of the # 1 album for Sheppard, Violent Soho, Illy and Lime Cordiale, as well as localized plans for Hiatus Kaiyote, Adam Lambert, Porter Robinson and Tai Verdes.
Other artists, managers, agents, publicists, and labels – including Central Station Records, Sweat It Out, and RVR – followed as the news spread.
Domestic action was difficult to break through and they needed campaigns to tailor and deliver marketing strategies through community management, content creation and planning, planning and production, DSP strategy, media buying and management support.
Five years later, music marketing moved the goal posts.
“You have to think a lot more flexibly,” says Caught, who got a BA in journalism from the University of South Australia and started proofreading Tear it open Magazine before a record company hired her.
“One thing that is true is to read the audience and see how they change their behavior, like NFTs, and focus on that.”
Caught nominated The Annex’s three outstanding campaigns for 2021 – the debut of Genesis Owusu Smile without teeth, The 30th anniversary edition of The Screaming Jets All for one and customer contacts Divine intervention.
The company had started building its first EP with Owusu.
“Getting started helped us to understand Kofi’s ambitions as well as his business partner and producer Andrew Klippel and his company Ourness.”
At the time of Smile without teeth, The rapper / poet from Canberra had impressed with his live shows and was supported by Triple J and Community Radio.
Caught outlines his next step: âHe’s a great artist and made a great album. All we did was reinforce this for different target groups. “
The album campaign, which came in the middle of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, meant that live shows were replaced with a greater focus on streaming and Triple-J support.
The variety of tracks meant being on a variety of global playlists – which resulted in US streams to beat or even outperform those in Australia.
Smile without teeth won four ARIAs (album, hip-hop, independent and producer) and the J Awards Australian Album of the Year.
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of their debut album All for one, which ended up at # 2 and went gold, has been completely re-added to the current Jets lineup, overseen by original producer Steve James.
Released in October, it entered the ARIA album charts at an impressive position.
An accompanying tour was planned again and again; without the violent live performances of Jets to rely on, The Annex turned to streaming and social media.
“They were a band that did everything that was necessary in terms of content.”
There were advertising campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, sweepstakes for Father’s Day and the grand NRL final, and a Zoom Q&A.
A campaign for fans to send in photos of themselves with the band was particularly successful.
âYou are really dedicated, people who love the jets Yes, really Love her. We had so many answers in the first 24 hours, it was great. “
The Jets ended with a younger demo that first discovered their back catalog.
Pictured: Client Liaison ‘/ Source: Facebook
Client liaison of the Melbourne duo Divine intervention had a three-year gestation period, with the first single decreasing two years ago.
The planned roll-out was derailed by COVID and thus the strongest marketing angle.
Caught explains, âThey have always been a great live experience with a great live fan base.
“Without touring, a key element of her personality was unavailable.”
In collaboration with the Warner label and the UNIFIED managers, The Annex engaged social platforms.
The duo received a $ 35,000 grant from the Victorian government to stream live, but TikTok was the medium that captured their personality.
“Where we started with the first lockdown and where we ended up in the backend of the last lockdown were two different places.”
Released in October, Divine intervention was the first Top 10 by Client Liaison and ended up in 7th place.
An album that ignites fireworks with energy and imaginative arrangements throughout, the band brings the album to the streets.
In 2021, The Annex was one of the few Australian companies to expand during the pandemic.
More artists recorded music but needed more promo options as touring was a no-start.
Since there are no festivals for international labels to establish their emerging acts in the Australian market, Good Soldier and Mom + Pop have adopted The Annex as key partners for entering the market in a new model to gain support without rights to forgive.
An office was also set up in Melbourne in September.
TMN 30 Under 30 Alumni from 2021, Elinor Williams, came as Client Strategy Director of TMRW Music as Senior Marketing Strategist, with Hannah Heyen (Netflix, Spotify) as Label Strategy Manager, singer-songwriter Casey Logemann as Client Services Lead and Isabelle Galet -Lalande (Spotify, Warner Music) in specialized project management.
Further expansion is not a priority for Caught.
âThe Annex has its ambitions, but we don’t want to grow so big that we can’t serve our customers.
“They come to us because they want to be seen as a priority, and all of our customers have priority, so we just focus on taking action and breaking it.”