Business Business

20/02/2019 - 08:01

Start up with music marketing

Le Thanh Tan Thinh is currently the CEO of BrandBeats Music Marketing, Ltd., and CEO of NHP Entertainment at the same time.

This 9x Hue guy is making a stamp in the field of music marketing with the ambition of changing the whole media marketing industry.

Lê Thanh Tấn Thịnh

Moving out of the secure zone

Before starting the talk, Thinh introduced about himself with a very brief profile: He grew up in La Khe village, Huong Vinh commune, Huong Tra Township, in a family where his parents were doing small trades. Thinh graduated in Marketing from College of Economics – Hue University in 2012.

"There is no need to write much about me, but about the difficulties and failures when starting a business so that young people can understand more fully about them, avoiding generating illusion for themselves and being tempted into entrepreneurship when they are not yet ready", Thinh said.

While still sitting in the lecture hall, Thinh's dream was actually to become a marketing lecturer. He said: “After graduation, unfortunately, the college did not recruit any more. However, at the same time, Hue Beer Company announced that they were looking for PR personnel, so I submitted the application and was luckily accepted”.

Not until when entering the Hue Beer Company has Thinh started to work, but since his student days, he had rolled around universities and coffee shops to work as a market agent for companies. The job helped Thinh earn about 3 to 5 million VND per month. But more importantly, it was the starting point of the entrepreneurial journey of the guy who was born in 1990.

Although working at a position and in an environment which are dream-liked to many people, he got his first trial month not as smooth as he expected. Thinh was assigned for counting award-winning beer bottles, which really drove him discouraged. However, luck found him again as he was then relocated to a position that suited his abilities and helped him to promote his forte. 

Tan Thinh in a talk show on startup in Ho Chi Minh City

With all efforts, Thinh and his brand management team helped the company smoothly tackle the brand crisis some years ago. Speaking of this, Thinh said it was "a collective endeavor". Later on, I then realized that inside this guy, there is always something that urges him to challenge himself, as he shared: "My job in Hue offered many opportunities for development but emotionally, it seemed to be a secure zone that I had to get out. Finally, I ventured to make the moves following the call of my emotion”.

“Thinh is a person who knows how to harmonize the ego of artists and satisfaction of customers; therefore, he handles the jobs and conflicts quite effectively, which is not a simple thing to do in the music and media industry. Thinh is very proactive at work and has inspired many of his colleagues. Especially, he is a man of optimism who always aims at positive thinking to find solutions to problems," shared musician Nguyen Hai Phong.

Breaking through

Despite having been "trained hard" in a foreign company for four years, Thinh still admitted that he did not have a good starting point as he came to Ho Chi Minh city. For him, the people in the central region are disadvantaged from the time of birth due to erratic climate and various types of difficulties, yet that could be the reason which makes most of them grow a strong spirit of resilience and foster a great will to success.

Giving up the job that he lived with for many years to embark on the entrepreneurial journey, what Thinh had in his luggage were merely his collection of books and the experience, expertise and professional networks which he has accumulated over the years. Nevertheless, Thinh made his daring decision to found BrandBeats Music Marketing Ltd. in such a place of harsh competition like Ho Chi Minh city.

To begin with, he refreshed the connection with figures in the marketing and media industry. In addition, he spent a lot of time figuring out the theoretical basis and development model, conducting market research, and launching trial and demonstration products, and then finally came up with the establishment of a music marketing company.

The first project of his newly formed company was unfortunately a failure. He described that music marketing means that a message is conveyed in the form of singing, rather than normal speaking. The language of music is always close to us; hence, music marketing stimulates the customers’ excitement and make the messages easily go into and stay in their memory, adding more values to the product brands.

Tan Thinh shared: “Music marketing is an integration of marketing and musicians. Musicians thus compose songs basing on orders, but not every musician is willing to do that. In addition, the difference between customer requirements and musician's ideas is also a barrier. Therefore, although transforming brand messages into musical languages is theoretically very simple, it is not easy at all in practice.

Right after the failure, Tan Thinh started to and standardize his work procedures, employing clear processes and contracts and raising high prestige. “There have been some enterprises in Vietnam that have touched on music marketing, but they have not yet been successful. To stand out in the industry, I have built up a professional team. In terms of music, we have musician Nguyen Hai Phong, a very good composer together with a network of about 20 other musicians for collaboration and support. In terms of marketing, besides me – who are in charge, I have a colleague to back me up and co-manage,” Thinh informed.

Le Thanh Tan Thinh (on the right) at the ASEAN World Economic Forum 2018 in Hanoi

With the combination of music and artists, BrandBeats turns what the messages want to say (convey) into what consumers want to hear, love to see and easy to remember. Some typical products include: MAXXHAIR, with over 24 million views on YouTube within 2 months and hundreds of social interactions; Lives are made of footsteps - Biti’s, with over 7 million views within 3 months; or the products within the Xmen's "Who is the best" project, reaching 10 million views after 1 month of release etc.

 “This is a new way of marketing that X-Men has ever done, and the success of the campaign once again reinforced our belief in this approach. We’ve seen customers who can't stop humming along the songs, and the brand messages are accordingly absorbed,” said Rahul Jain, Southeast Asia Marketing Director of X-Men brand.

To Thinh, music marketing does not cease at the satisfaction of customers towards the brand, but he stresses the community values that his products bring up. Therefore, amongst many of his distinguished products in the market presently, Huda Central's Got Talent project is the one that he gets pleased the most. “The project was implemented right in Hue. At the first glance, it looks like a brand marketing project, but actually it underlines Huda company’s aspiration of seeking for music talents to help them develop and inspire the others,” Thinh expressed.

Thinh said, in the era of technology 4.0 revolution, enterprises need to innovate the way they think, to develop on a strong foundation, and to vision the potential of serving a huge number of customers. He also revealed, "In fact, the entertainment industry in the foreign market is very potential but difficult to change because the operation does not follow a specific procedure. In 2019, I will turn my firm into an entertainment and media technology company, which aims to develop to a phase when people do not need to intervene too much, associated with standardized procedures and integrated technology. If successful, it will gradually change the way the industry operates. To do so, I must go really fast because technology is growing and changing day by day”.

By Le Tho

Photos provided by the interviewee