What does it take to be a pop marketing manager for a major record company? A lot of carefully built layers of experience stitched with the multitasking gene and an innate sensibility to recognize and market the “it” factor.
When Chloe Brake ’12 was a sophomore at New York University, a Global Liberal Studies major, she happened upon a class called Business Structure of the Music Industry, and it changed her life…and her major. Redirecting her trajectory, she studied the business of entertainment, and in a few months, she found herself interviewing for a highly coveted and competitive internship at Universal Music Group, home of Def Jam, Interscope and Island Records. Chloe earned the internship and became an assistant to Monte Lipman, founder and CEO of the world’s top record label, Republic Records.
From then until graduating, Chloe had an industry-related internship every year ending with Casablanca Records, the dance and electronic music subsidiary of Republic where she began full-time employment after graduation and worked with artists like BENEE, SG Lewis, Don Diablo, and Tiësto. She has since moved to the Republic Marketing team and manages a full-time roster of developing pop artists, including Picture This, Oh Wonder, Ryland James, and Kailee Morgue. She’s hoping some of her charges will earn recognition at future Grammy Awards as ‘Best New Artist.’
“I wish we could say there’s a tried-and-true strategy that leads to an artist’s success,” said Chloe. “But if that was the case everyone would be doing it.” She noted that it’s imperative to understand the goals and needs of your artist, and map out a long-term plan that includes many components.
Republic was named Label of the Year in 2019 and while Chloe says many call the company lucky, “we like to flip that and say luck is when preparation meets opportunity. The success of a campaign is contingent on all the departments working in harmony.”
She says there is no golden formula, but “we all pay attention to what works to maximize the exposure and success of an artist.” For example, consistency in a release schedule is important for a developing artist in the early stages of their career with little fan awareness. “We try to
target putting out a song or project every six weeks to increase engagement across all platforms. This triggers algorithms which become really important, from gaining more Instagram followers to increasing monthly listeners on Spotify.”
At the same time, Chloe said, “There is also the ‘It’ factor, when a record is so incredible that consumers instantly react and the artist’s fan base and streaming numbers begin to explode organically.”
She added, “All it takes is a hit, and then the real work begins – maintaining audience retention. You have to continue to give consumers something to care about and create a lifetime career for that artist.”
Noting that a lot of independent artists have the resources and finesse to reach amazing levels of success on their own, Chloe said being associated with a label is still considered a vital resource to an artist’s career.
“It’s such an innovative and inspiring time to be an independent artist. Though for those who have aspirations of achieving global superstardom to the extent of the world’s best (Post Malone, Drake, Taylor Swift, etc.), a partnership with a label becomes essential.”
With vast networks, labels are a crucial resource to the artists, who form strong connections with key partners from various media, streaming services, radio stations and more. “The amount of manpower and relationships available from a label are unparalleled. You want your record played on Top 40 radio stations in the United States? You need a label.”
That’s where Chloe enters the picture. As a Pop Marketing Manager, she oversees the day-to-day implementation of marketing strategies to drive fan engagement and music consumption. She plans content creation, advertising campaigns, billboards, social media, strategic partnerships with major streaming services, and basically works to develop a streamlined, long-term strategy for an artist.
In the end, said Chloe, nothing is more rewarding than earning the trust of an artist and joining forces in their ascent. “Everyone defines their own steps to success – from a ‘Best New Artist’ Grammy nomination to a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden. I’m honored to be one of the people credited with helping our artists reach their goals.”