Recently Radiohead and the Stone Roses have been giving us a lesson in how to get the right kind of attention from the right kind of people.

Forget expensive TV commercials or media ads in all the right places; these days, when you want to promote your new album, just tell the right people in the right way and they will do all your communications and marketing for you.When posters featuring the iconic lemon logo of the Stone Roses started appearing on billboards around Manchester at the start of the week, so did the signs of a well-crafted, strategic communications campaign.

Targeting your audience

As we know (see image), the best way to effect change in the way people think, feel and act, is to target an audience who are going to have the greatest impact on your objectives, and reach out to them in a way that is compelling, relevant and meaningful to them. The more you understand your audience and the behaviour you seek, the more you can design interventions, communications or solutions that will reflect their needs and tap into their motivations to act.

In the case of these new music releases, the artists dropped signals that caught their fans’ (and the media’s) attention in a way that they knew would resonate with them. So the Stone Roses’ super-fans spotted the lemon posters and immediately understood that something was afoot and it wasn’t just more dates for ‘reunion gigs’. The excitement generated by these posters naturally created a buzz on social media, thereby reaching out to a wider audience of music fans, all communicating the same message: the third coming is on its way!

Radiohead used a similar approach, but one that was equally well crafted for their own fans – drop hints in places they know reach their audience in a way that grabs their attention (e.g. postcards sent to their homes – it doesn’t get more targeted than that!), make them aware of the music that is available or to come and motivate them to act (listen to/buy the music) with content that reflects what they want.

Meeting audience demands

Just a few days after those mysterious billboards, and with a single midday tweet, the Stone Roses had announced the launch of a new single to be released that night. By the middle of the afternoon, that solitary tweet had been retweeted over 16,000 times, and Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, Virgin Radio and X had all agreed to play the track immediately on release. In response to their audience demands, X radio ended up playing it twice in a row!

So, whatever you think of the new Stone Roses single (and I personally think it rocks…), nobody can deny that’s a pretty good result from a few billboards and 140 characters.