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Music marketing executive Cannon Kent talks social media, artists Trey Songz, Diggy Simmons and more

Cannon Kent

Cannon Kent, southeast promotions manager, Atlantic Records

How would you define the role of a marketing professional?
A marketing professional’s role is to be the creative force of their brand that communicates to its target audience for an eventual sale of their product.

How has digital technology changed promotional and marketing programs?
With digital technology, executives can work from anywhere. Using my iPhone, I can take pictures and videos at Trey Song’s listening event where I’m hosting. I can post the pictures same day and write a recap of the event to share with the company, worldwide, in real time. Also, I can track hashtags on social media to get instant feedback. Time is of the essence. And if you wait more than 24 hours to release your footage or information, it could be considered old news.

How have social networks like Facebook and Twitter allowed you to market and develop relationship with consumers?
It has absolutely enhanced the brand and consumer relationship. We can launch a promotional campaign via an artist’s Twitter account for their followers to download their new song and post a 60-second dance clip of themselves performing to the new song. The fan with the most retweets by the deadline will win an opportunity to be featured in the artist’s new video. Now the fan has an opportunity to become a part of the project, creating an experience that you can’t buy.

Another added value is using social media is a free tool. Everyone has cut back on budgets, so we strive to be more creative instead of throwing money on a promotion.

What are some the best brands you would like to work for outside the music industry?
Possibly HBO, Netflicks, Showtime…

What are the key projects you envision or currently activate for Atlantic Records?
Trey Songz album Trigga releases July 1. Diggy Simmons has a new single featuring Trevor Jackson “MyGirl.” Lupe Fiasco has new music featuring Ty $ — “Next To IT.” Sevyn Streeter has new music coming amongst a host of other upcoming projects.

What do you see as key opportunities to grow the brand and what strategies will you utilize?
I envision breaking new artists utilizing brand partnerships in the very near future.

What are your four favorite apps?
1. CamCard: It quickly captures contact information on business cards & uploads to your contacts. Great way to stay organized, and ready for follow up conversations.
2. Flight Tracker: The power of every detail regarding flights at your fingertips. Includes if the flight is delayed, how many flights are scheduled that day, gate info etc.
3. Instagram: It’s a picture and video memoir of your life,  or marketing tool. You decided.
4. Digg: Gathers interesting articles from around the web all in one place.

I enjoy being a marketing and promotions professional because …
I enjoy my career because I thrive on turning ideas into reality.

Three books that share my approach to success are …
1. The Art of War by Sun Tzu (Strategy)
2. The Personal Touch by Terri Williams (Creating & Maintaining Partnerships)
3. The Hip Hop Professional by Shanti Das (Knowledge)

My three top brand creators are …
1. Luke Wood, President Beats By Dre
2. Steve Jobs, Was CEO of Apple
3. Steve Stoute, CEO of Translation Firm

I stay relevant by …
Touching the people; meaning instead of only researching what is changing in our culture, I go where the people are celebrating, creating, living, and behind-the-scenes. Urban music is a lifestyle, not just a genre.

My favorite national events are …
SXSW Conference, Grammy Awards and Coachella Music Festival.