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Lauren deLisa Coleman on technology, authenticity, and using music to market to the 18-24 demographic

Lauren DeLisa Coleman is a media and entertainment expert who helps clients navigate the intersection of technology and culture. She runs several agencies and a non-profit called Game Change, which supports women of color in leadership positions in emerging tech and media. She writes for a number of publications, including Forbes, has spoken at conferences across the world, and has written several e-books, the most recent being “America’s Most Wanted: The Millennial.”

I sat down with Lauren for an extended conversation about technological and social trends to pay attention to now and in the future. We discuss how creators in the music space are now acting more like broadcasters or publishers, while others remain tied to their favorite platforms. Lauren notes that some creators are entrepreneurial-minded and actively pursue direct relationships with their fans, while others rely on their teams and existing opportunities. She emphasizes the importance of direct relationships between artists and fans, citing Master P and 50 Cent as examples of successful entrepreneurs who have built their careers through hard work and direct communication.

Lauren emphasizes authenticity in brand relationships, urging marketers and creators to understand the needs and perspectives of their target audiences. A particularly important skill is to understand cultural narratives and values in order to create authentic campaigns or events. She advises against relying solely on data or focus groups to inform decisions, instead advocating for a deep absorption into the subject matter.

Lauren and I agree that it’s a mistake to regard any demographic or cultural group as monolithic. Brand managers must avoid oversimplifying diverse groups, as even within a single subculture, there may be subgroups with distinct needs and preferences that need to be individually catered to.

Our conversation closes with a discussion with what’s ahead in the media world in 2024, which, as we all know, will be a presidential election year. Lauren shares insights on how to better leverage music for political campaigns, while avoiding potential legal issues. She suggests partnering with a consultant to help manage collaborations between artists and politicians, citing the potential for authenticity and quality content.


Steven Baldwin
Steven Baldwin
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