"Why do you always go to the same bar?" My friend asked me and noted that Manhattan is filled with so many options. "I love the music they play," I replied and remembered that the first time I walked by, it was the soundtrack playing that made me walk in the door.

Music can be a powerful tool to attract customers to your business, engage them in a conversation and encourage them to interact with your marketing efforts. Whether you are a brick and mortar store or a digital brand, there are a wide range of opportunities to include music in your marketing mix.

Here's how you can start using music in your own marketing and promotional initiatives to better connect with your audience.

1. Establish your message and find music that resonates with your target.

First, it's important to establish the message you'd like to convey to your audience. Next, look to your customers and think about what kind of music would resonate with them. One way to do this is to consider the musical preferences of your target audience. If your customers lean towards country, it's unlikely that alternative rock will strike a chord with them. As part of your discovery process, you'll need to dig deeper into the musical genres that your customers are partial to. 

It's also crucial to establish a link between the music and the message that you want to convey. Man Made Music helps produce music for the world's largest brands, from AT&T . to the Super Bowl. According to their Vice President, Amy Crawford, the first step is to decide how you want your audience to feel.

She says, "What role should music play in evoking that emotion? Sometimes the answer may be a music-forward solution in which music drives the story. Other times it may mean that music may play a background or supporting role, or perhaps the solution isn't musical at all. These questions are relevant whether we're talking about creating original music for a campaign or searching for an existing song to license."

2. Appeal to the subconscious and evoke emotion. 

Humans process sound much faster than other sensory inputs. Even our sense of sight takes longer to produce a reaction than sound does.

A study published by Jochim Hansen and Johann Melzner in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology points out that music can change the way we think. It's up to marketing firms and music composers to find ways to influence the thought processes of their target audience.

What does this mean for the brand manager? Crawford points out that music is a powerful tool for connecting with people and driving our likelihood to want to interact with a brand or experience again in the future.

Many brands use music in their marketing campaigns and look towards partnerships with popular artists to connect with their customers. "My hope, as we all continue to grow more sophisticated in how we utilize music & sound overall, is that the quality of the content will only increase," says Crawford.

3. Look to trends and capitalize on them. 

Two recent developments augur well for the relationship between music and brand promotion. One is that audio is making a comeback. Screens no longer dominate the means to interact with devices. Voice assistants and smart speakers are growing in popularity. This will increase the demand for advertising that relies on jingles and music.

Secondly, brands are increasingly using music to enhance customer experience. Today, there is a far greater degree of interaction between the marketing and brand promotion departments in corporations and music producers and artists. Describing this connection, Amy Crawford explains, "As our experiences with brands become far more interactive and immersive, it's important to consider how a sonic identity can scale across everything a brand is doing."

If you can establish a connection between a popular song or an up-and-coming artist with your brand, the results can be astounding. You could generate greater brand recognition and recall and firmly entrench yourself in the minds of your target customers. 

"If you're not thinking about these things now, there's a chance you may find yourselves behind the competition in the next 12 months." warns Crawford.

The bottom line

Music has the power to move us and affect our moods. You can use this knowledge to convey messages to your audience and evoke emotion that helps us connect with the brand. This can help to boost the brand and allow it to stand out in a crowded and competitive market. However, the key to success lies in establishing the right emotional connection between your audience and the music that you use.