Former Sony Music Argentina Exec Mariela Croci Launches The Sello Marketing Agency: ‘Empathy Is Essential’
Mariela Croci launched her own marketing agency specializing in the development and guidance of artists after spending 21 years as the head of the marketing department of Sony Music Argentina. “Will-power has no guidance without vision, but without desire, it has no energy,” shared Billboard Argentina’s founder, The Sello. “This is a time when fans ‘ new behavior and new ways of consumption confuse many artists,” she explained.
For Croci, The Sello is a factory of creative ideas setting strategies for positioning and marketing artists: “We’re taking the dreams of the artist, and we’re trying to fulfill it. I feel that my personal seal within the company [ Sony ] has always been that one, and that’s what I’m offering in The Sello.”
It was not an easy decision for Croci to leave Sony to pursue entrepreneurship. “It was like a divorce: you think it over and over and start to rationalize until you decide,” she said. “I realized that the most I could give to an artist was reaching out, empathy, and having one on one. To do that, I thought launching my own agency would be the best option, and I’m really enjoying it.” “Content is the most important currency, that’s why artists are the capital of companies,” she explained.
Since the launch of The Sello, artists such as Reik, Carlos Rivera, Santiago Cruz, Juan Ingaramo, Joystick, Camila, and Rombai have decided to work with her. “The first people that came to me were the artists and managers I’ve worked with over the years,” she said. “Because of my business experience and my strategic and creative vision, they came to me.”
What are your first steps for an artist to work with? In order to plan a strategy that is faithful to the dream of the artist, you must first ask the artist what they want. It seems simple, but nobody asks them that in most cases. Anxiety sometimes wins over long-term thinking in developing a career. That’s why empathy is essential to decode the dreams and desires of the artist, where he wants to go and construct a plan accordingly.
Have you found a common pattern, or is it different in each case? Every case is different, and that’s what makes it fun to build or tear down to reassemble, see the artist grow and evolve. Every artist is a different world, and in order to pursue their desire, we must be able to connect with it. Our vision goes beyond instant success. If an artist wants to build a long-term career, anxiety must be beaten. And that’s what we’re doing: we’re setting strategies for a long-term career.
What are your thoughts today about record companies? For obvious reasons, my biggest reference is Sony Music. They always knew how to get ahead and take action before what was going to happen in the industry. Damián Amato (President of Sony Music Argentina) knows how to reformulate himself, is a proactive and constantly moving person.
Today, record companies must prove to the artists that they’re the best option amongst other labels or going independent. To achieve that, having empathy is the most important quality. I think the challenge is to show the artists that with their career they can trust you. Even though, I think every independent artist wants to sign with a big company, deep down, too.