Playing the charts
Here's a band leader after my own heart! The Crüxshadows (who?) set a goal of having their latest single appear on the Billboard single sales chart, and worked to meet that goal. First, the single release was designed so that it was eligible to chart as a single. Second, they timed the release week of the single to correspond with Dragon*Con, a convention which many of their fans will attend, where the band performs annually, and where they have a booth selling merchandise, including said single. Third, they made sure both their convention sales and their online sales were tracked by SoundScan.
It worked. The song debuted at #1 on the Dance Single Sales chart, and #7 on the Single Sales chart. (I contributed to that success, by buying the single at Dragon*Con.)
They've documented their success here, and the plan was discussed extensively on the band's blog. Now, had I known about this plan, I'd have promoted it here. I'm a chart fan, and am all in favor of having a virtually unknown band that I like chart.
If I were to be in a band, I'd like to maximize my chart presence. For example, one tactic would be a contract provision requiring the record company to release each single in a format making it eligible for the Hot 100. (Back in the late 90's, a lot of record labels were not releasing singles, under the assumption that they cannibalize record sales, so a lot of songs didn't chart on the Hot 100.) There's really no reason for this, other than I like chart records and oddities.
Now, what this really shows is how far the physical singles market has fallen. That #7 charting is certainly less than 1000 sales.