5 Things You Can Learn From The Ultimate Marketer, Taylor Swift
Updated: Nov 10
Having trouble connecting with your customers? Shake It Off and build these Taylor-made strategies into your marketing.
We’re in a golden Era of marketing, and lucky for us, so is Taylor Swift.
Taylor is more than a global music sensation – she’s a marketing powerhouse, The 1 who keeps fans (and marketers) wondering what’s up her sleeve. (Yes, we’ll be referencing Taylor songs in this piece and hope you have fun keeping track.) Throughout her career, she has shown a unique ability to connect with her audience on a personal level, delivering an innovative brand experience with each album, tour, and style change.
Maybe selling out stadium tours isn’t in the cards for you, but marketers can learn a thing or two (or how about five?) from Taylor.
Creating this experience extends beyond traditional marketing tactics. You need to make different “tribes” of customers feel equally understood — and that’s exactly what keeps Swifties coming back for more. Taylor and her marketing team connect with many different types of people and situations and get them to Stay, Stay, Stay.
Here’s how marketers can learn about a captivating brand experience from the one and only Taylor Swift. Are you Ready For It?
1. Always show your authentic self
Long Story Short, Taylor Swift built her brand on authenticity and relatability. She connects with her audience by sharing her personal experiences, opinions, and emotions — showing that she’s unafraid to be her true self. Her brand is flexible enough to extend to different audiences, yet consistent enough to bring them together. This gives fans the sense that she understands their unique lives.
Throughout her journey from country music to pop, she wrote authentically from her life experiences. Rather than conforming to industry norms, she embraced her own artistic vision, allowing fans to grow alongside her. This genuine evolution in her music and image cemented her brand authenticity, strengthened the bond with her followers, and brought new people into the fray.
How you can build authentic brand experiences
Marketing is not always about a transactional relationship. Too much focus on this could lose customers — and you never want to wonder what you Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve done.
Find a deeper connection with customers with values-based marketing: Define what your company stands for, and build that into your messaging. This will help you stand out among your competitors — and your customers will notice. In fact, 88% of customers say they expect to see brands demonstrate clear and strong values.
Conduct some research to find what’s most important to your audience, and connect with them on those terms. In this competitive landscape, you’re not just selling a product. You’re showing that you care about things that are important to them. Building that trust is essential for a positive brand experience — and long-lasting customer relationships.
Show what you stand for: It’s not enough to just create some social media posts or email campaigns about corporate goals like sustainability or equality. You’ve got to make sure you can deliver with actions.
If you talk about equality in your messaging, practice what you preach and make sure your storytelling reflects your diverse customer base. Your customers can sense when you’re being fake, and empty statements will have them seeking companies that better align with their values.
Be honest and provide helpful information customers need, but show that you’re a good fit for their values, too. When it comes to dumping brands that can’t relate to them, customers have always got a Blank Space, baby — and they’ll write your name.
2. Stay ahead of change to enhance your brand experience
Let’s be blunt: Everything Has Changed in our marketing ecosystem. You need to be open to new strategies and technologies to stay relevant. Taylor is a master of this.
When she removed her music from Spotify to bring light to the value of her hard work, she sparked a conversation about fair compensation for artists in the streaming era. Many thought she was Never, Ever Getting Back Together with streaming platforms. However, this bold move showcased her willingness to challenge the status quo and paved the way for her subsequent strategic partnerships with streaming platforms, ultimately expanding her reach and audience.
Taylor’s ability to navigate — and even push — industry changes shows her Fearless mindset and willingness to evolve, creating a dynamic and fresh brand experience that doesn’t get stale. Wherever her music is, fans will follow.
How you can create fresh brand experiences
Marketers must stay ahead of the curve and innovate to remain relevant in a fast-paced and Treacherous digital world.
A recent Salesforce article, State of Marketing report found that marketers’ second top priority is experimenting with new marketing strategies and tactics, and 91% of CMOs say they must continuously innovate to remain competitive.
Make sure your data lives in one place: If your customer data is stored in 22 different places, it’s going to be nearly impossible to get a read on who your customers are, or what they want now. Using a customer data platform that unifies all that information will allow you to tap into real-time insights, so you can make faster decisions with accurate data.
Explore the possibilities of AI: When you have AI built into your customer data platform, you’ll be able to not only automate low-level tasks, personalize campaigns, and segment customer data — you can save time and money. If you’re still on the fence, take some time to learn more about what AI and generative AI technology can do to improve the brand experience for your customers.
AI can improve your campaigns, and draw from your customer data to surface the insights you need to make informed decisions. Tired of spending hours digging through customer data, so you can look into trends and plan ahead? When your customer data lives in one place, AI can quickly do that work for you.
A fun look at how AI will improve your life in the future!
Build personalization at scale: Customers don’t want campaigns that treat them like faceless data points. You can use AI to scale your personalization efforts, drawing from your trusted customer data to tailor the customer journey — from the first email they see through their discussions with your customer service team. AI can personalize offers based on customer activity, and give you a clear picture of how they’re engaging with your brand.
When you can connect with people on the right channel, at the right time — you won’t have any Bad Blood with your customers.
3. Trust your data-driven insights to connect with your fanbase
If anyone gets the importance of knowing their fanbase, it’s Taylor Swift. She’s a master of using social media to listen to her fans and connect with them. By gathering this information, her team is able to share exclusive content and behind-the-scenes glimpses, and even surprise them with personalized gifts based on social media behavior.
During her “Swiftmas” initiative, Taylor selected and sent gifts to fans. Each one was unique to that fan based on their behaviours and social media interactions with her account. This personalized act of kindness showed her team’s deep understanding of her audience while fostering a sense of community and loyalty among her fans. This resulted in a ton of positive word-of-mouth and fan-generated content — not to mention a brand experience beyond her fans’ Wildest Dreams.
We’ve also seen how her team uses email marketing to deliver personalized content. Taylor’s team offers pre-sale ticket access and exclusive merchandise releases based on past fan behaviour and preferences.
How you can foster personalized brand engagement
Personalization is Nothing New, but when done right, it can make all the difference and put your customers at the centre of your brand. This is what customers have come to expect, and they’re loyal to companies that understand that.
Use AI to segment your data: Before you can start building campaigns tailored to your customers’ behaviour and preferences, you first have to understand what those are. AI can comb through your customer data to spot trends and automatically segment your customers based on demographics, behaviour, preferences, purchase history, and other important attributes. This helps you save time and money with analysis and allows you to act based on the insights that your AI-infused customer data platform provides.
Don’t just meet your customer needs — anticipate them: Nearly three-fourths (73%) of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. With your website analytics, social media monitoring, customer feedback, purchase history, customer profiles, and more, you know your customers better than anyone. But, all of that data can sit in silos. The good news? You can unify your customer data in one place from any app, device, or real-time stream.
Give customers what they want in real-time: A large majority (83%) of marketers are using dynamic customer insights to adapt their strategies and optimize the impact of each interaction. With connected data, your teams have access to one customer profile that adapts to activity and behaviours, empowering them to quickly create tailored content, offers, and experiences.
4. Use great storytelling to create emotional connections
Can we ask you a Question…? Are you more inclined to take the next step with a brand if you have an emotional connection? Taylor is renowned for her storytelling prowess, weaving narratives through her music that evoke powerful emotions.
Along with her relatable lyrics, her music videos and visual aesthetics play a significant role in her marketing. Her videos tell compelling stories and incorporate intricate details and symbolism — like “easter eggs” — that captivate viewers and entice them to share theories online. She carefully curates her visual identity, from album artwork to music video aesthetics, ensuring they align with her artistic vision and resonate with her target audience.
How you can craft stories that resonate
Become a marketing Mastermind by harnessing the power of storytelling to craft compelling narratives that resonate with customers.
Think like a songwriter: Relatable storytelling is at the heart of Taylor’s countless hits. She writes from lived experiences and themes that her fans can connect with. You can do the same. Use your segmented customer data, as well as feedback you’ve obtained from customers, to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what really matters to them.
Write to inspire: Your customers won’t always remember how your product is packaged, or a key benefit that you tout on social media — but they’ll remember how your product makes them feel. Keep that in mind as you build your story. You can build brand identity and inspire action with the right storytelling.
These stories should be as interesting, compelling, and engaging as the content that competes for your customer’s attention on their different streaming platforms and social media accounts. While that’s a high standard, it might just be the reason customers fall in love with your brand and remember you All Too Well.
Stay authentic: Great storytelling in marketing can raise awareness of your company and your products, but also reinforce your values. It’s important to go back to step 1 and make sure that everything ties back to your strengths and your values. That consistency is key when it comes to building a brand experience that’ll keep your customers coming back for more.
5. Encourage fan-generated content for brand advocacy
Taylor actively encourages and celebrates fan-generated content, often recognizing the contributions of her fans on her social media platforms. Whether it’s creative interpretations of her songs or fan art, she does the opposite of saying, I Forgot That You Existed.
Taylor also invites her super fans to her “Swiftie Secret Sessions” before any album release. While those fans aren’t allowed to reveal too many details, the experiences and reviews they post on social media build the anticipation and excitement for the rest of her fanbase. This approach not only strengthens the bond but also generates organic brand advocacy.
How you can leverage user-generated content
Embrace and promote user-generated content and watch your brand loyalty climb.
Foster a sense of community with product-led growth: When customers enjoy a product, they will become loyal users and share it with others, resulting in lower customer acquisition costs and a self-sustaining growth loop. It also makes the customer feel recognized. Yep, It’s Nice to Have a Friend.
Gamify the experience: People like to have fun on social media. Host contests and reward your audience for spreading the word about your brand. Puzzles, scavenger hunts, choose your own adventure storytelling, you name it. It’s a great opportunity for your marketers to get creative. Just make sure it’s not a Hoax.
Call It What You Want, but when it comes to marketing, we’re following Taylor Swift’s lead. Just as she captivates audiences with her music, her marketing captures the attention of a loyal fanbase and beyond, keeping them engaged and excited for her next move.
By weaving these lessons into your own strategies, you can create a brand experience that resonates on a personal level and cultivate a lasting Love Story with devoted customers. Don’t worry, Soon You’ll Get Better at it. (We promise — that’s the last song reference.)
Alright, You’re on Your Own, Kid. (Okay, that’s the last one.)
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This article was written by Meredith Turner for Salesforce, of whom V5 Digital is a trusted partner. It was adapted for the V5 Digital audience.
Taylor Swift does not endorse Salesforce or its products and has nothing to do with this blog post.