Chances are you’re not a Taylor Swift superfan. In addition to creating music, though, she’s been teaching a course in marketing 101 for years.
I didn’t realize the extent until a marketing industry newsletter featured a video she made of her hand wrapping Christmas/Holiday presents for fans. She even wrote them personal notes. The best part of the video is the genuine appreciation and excitement that comes across with total sincerity.
Why would a multi-million dollar, multi-platinum artist take the time to do this? The answer is simple: Swift is smart and she gets it. She knows how to resonate with her fans, in the studio, on stage and in life. Nearly every move she makes is the right one.* Her interactions are authentic, she takes time to relate with her fans and she makes sure they all know how normal and pedestrian her life can be (at times) – just like theirs.
It seems like a pretty limited effort to send gifts to a few fans, but today’s marketing tools make any effort scalable beyond imagination. Ten years ago, the return on investment would have been limited. With the power of electronic communication, the Swift gift video has more than 17 million views.
You’re not a recording artist with millions of fans. But the lesson is broad enough to apply to individuals and companies big and small. If you come across as authentic, if you’re relatable, if you make a product your customers want/need, and if you take the time to show them you appreciate them and connect with them on a real level, the results can be impressive. And sometimes you can share those efforts with other customers and even potential customers.
For Swift, the result of all of this is incredible influence. She wielded that influence recently to convince Apple – a multi-billion dollar company not swayed by hardly anyone – to change its brand new streaming music service before it even launched to consumers. Imagine that, one artist taking on the corporate machine and winning. What wins can you generate for your business with genuine marketing?
* Everyone makes mistakes and Swift made one on Twitter recently when she publicly accused another artist of demeaning her rather than making a simple phone call to talk it out privately. It didn’t go so well and there’s a lesson in that as well.
Director of Communication & Marketing, NPCA