5 Swift Insights About Taylor Swift Marketing

Steve Davis In His Swiftie Outfit For Sharing 5 Swift Insights About Taylor Swift Marketing

I'm enchanted you are reading this. It's my reflection on Taylor Swift marketing techniques I observed during my recent attendance at night two of her Melbourne leg of the Eras Tour.

While not everything she does is possible for small business to emulate, especially businesses with little profile, there are some principles we can consider, drawn from her "good ideas and power moves".

Capturing the Community Spirit

In the bustling streets of Melbourne to the electric atmosphere within the stadium, the sense of camaraderie among Taylor Swift's fans (Swifties) was unmistakable.

This palpable friendliness, a rare sight in such large gatherings, speaks volumes about the positive culture Swift has cultivated among her audience.

It's not just a concert; it's a "State of Grace," a communal celebration of music and mutual respect, showcasing how a celebrity can genuinely unite people, who belong with her as much as each other. An example is the swapping of friendship bracelets featuring Swift song titles written in the beads. My daughter, AJ, is pictured here, swapping some with strangers.

Steve's Daughter, AJ, Sharing Swiftie Friendship Bracelets With Strangers At The MCG

Small business owners can foster a sense of community among their customers by creating spaces, both online and offline, where people can share their experiences and support one another.

While the standard marketing textbooks would suggest you achieve this through social media groups, community events, or loyalty programs, at its heart, community happens when there is two-way communication. For Swift, it's a little more complicated; she spills her heart out in her songs, and Swifties then tap into the shared resonance of her storytelling to connect with each other.

For us, learning how to be more open in our communication online and in face-to-face discussions, can edge us closer to nurturing a sense of community around our enterprises. This doesn't mean we have to wear our hearts on our sleeves, but if we can touch some universal truths for our "people" (our ideal customers), we will earn their trust and, hopefully, their business.

A great example of this is Adelaide Pool Heating, where the owner, Anthony Sebastiani, earnestly wants people to get the best heating solution for their pools, that balance their preference for length of swimming season with their upfront and ongoing budgets. You can witness the respect he earns from his customers in this testimonial story and video, Transforming Pools Into Year-Round Oases.

The Art of Anticipation

Swift's strategic build-up to her stage appearance, marked by a two and a half minute countdown and the resonant tones of "You Don't Own Me," perfectly exemplifies the art of anticipation.

This moment wasn't just a wait; it was a "Love Story" in the making, where every second ticked by added to the audience's excitement.

This clever use of suspense taps into the dopamine effect, where the pleasure of the awaited performance is heightened by the delay, creating a memorable and immersive experience for everyone present, as if saying, "Are you ready for it?" This effect of heightening a dopamine hit by letting anticipation build, is something undervalued in our have-it-now society and yet its power is built into our DNA.

Just as the countdown added excitement to Swift's concert, small businesses can use anticipation to their advantage.

This could be through teaser campaigns for new products or services, countdowns to special sales, or sneak peeks behind the scenes. More directly, in tourism, where lovely, instagrammable vistas are waiting to be captured, extolling the virtues of visitors hiking to the location rather than just hopping on a tour bus, will result in them more deeply appreciating their "reward".

We should remember that our minds search for patterns and when a story has left out a key detail, we are primed to fill the voice. You could experiment with holding back just enough information when you are making your next announcement, to see if you can create buzz and keep your audience engaged and looking forward to what's next.

Seizing Moments: A Marketing Masterstroke

Swift's announcement of her new album during her 14th Grammy win, was a move some criticised but I think it was a brilliant marketing tactic.

This moment, where she was being celebrated for her musical achievements, provided the perfect platform to build anticipation for her upcoming work.

It's a testament to Swift's savvy in using significant milestones not just to revel in past successes but to pave the way for future endeavours. Say you'll remember me, she demands, in the song, "Wildest Dream," and I have no doubt we will. In fact, she embodies our favourite Oscar Wilde quip, there's only one thing worse than being talked about and that's not being talked about.

Swift's album announcement at the Grammys demonstrates the power of using significant moments to share news or promote products.

If you are planning product launches or special announcements, consider aligning the timing with relevant local or industry-specific events, milestones, or holidays.

This strategy ensures that the message is timely and resonates more deeply with the audience.

Endurance and Engagement: The Marathon Concert

The fourth point about her concerts lasting three and a half hours without a break underscores Swift's exceptional dedication to her craft and her audience.

This marathon performance is not just a display of stamina but a profound commitment to offering fans a truly immersive and unforgettable experience.

It speaks to her ability to maintain a high level of engagement, ensuring that every moment is packed with value and meaning for her audience.

This aspect of her concerts mirrors the ethos of delivering beyond expectations, a principle that can be applied broadly across various forms of content creation and customer engagement, inviting fans to "Stay Stay Stay" engaged throughout.

And engaged we were. So much so, I wore this label on the back of my jacket, to see how many fellow Swifties would respond with the song title, "Hey Stephen."

Steve Davis In His Swiftie Jacket With Sign, This Is Stephen.

The endurance and engagement shown by Swift's lengthy concerts without a break highlight the importance of offering value and a memorable experience.

In Small business, we can take this to heart by ensuring that every customer interaction is meaningful and exceeds expectations, whether it's through the quality of the product or service, customer service, or unique experiences that make the business stand out.

Yep, that's not easy. But if we can tap into the core drive that powers our vision/mission, we stand a better chance of being at the top of our game more often.

Wild Cards: Cultivating Excitement through Surprise

Perhaps the element of her intrinsic marketing sense that makes me take my pink cowboy hat off to, is the wildcard song(s).

She knows that Swifties will have captured and shared her complete setlist for any concert tour, so how does she keep something fresh up her sleeve? The answer is to keep a small moment available for a surprise song (or songs).

It works a treat and crafts a unique concert experience for each audience.

This simple inclusion transforms each concert into a bespoke event, with the anticipation of the unknown adding an extra layer of excitement.

This tactic cleverly leverages the human love for surprises, enhancing the overall engagement and making each concert memorable in its own right, a "Fearless" move that ensures fans always have "Something to Look Forward To."

What can we glean from this use of wild card songs when it comes to creating memorable customer experiences in our small businesses?

It could be as simple as unexpected gifts (or notes) in orders, surprise discounts, or special one-off events.

Surprises make the customer feel valued and help create memorable experiences that people love to share with others, can deliver a pay off in loyalty and advocacy that way outweighs the cost and effort.

Each of these tactics, inspired by Taylor Swift's approach to her music and performances, can be adapted to suit the scale and scope of a small business, offering fresh ways to engage with customers, stand out in the market, and build a loyal community, proving once and for all that in business, as in music, "The Best Day" is always ahead.

I'll leave you with the closing moments of the Taylor Swift concert I attended, in which she thanks the audience, says she loves them, and then reminds them they've played their hearts out for 3.5 hours. In other words, I hope you loved this because there will be no encore, that is, we will never, ever, ever, ever, come back out on the stage tonight.

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