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Taylor Swift Is a Customer Retention Expert: What Marketers Can Learn from this Global Superstar


July 23, 2015

Most people only know Taylor Swift as an international pop star that sings about her love life, but over the past year or so, she has become a constant topic of discussion in the media, for her music, her personal life, and her business tactics.
Last year, she released her fifth studio album, 1989, which in business terms, was a serious risk. With this album, she left the country genre and forayed into the pop world. This major rebranding could have alienated her fanbase, who were loyal to her country roots.
The challenge:
Although her music always had pop influences, 1989 was her first official pop album. She also hadn’t released anything new in the past few years. Swift had to cross genres without losing her original audience.  This dilemma can be likened to similar problems in the business world. Companies may have to devise solutions to win back former customers after a period of inactivity or a major re-branding.
The solution:
Swift and her team embarked on a master plan for retention marketing.  The campaign and media frenzy surrounding her new album as well as her efforts to reach out to fans ensured that her fanbase would grow, not shrink.
Tactic 1: Customer data collection and analysis
Using the social media platforms Twitter and Tumblr, Swift looked at her fans’ online activity and tweeted photos of fans buying her album.  She also interacted with fans on social media using the hashtag #Taylurking to see what they were up to.  This allowed her to gather information on her fanbase and establish a personal connection with them.
Tactic 2: Personalized, one-to-one messaging
When the holidays arrived, Swift gathered personal information on some fans and sent them gifts. Wrapped and personalized by Swift, these gifts were catered to each individual in unique ways and strengthened the personal bond Swift had with her fans.
Tactic 3: Loyalty rewards program
Swift’s team selected fans with incredible loyalty or social media presence from social media to participate in Secret Sessions, where they listened to Swift’s new album and hung out with their idol. These actions cemented her fans’ loyalty and promoted her new album at the same time.
The emphasis on Swift’s personality over her music cemented her brand. Fans felt as if they were personal friends with Swift, and would follow her into the pop genre no matter the change in music.
This campaign shows how savvy Taylor Swift is as a businesswoman. Marketers should take note of her clever usage of social media, branding, and understanding of her consumers.  Love her or hate her, she definitely knows how to market herself.
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