A Few Marketing Lessons from Taylor Swift

We could all be a little bit more like Taylor Swift.
Well, in our marketing efforts, anyway.

4 days ago, Taylor Swift posted this video to her YouTube channel, documenting what had come to be known by her fans as ‘Swiftmas’. To reward her most loyal fans, Taylor Swift had shipped personalized individual presents for them this past Christmas – all based on what she had learned about them from their social media feeds!


“Shortly after the massively successful release of 1989, fans on social media began to experience another phenomenon. After something that became known as Tay-lurking, whereupon every details of a fan’s likes, job, whereabouts, was studied intently… A single Santa emoji would appear on their socials.

From one Taylor Swift.’

This video has racked up close to 12 million views since it has been posted. So what is it about this video that people seem to love and what can marketers learn from this?

1) Get Personal – All the presents were delivered with hand-written notes and Christmas (or Hanukkah) cards. This is yet another example of how Taylor engages with her community of fans to build relationships.  She creates unique brand experiences for them so that they feel like they know her – as a friend, or the girl next door. She is accessible, she listens and she responds. This is how brands should interact with their customers.

2) Get to Know Your Fans – To ensure all the presents were personalized, Taylor had done her own research on her fans. She not only ‘Tay-lurked’ her fans, she took the time to get to know them, to read their updates before building a personalized experience meant just for them.  While such intense researching into the lives of your customers may not be possible, there is great value in truly understanding who your customers are.

3) Surprise Your Loyal Followers – If those were Taylor’s most loyal fans, can you imagine their level of loyalty now, after receiving their presents? By rewarding these super fans, Taylor was also gaining new fans and encouraging her mid-level fans to step up their engagement. Sometimes, by giving back and rewarding your loyal followers (also known as your brand ambassadors), you can gain back ten-fold what you give away.

4) Leverage the Use of Video – The clips of her fans opening their presents were so authentic, you could hear and see for yourself the excitement they felt. By having her fans film their experiences, Taylor allowed others watching to share in the fun. Because the clips were so authentic, you don’t feel like you’re watching some fabricated sales pitch. Leverage the use of video and capture your customer’s authentic experiences with your product or service.

This is exactly how we can create excitement and loyalty around our brands – and how we can make sure our marketing efforts can stand out from the crowd.  At the end of the day, consumers want to know that they are appreciated and being heard!  So as it turns out, we all have a thing or two that we can learn from Taylor Swift!

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