Taylor Swift is a marketing genius. Over the past several months I have been focused on getting Taylor Swift concert tickets for my daughter, a Taylor mega-fan. While purchasing concert tickets may sound like a simple enough feat, Taylor Swift took it to the next level, launching an interactive fan experience for people to earn priority points to get early access to tickets. I completely bought into the hype. In doing so, I realized that B2B marketers should take a page from Taylor’s playbook. While the mom in me went along with the prompts and tasks to earn points to get tickets for my daughter, the marketer in me was fascinated by the experience on an entirely different level. Here are the top five lessons that I think B2B marketers can learn from Taylor’s ticketing experience:
- Reward loyalty. The basis of the verified fan site was that “real fans” got advanced access to concert tickets and special ticket packages that weren’t available to the general public. Fans earned their priority status by interacting with content, sharing news and buying merchandise. B2B marketers might not be able to give away free products and often don’t have the same exciting incentives as their B2C marketing peers, but they can still reward loyal customers. In many cases, simply recognizing customers goes a long way towards turning them into advocates. Whether you provide conference passes, access to beta products or simply send a thank you note, showing appreciation for loyal customers helps to not only keep them loyal, but also keeps them advocating for you in their networks.
- Stay relevant. Even in Taylor Swift’s world, content is king. By regularly adding new content to her verified fan site, Taylor kept fans coming back to check for and consume her new content. B2B marketers often use lead scoring to help assess who should progress to the next stage in the sales funnel, and measuring a contact’s content consumption is a critical component. By maintaining a regular cadence of publishing new content, you can quickly become a trusted resource for value-added information and drive deeper engagement with prospects.
- Referrals matter. Whether it’s a customer quote, a case study or a review on a third-party site, savvy marketers understand that customer referrals can be an invaluable resource for a sales rep trying to close a deal. Word of mouth referrals and validation from friends and peers carries a weight that few other marketing tactics do. While working to earn priority points in the Taylor Swift ticket line, one of the easiest ways to get points was to share her ticket site with friends. If they registered for the site, I got points. Even Taylor knows that people are more likely to do something when they know their peers recommend it.
- Multiply engagement with multiple channels. During my time in Taylor’s ticket vortex, I signed up with my email address and got regular email updates when new content was available. I earned points for sharing things across social channels, and had to provide my cell phone number to get a text message with my access code for the ticket on-sale. By encouraging me to engage over each of these channels, the marketing team behind Taylor Swift’s ticket site gained valuable information to further build out my profile in their database. Take a page out of Taylor’s book by striving to connect with customers and prospects across channels, and even consider those like SMS messaging that haven’t traditionally been used by B2B marketers.
- Own your reputation. Unless you have been living under a rock, you likely know that Taylor Swift’s reputation took a hit last year. She took that blow to her reputation, and turned it into a multi-million dollar album, by owning her mistakes and being candid about her reputation. Thankfully, most companies don’t have to worry about generating the same amount of negative press that Taylor Swift does for mistakes or issues, but there is a lesson to be learned here. Mistakes happen, issues pop-up – own them. Don’t mislead your customers when you mess up, be honest and fix the issue in a transparent, timely manner. Your customers will appreciate that more than being left in the dark.
After months of interacting in Taylor’s ticket portal, I’m happy to report that I got tickets for my daughter, and that I’ve started deploying some of Taylor’s tactics in my own marketing programs. And, Taylor, if you’re reading this, in case this whole uber-famous, multi-platinum, millionaire singer thing doesn’t work out, there’s a spot for you on my marketing team any time.