I’m currently attending the RDV_MARKETING where Jamie Hebert, Spotify’s Head of Marketing is talking. For those who don’t listen to music, Spotify was introduced into the Canadian market in 2014 and is a music streaming service.
His talk addresses three issues with moving a service into a new market:
- Expanding audience once early adopters have been saturated
- Moving from content to context
- Adapting the service for the new audience
Moving Beyond Early Adopters
The first step he believes that any brand should do before trying to bring their services to a new country is to learn from others. For example, Target failed tremendously when trying to penetrate the Canadian market. On the other hand, GoPro has been extremely successful in making their product a internationally known brand that is accessible to more than just adrenaline junkies. Another good example would be Starbucks Canada. They began by testing the Canadian palette and what type of coffee do Canadians drink. The result was the True North Blend.
Moving from Content to Context
When users began starting using Spotify, they began by looking for specific artists or music styles. However, as they get used to the service, they begin looking for music that fits the time of day and events of their day. Instead of looking for specific songs, a user might look for a playlist that can accompany their run or commute.
They strongly believe that all content should be personalized. This is why they created Spotify Running. They noticed that many users were creating playlists for running, but multiple users do not have the luxury or knowledge to curate such a playlist. That’s why they create the service to add a layer of contextual intelligence to their content.
Adapting the service for the new market
They built a dedicated team for not only marketing in Canada but also an editorial team that builds playlists for the Canadian audience and a team to deal with independent labels and ensure Canadian have accept to local independent music.
Other than building a dedicated Canadian team, Spotify is trying to make a platform where they can showcase great Canadian talent. An example of this type of initiatve is the Spotify Sessions such as their show in Montreal with Coeur de Pirate. A weird fact is that only in Canada is that in our country these shows are not in Spotify offices! In fact, they also partner with local artists to showcase brands and help them get air play by showing the data to radio stations.
Contextuality also plays a part in adapting the service. Using a data-driven approach, they use DIB system (Data, Insights, Beliefs) when planning all marketing campaigns. They looked at the most played songs along a Toronto bus route area. Afterwards, they create a playlist for the specific bus route and looked to see the results. I’m guessing they were good as they repeated the same campaign across multiple other Canadian cities.
Lastly, Spotify creates local partnerships with many Canadian branches of big businesses. This helps increase the reach and engagement in the market. Spotify partners with local radio stations to extend radio shows into Spotify playlists.