Spotify: ‘Running At The Speed Of Culture’

In an age where companies win with great customer experience, how do you nail your tone to reflect the zeitgeist and move your relationship with customers forward? At Spotify, part of the answer is data, and part is, yes, gut feel, according to Serena Leith, director of marketing for Asia-Pacific.

Spotify: ‘Running At The Speed Of Culture’

by Mark Jones

Posted on 06-07-2019

In an age where companies win with great customer experience, how do you nail your tone to reflect the zeitgeist and move your relationship with customers forward?

At Spotify, part of the answer is data, and part is, yes, gut feel, said Serena Leith, the audio streaming platform’s director of marketing for Asia-Pacific.

“We have something close to, I think, more than a billion different points of listening data that we can dredge into to see natural behaviours about how people are using content,” said Leith, who has been with the company since it launched in Australia. “Because we are a live-time platform, we get instant feedback. … We’re constantly testing. It’s like doing live comedy, really. We either get applause, or the room goes dead.”

Local teams are responsible for understanding the hot topics or cultural conversations that Spotify needs to either be part of, lead, or confront.

“We need to run at the speed of culture, and culture in Australia is fast, so if we’re not delivering really great, concise messages at the speed with which people are expected to consume them, then it’s old news,” Leith said.

She also credited Spotify’s flat hierarchy for moving ideas quickly to market. “We have a lot of meetings here that are very nonhierarchical. An idea can come from the two-day a week intern or the CFO,” she said. Alternatively, they can just as quickly be given the thumbs-down by the diverse members of the team, who are broadly representative of local consumers, Leith added.

In this episode of The CMO Show, host Mark Jones and Leith speak in-depth about a range of subjects, including company culture, creativity versus data, marketing strategy, differentiating based on UX, and even Post-it Notes—a cheeky secret in a digital world.

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