Guide to Marketing, Inspired by Taylor Swift (Seer’s Version)


What We Know

You would be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t know who Taylor Swift is. Her most recent Eras Tour has elevated her to a status not attained by many artists. She began her career at age 14, entering the country music scene and writing about young love, teenage heartbreak, and finding yourself as you navigate the world around you. Over the past 18 years, the world has watched her evolve from a young country starlet to a pop icon to a record-breaking phenomenon. Those of us who remember her Romeo and Juliet days can say we feel like we know a thing or two about her… SO what do we know?!

  1. She writes about her past loves in her music
  2. She is one of the most prolific artists of her time
  3. Her fans are called Swifties and exchange friendship bracelets at concerts

These are pretty well received as common knowledge to her fanbase. But did you also know she is a fantastic marketer and trendsetter in the space? Let’s dive in.

We Never Go Out of Style: Protecting Your Brand

Taylor’s marketing strategy over the years has been impeccable. It was a risk to reinvent herself but it paid off. She has a very strong connection to her fans, and at the risk of alienating them, she made a bold move to reposition her brand. In doing so, she instead created a more diverse fanbase. This just proves that companies can and need to refresh their brands.

She also wanted to fiercely protect and own her own brand, so she began re-recording her old music. This allowed her to reclaim her art and own the rights to her music, but also ensured she controlled her brand and anything pertaining to it. Not only was this a huge source of revenue for her, but she was also able to refresh her brand at the same time by releasing songs from the vault that didn’t make it onto the original albums, creating additional excitement about the re-records for fans.

If you compare this to paid media, if you are not advertising your brand and running paid ads yourself, you are absent from users making searches and don’t have a seat at the table. Another example– if you are a retailer without an Amazon presence, there is no one to stop another seller from misrepresenting you and trying to re-sale your items. You have to take steps (sometimes drastic ones) in order to safeguard your brand.

Trick Me Once, Trick Me Twice: Lessons in Karma

Nobody likes being bombarded with irrelevant ads. Your content needs to be personalized and geared toward your target audience, speaking directly to their needs or desires. This isn’t new information, but we know that it’s “delicate”.

Many listen to Taylor’s music and think, “How did she know that? Did she sneak into my brain and root through my memories?” Her ability to tell a story that functions as both a diary entry and a composite sketch, allowing the listener to draw their own conclusions and relate the story to their own personal experiences, is what makes her a successful artist. 

Your messaging should function in a similar way– personalized enough that it resonates with the end user, but just broad enough to ensure that you aren't alienating anyone in your audience. After all, don’t you know that cash ain’t the only price?

[TIP] Getting first-party user data will allow you to personalize your email marketing and remarketing ads to those who are familiar with your brand.

We Remember It All Too Well: The Hook

In marketing, you can consider ‘the hook’ how you get someone keyed into your brand and want to be a part of it - it’s what persuades them to purchase. In songs, this is normally the chorus that people will remember and associate with your song. Think of “Now we’ve got bad blood“, “Shake it off!’’, or “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22”.

Both marketing and songwriting would fall flat without the hook. It helps to keep the hook in mind while creating so you don’t deviate from your brand’s UVP. Whether you start a brand campaign with the tagline in mind, or create first to get to the tagline later, there is no doubt that an ad campaign needs a hook. After all, it’s how you engage and get your audience to react and remember. 

Taylor’s hooks have often been phrases in everyday language. She isn’t introducing new lexicons but taking an existing one and making it more salient in her story-telling. And she is a fabulous story-teller.

Put Some Spin on It

When life gives you lemons, write a song? Taylor is no stranger to heartbreak, and her fans know that her music is part cathartic release and part story-telling. She even leaves hints and easter eggs in her songs and marketing. She is able to take a negative and turn it into something that has a positive impact in people’s lives. There is a lesson in being able to create your own version of ‘happy’ through the difficult times. Much like a period of lower seasonality or lull in sales, sometimes you have to weather the storm to move into a better sales period. 

Putting on your marketing hats here can mean not making knee-jerk reactions to poor performance. Many campaigns take time to ramp up and gather in-engine learning. Much like our musical muse, you need to learn from past lessons and apply them going forward, rather than just assuming you will never find your happy ending.

I Am So Productive, It’s an Art: How to be Prolific 

Between re-recording her previous works, selling out stadiums worldwide, and still finding time to record and release new music, it’s common knowledge that Taylor is one of the most prolific artists of her time. How can you be prolific as an advertiser? 

Leave Room to Create

Taylor reinvents herself with each new era, leaning into different colors, symbols, and aesthetics to advertise her new music. While you don’t need to completely reinvent the wheel with your own advertising, it’s good to think outside the box and recommend different testing opportunities to your clients.

This may mean running some A/B tests to find the best possible solution (check out our guide to A/B testing on Meta!). At the end of the day, failed tests (or loves) only help you make more informed decisions later. You should always be testing in order to get the most impact out of your media spend. 

[TIP] Just remember to limit the noise by testing one variable at a time.

There are a multitude of esteemed inventors or writers who always allocate time to being creative. Taylor, like many other singer/songwriters, will schedule time to be in studio writing and recording. Creating focus time to think and ideate is necessary to see past the noise and repetitive nature of daily business and get to the heart of something extraordinary. You can create some sick beats to track performance trends by leveraging PowerBi to plot out your success metrics.

Lean into Automation and AI

Many best selling authors stress the importance of making the time to create and reflect. Montessori schools are created on the entire premise that imaginative play is vital to learning and growth. As adults, we often forget to be playful and creative. We see ’play’ as something that needs to be scheduled into our busy lives. 

When you hit a creative wall, one solution we can tap into is AI*. In fact, our team recently used AI to help write a blog post! From content to ad copy to research, AI can be leveraged to help craft stories and wordsmith anything including, dare we say, song lyrics (disclaimer: no evidence this method has been used by our bestie Tay). In fact, we prompted ChatGPT to write a song about paid media and, suffice it to say, we’ll leave the song writing to Taylor herself.

Let the Games Begin…Ready For It?

We hope you enjoyed the parallels between songwriting and marketing as much as we do! Ms. Swift has definitely crafted a marketing strategy that seems to be a driving force behind her best year yet, so there’s no doubt that using some of these methods should only help you with yours.

Interested in partnering with Seer on your next project? We’ve got a blank space, and we’ll write your name.


*Note: The image used for this article was AI created; the likeness to anyone who really exists is coincidental.




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Olivia Kaufman
Olivia Kaufman
Sr. Manager, Paid Social
Renee Cherry
Renee Cherry
Lead, Paid Media