MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2023

What B2B Marketers Can Learn from a Swiftie: Create, Connect, Call-back Like Taylor Swift with Ahava Leibtag [Part 1]

What does music star Taylor Swift have to teach you about B2B Marketing?

Ahava Leibtag shared her T-Swift insights—and love—in her 2022 B2B Forum presentation, Break Through the Noise: B2B Like Rockstar Taylor Swift.

Here’s a piece from Ahava’s wildly popular session (or you can watch the video below).

Taylor Swift is Taylor Swift. There’s no way that Taytay has anything to teach me about how to be a better B2B marketer. I’m really here for the laughs and the karaoke and the music. 

But we promised to take the boring out of B2B.

So here’s what we’re gonna learn from Swift: Rewrite and Repurpose. How to build anticipation and community, and how to call back. 

Okay, so let’s get started. When Taylor re-released her albums Fearless and Red (for ownership reasons), she released them in a way that you would know the difference from the original recordings.

So on Spotify for example, if you’re listening to one of her old songs, it will just give you the song name, such as Red or All Too Well.

But if you’re listening to the ones that she rerecorded, it will say, All Too Well—Taylor’s Version.

(We happen to have a pillow in my house that says, “In this house, we listen to Taylor’s Version.”)

Okay, so what did Taylor do that was really smart? She could have just re-recorded and re-released her songs and been done, right? 

But she didn’t just slap and dash, which is unfortunately what we do a lot in B2B Marketing. 

When you listen to a song with “Taylor’s Version” on it, you not only know they’re new, but you can hear the difference.

Taylor’s performed these songs live thousands of times. So she knows how to revisit them. Between the old and the new recordings, you can hear the change in her voice and in her phrasing of some of the lyrics.

She really thought through how she was going to be able to not only entrance her current audience of clearly insane fans, but she was also going to bring new fans into the mix. 

For example, she recorded a song with Keith Urban. Not everybody who listens to Keith Urban listens to Taylor Swift. But now that song gets played on country radio, (which ironically is where Taylor started because she recorded a song with him and included it on her Red album), but now she’s bringing in additional fans from that audience  

And not everybody who listens to Phoebe Bridgers, who’s a young and upcoming artist, listens to Taylor Swift because (gasp) they might think Taylor is “old.” But Taylor also put Phoebe on her Red—Taylor’s Version album because she wanted to say, “Listen, come in… listen to my music. I’m fresh and I’m cool.”

— Ahava Leibtag

Stay tuned for more from Ahava’s session, “Break Through the Noise: B2B Like Rockstar Taylor Swift”—we’ll be posting Part 2 on this blog soon!

Published 2/2/23

B2B Forum is packed with marketing insights, strategies, and tactics taken from the real world experience of over forty industry experts, packaged into context you can actually put to use.

Join us in Boston for B2B Forum 2024 this coming November 12-14, 2024. Early buyers get B2B Forum tickets at their lowest rate, and discounted hotel rooms are available while they last.


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