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Creativity Output: Spotify’s new marketing team has 5X its creativity

Spotify Creativity output


Spotify Creativity outputSpotify’s marketing strategy aims to create emotional advertisements to encourage people to subscribe. According to Taj Alavi, the company’s chief global marketer, the audio platform has rolled out weekly creativity initiatives throughout its ten main markets since its reorganization in February.

Taj Alavi joined Spotify as its top marketer in June of last year. Her goal has been to “reconnect” customers with the “emotional side” of the business. Since then, she has employed creativity more frequently to identify and shape cultural moments and trends.

This need for creativity is why the audio streaming service had to reorganize its marketing department. The reorganization consolidated several “micro organizations” into a single cross-functional team allowing for a fivefold increase in creative production.

She believes most people base their decision to launch a new company on how quickly it turns a profit, but this is not the case for this enormous audio platform. After the two-year rollercoaster that the Covid epidemic generated, Spotify digs into the specifics to determine the best approach to inspire its staff and foster innovation.

The need to increase creativity

Alavi’s ultimate goal has been to have more creative stuff guided by the belief that it’s Spotify’s responsibility as a cultural brand to support creativity. That’s why Spotify goes into detail to find the best way to motivate its team and maximize its creativity. That’s more important now, especially after the two-year rollercoaster caused by the Covid pandemic.

Creativity in the annual Spotify Wrapped campaign

Since 2016, Spotify has held a marketing campaign every year, and it’s now viral. Through this campaign, the streamer’s customers can access data showing how they have been using the platform for the last year( 365 days). They can also choose to share and invite their friends and loved ones via social media platforms.


Alavi views Spotify’s Wrapped campaign as the ideal illustration of the brand’s potential and its capacity to create its own cultural moment. Each year, Spotify subscribers can obtain a report detailing their listening patterns for the preceding 365 days, supported by a significant advertising campaign. Since its debut in 2016, Wrapped has been an internet sensation.

The new Team structure

Alavi believes that Spotify should develop and be a part of cultural moments throughout the year. But for that to happen, the audio streamer needs first to have the right team structure and a working environment characterized by  “flexibility, mental space, and psychological safety”

With a tenured marketing team that’s excellent at its work, Alavi felt that it was time for Spotify to invest in the talent it already had; all it needed was some restructuring. Spotify reorganized its team in February to better address brand issues and insights. The restructure combined traditional vertical lines and new horizontal cells of teams. For cross-collaboration, captains were picked from the team’s marketing executives.

To meet her goal of creating nimble, faster creativity, she used Spotify, tenured staff who understood their job alongside outside talent that she brought in.

Almost five “small organizations” were changed into one team that now works to benefit each other, resulting in a solid organization that is nimble enough to work across teams.

This reorganization also included the development of a new product marketing team which Babar Zafar, Spotify’s Product, and Growth vice president, was a big part of. Alavi believes that you cannot separate your product from your brand in consumer technology. That has meant a close working relationship with Zafar. 

The team’s creatives, brand strategists, and committed product developers make up the mProduct team. They brainstorm a roadmap of products and capabilities together, building on the “more heavy lifts” created by the product team.

Alavi asserts that Spotify can now start putting new product marketing concepts into action within three months of the team’s formation. It’s never been done before, and she describes it as being quite exciting.


The results of the Restructure

Alavi claims that with the restructuring, Spotify can now be able to play a more regular role in contributing to and shaping youth culture and is launching virtually weekly projects in its 10 key regions worldwide.

The main areas of interest include gaming, K-pop, football and sport, and pop culture. Many of these initiatives now center on bringing Spotify and audio closer to their fans.

Spotify targets important markets, considering the entire planet and all the various audience segments. Paying attention to youth culture, the streamer concentrates on their top concerns and ensures they understand how Spotify engages them.

Here are th significant results so far:

Partnership with FC Barcelona

A long-term agreement between Spotify and FC Barcelona began in March of this year. Spotify has become the club’s primary and authorized audio streaming partner. Both men’s and women’s team shirts and training shirts include their logo on the front.

Spotify Island Project

Two months later, Spotify Island, a significant project for the company and an effort developed by the new product marketing team, was released on the online gaming network Roblox. The island serves as a virtual meeting spot for artists and fans. They can play interactive quests, access premium content, and purchase artist items. Later in May, the island got a virtual K-pop theme park called “K-park.”

Supergrouper Feature

Supergrouper, a feature that allows users to assemble their “dream band” of real musicians, was launched in June and is another significant project for which the product marketing team was responsible. Users get a unique card showing their band name to share on social media. They also get a customized playlist of songs.


Final Thoughts

Alavi believes the harmony between “magic” and “mechanics” is the key to creative efficacy.  She considers short- and long-term measures to determine work effectiveness. She also specializes in assessing cultural influence instead of conventional brand tracking.

Alavi’s interest is tracking how people feel and what they say in response to Spotify’s creative work across channels. She also pays attention to the dialogue that ensues.

Alavi believes that culture mirrors how individuals express themselves on other platforms; therefore, tracking is a key statistic.


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