Episode 16: Marketing’s Torrid Trio: Storytelling, Data & Tech

Guest: Mayur Gupta Global Vice President for Growth and Marketing, Spotify

While most of us are driving into the future of marketing with limited visibility, Spotify’s Mayur Gupta not just sees what’s ahead, but also shares his vision with helpful precision. In this episode of Renegade Thinkers Unite, Gupta talks about how he views marketing and innovation from the eyes of an engineer, and the importance of putting human’s needs at the top of the marketing ecosystem, which consists of technology, data, and storytelling. As the Global Vice President for Growth & Marketing at Spotify, Gupta emphasizes that you cannot effectively market only using technology, or data, or storytelling – the three are completely intertwined, and wholly dependent on the marketer’s understanding of unmet human needs. To see what’s ahead, just listen!

For the readers of my book and long-time blog subscribers, Mayur Gupta shouldn’t be a stranger.  We met back in 2014 when he won The CMO Club award for Programmatic Marketing and his interview revealed a truly facile understanding of the rapidly evolving “martech” (marketing technology) landscape.  With over 15 years of experience in leading the digital transformation at places like Kimberly Clark, this digital rock star shares insights that are applicable to both small and large companies alike,

Over at Spotify, Gupta drives the vision and strategy to establish a connected marketing ecosystem as THE growth engine for his company. His goal is to connect the right artist with the right fan through discovery and accessibility, which is why he trains his team to deliver always-on, data-driven, and contextual experiences for both the fans and the artists.

Gupta believes that today’s marketers have all the tools they need to weave together technology, data, and storytelling to predict and address unmet needs. Here are 3 reasons why your brand always needs to be “on” in order to effectively utilize this data:

The consumer is always “on”

Consumers aren’t just tech-savvy, they’re tech dependent. That means more work for brands to engage, inspire, acquire, and ultimately retain that consumer. Consumers have set the bar really high for brands. They know what they want, and they know how to use tech to get it on their terms. That being said, don’t make the mistake of becoming tech-obsessed though and neglect the importance of data and storytelling.

Effective marketing is about meeting the unmet needs of the individual…

And to do that, you need to always be listening, understanding, and predicting consumer behavior — these three principles make up predictive marketing. A good brand will give the company what the consumer wants. A great brand will give the consumer what they want before they know they want it. Virtually all companies have the ability to collect this type of data, but where a company fails is in their application of the data to really understand consumer behavior to ultimately predict and shape future behavior.

The separation of online and offline worlds does not exist

Unless you’re marketing to the Amish, the line between offline and online worlds has become blurred to the point of questionable existence. With more and more consumers constantly plugged in, brands need to be ready to anticipate decisions that can occur at any moment. This has led to consumers caring less about the product, and more about the general experience offered throughout the marketing process conveyed through storytelling. If your story resonates with the consumer on a personal level, and you have the tech and data to tie everything together, you win the loyalty of those consumers.

Meet the Guest

Mayur Gupta is the Global Vice President for Growth and Marketing at Spotify, where he is responsible for driving growth and innovation as well as establishing marketing capabilities for fans, artists, and B2B brand partners. In 2014, Mayur was recognized as one of the “40 under 40” lead marketers in the industry by BrandInnovators, and also received the CMO Programmatic Award by the CMO Club. Both Harvard Business Review and the Economist profiled him as the model Chief Marketing Technologist in 2014. Prior to Spotify, he was the CMO at Healthgrades, and the first-ever Global Chief Marketing Technologist at Kimberly Clark. A self-starter, digital evangelist, marketing technologist, and innovation thought leader, Mayur brings more than 15 years of experience in leading digital transformation on both the agency side and the Fortune 100s.

What You'll Learn

  • The separation of online and offline worlds does not exist.
  • Why meeting unmet needs of the consumer is the strategy your brand needs to take on.
  • Modern marketing is made up of technology, hard data, and the art of storytelling.
  • Start with understanding your existing users before going wide.

Quotes from Mayur Gupta

  • State of the art cannot be limited to personalization anymore.
  • The artificial separation between product, marketing, technology, sales, and other functions don’t or shouldn’t exist.
  • Brands need to be in the moment for an always-on consumer who is ready to make a decision at any point in the journey.
  • Before going too wide, start with understanding your existing users, who is the high value highly loyal consumer that you would like to go after.

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