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Consumers: this is your data

Jan 29, 2020
Every single person is unique – so we all like to feel that something is made just for us. Brands have always known this, but now they have the ability to actually do something about it. You see it every day scrolling through your feed, the vast majority of which has been tailored to your tastes, and online history. And it’s all thanks to the cookies that are tracking you, identifying trends and predicting your behaviour.

And one brand in particular is using this not to their advantage, but yours. Spotify Wrapped is now an annual event, providing listeners with their year in music – including favourite artists, tracks, genres and so much more – and putting it together in one convenient and engaging space. In a climate where worldwide trends can come and go in just two hours, Spotify is now keeping tabs on your top tunes for you – to great success.

Growing every year, 2019’s edition created millions of unpaid influencers, sharing their year and decade on the app across social media. Twitter alone saw 1.2 million unique posts of a person’s top five tracks, artists or something else from their personal presentation, resulting in countless interactions. Overall, more than 60 million people engaged with the in-app story experience, and the Wrapped playlists collectively accrued nearly 3 billion streams.

Spotify has found a way to market our own data back to us, and it’s become a highly anticipated event for users of the app. Wrapped alone produced 5,100 unique billboards across the globe, and the vast majority of online presence has been organic shares and in some cases, press coverage on just how to access your data.
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Like all great trends, there’s going to be copycats looking to put their own spin on it. One of the most notable is Spotify’s market rivals, Apple Music, who’ve made the move to provide each subscriber with their own most played over the year playlist. It’s noticeably simpler than their counterparts, but the fact they’ve been forced to become involved at all speaks volumes to the popularity of the idea.
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Personalised marketing doesn’t have to be specifically within the entertainment industry – travel company Trainline has also got involved. Users of the app got the chance to see their year in travel, showing how many trips they made and how much money they supposedly saved using the site – among other things. Unfortunately for the train ticket titan, the reaction wasn’t so enthusiastic – instead commuters couldn’t help but be reminded how much money their travel has cost them and then highlighted the UK’s ongoing track system issues.

Consumer data is for life, not just for Christmas:
When used correctly, businesses have the data they need to talk to each customer all year round, not just at Christmas time. Some are simple – Facebook shows your memories on the site daily, and Coca Cola can cause a frenzy just by putting a name on the bottle. And some are far more nuanced and detailed – none more so than streaming giant, Netflix.

Netflix is home to – and the creator of – some of the world’s biggest shows, and it’s also leading the way in personalisation. Every minute you watch your search is being compiled to create your ultimate viewing experience. Their algorithm is working round the clock to provide almost 160 million subscribers with their own unique recommendations – something which is essential with the sheer size of their content catalogue. Not only does this system push certain content over others depending on your tastes, but it also has multiple thumbnails, posters and other promotional images depending on your favourite actors.

When most people hear the word data, the images conjured aren’t of inventive ad campaigns and entertaining content – they’re that of facts and figures. But now, more and more brands are proving that it’s not just about what data is – but what you do with it – and it seems there’s a lot that can be done. Figures like those Spotify and Netflix have can create just as compelling a narrative as copywriters like ours do with words. This new trend of data storytelling is helping us all go behind the scenes – satisfying our eternal curiosity, and helping us learn more about the way we interact with brands on a deeper level than ever before.