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Using digital music as an activator to gather data


Using digital music as an activator to gather data


Con Raso explains how music can be used to gather data for a more personalised customer experience.


Gathering customer data is about knowing more about your customers, so you can build an emotional connection with them and encourage them to be loyal to your brand. Today, consumers have come to expect a more personalised customer experience from every brand they interact with in their daily lives. However, in order to get them to provide their data, the consumer wants a reason to do it and will generally want something in exchange. In this sense digital music acts as an incentive for the consumer to drip-feed their personal data, in return for free music.

The data challenge

Brands need to glean vast amounts of qualitative data about their customers, without making them feel uncomfortable or suspicious, in order to differentiate their approach.

Thus, two guys with the same demographic profile – similar age, with two kids, comparable earnings, living on the same street – are targeted by some brands as being exactly the same. However, they are likely to have very different interests, tastes, beliefs, commutes and preferences.

The more astute brands have been able to link customers’ data garnered from their social media accounts, their mobile devices and the apps they use. As well as the basic demographics social media gives them, these brands are also able to uncover much richer data, like their customers’ weekly activities, footprint, behaviours, preferences and moods to find out what really makes them tick and how to build an emotional connection with them.

Using music as a ‘honeypot’

Everybody loves music and brands that are using streaming music services to engage customers have been able to build an intimate and mutually valuable relationship with them by providing the music. In return, digital music acts as a ‘honeypot’ to glean the insights needed to profile specifically each customer.

Music can be the enabler that gives customers a reason to connect with your brand and to download your app. It will be then be up to brands to adopt a true customer-driven approach to their global loyalty strategies based on the intelligence collected.

However, brands need to be careful how they build up detailed profiles on consumers, many of whom are worried about their privacy already. Brands can be put in an awkward position if they spook their users by appearing to know too much.

As a general rule, the more permissions an app requests, the less likely it is that people will use social media accounts to log in. Brands should start with the public profile information and afterwards use creative approaches to ask for additional personal information over time. The brand could, for example, offer a user with a birthday that day tickets for the concert of their favourite band in the closest city from home. They would therefore need to provide their date of birth and postcode in order to enter such a competition.

Their personal profile becomes more detailed over time, giving the brand a much better understanding of its customer and their interests and preferences.

The benefit of the mobile first music experience

Nowadays, music is a mobile first experience and compared to other devices, smartphones can garner new valuable user’s data via their apps, social media and location-based services. We could discover that a customer spends most of their time in the city, and until that time we had targeting them with offers mostly in their home suburb.

By offering free music in their app, McDonalds can provide a reason for its loyal customers to connect with the brand on a daily basis. In return, the fast-food brand would know more about its customers, their social media interactions and location. They may discover that few customers interacted with KFC content recently and that they engaged specifically with entertainment and sport content. Therefore they could refine their tactics and provide a more personalised brand experience and specific location-based offer.

Streaming music has wrongly been viewed as a broadcast channel only, but is actually a highly targeted narrowcast channel that provides brands the opportunity to offer a very niche group a specifically personalised offering based on their tastes, passions, moods and location in exchange for a great music experience.

Leveraging personalisation with music tastes 

Here again music can help. People tend to not listen to a set music genre anymore but their consumption habits are more mood, time and activity related. Those brands that offer digital music can gauge their customer’s current mood or activity and are able to take the personalisation approach one step further.

It’s very valuable for a number of relevant brands to be able to package up a personalised offering to all the fans of a particular artist or the businessmen who go for a workout before or after work. Virgin Airlines could offer special discounts to Katy Perry’s fans to fly to her next concert and Nike could promote their latest running shoe technology on a workout themed station after the average workday finishes. Knowing how your customers tick and what they are into at the moment makes all the difference.

Why are music and data well matched?

Providing a personalised customer experience based on intelligence rather than guesswork is now essential for all brands to ensure customer loyalty. Digital music can be used as an activator to collect the right personal data required to profile them appropriately.

Designing great user experiences that are relevant for each specific persona is the key challenge. Brands that base these offerings on current data gleaned about their customers’ interests, beliefs, moods, activities and locations are winning the battle. Music is a potent option to gather this important data, while building long-term relationships with your customers.


Con Raso is managing director of Tuned Global Pty Ltd. Con has had over 20 years’ experience in physical and digital distribution of music. Over the past 10 years this experience has focused on internet based distribution particularly within the business-to-consumer entertainment market, including developing applications and systems to enable enterprises to utilise music as a potent marketing tool. 


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