SMS Marketing Campaign Focus: How Spotify Australia got it right

Spotify Australia’s recent “text to listen” outdoor campaign has won the OMA Creative Collection award for Best Creative Execution. But it is also a fantastic example of an SMS marketing campaign that works on every level. Here, we reveal why it was a winner for consumers and the brand alike.

Last winter, when they would normally be suffering a cold commute, Australians were listening to music by their favourite artists on their mobile phone. And it’s all thanks to Spotify Australia’s “text to listen” campaign, its first major outdoor campaign.

The idea was wonderfully simple and brilliantly executed. Vibrant posters invited commuters to SMS a number to receive instant access, on their smartphone, to music by the likes of Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, Iggy Azalea, Daft Punk, and Lorde. In doing so, people could experience for themselves how Spotify enhances the daily commute with music.

Why did Spotify choose mobile? Not only is mobile penetration so high in Australia, especially amongst its target market of 18-24 year olds, but Spotify has a unique mobile music offering which provides users with free access to over 20 million tunes via their smartphones. The campaign was designed to raise awareness of this offering and drive customer acquisition. And mobile provided the most effective, relevant channel for the brand to target and engage consumers on the go.

Here’s why it worked:


1. Highly targeted campaign

The campaign targeted tech savvy 18-24 year olds in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. And the targeting was extremely precise – Spotify analysed streaming data and insights and worked with local music label partners to identify and position the right artists in the right locations. The content and placement was decided based on consumer interest, as well as wider factors such as tour dates, ensuring that every poster had strong contextual relevance and resonance with the audience.

2. Simple call to action

The posters were designed to raise awareness of the brand’s offering and capture attention, but mostly they needed to drive action. And in such a busy outdoor space, a simple call to action was the key to getting commuters to act. Once consumers had sent the text to a unique number, they immediately received an SMS with another simple call to action inviting new users to download the free Spotify app and instantly enjoy music.

3. Seamless journey

From the first text message to the custom mobile landing pages, the SMS marketing campaign is seamless from start to finish, making it fast and easy for new users to sign up and for existing users to continue listening through Spotify. As per best practice, a short URL was used in the SMS, leading consumers through to a very slick mobile optimised landing page. New users could select to “get the free app now” while existing users could choose “got the app already” and within seconds, they were able to listen to free music. Plus, Spotify was able to live track the performance of each individual creative to see which worked best.

4. Eye-catching creative

Everything about the Spotify SMS marketing campaign is colourful and punchy – from the commuter panels to the text message to the mobile landing page. It is perfectly targeted to the audience and the locations, where only bold creative would cut through.

5. Right channels

No marketing tool exists in isolation, and this campaign brought the most relevant channels together to create a unique interactive experience: mobile, search and social.

While this campaign was highly successful, the big question is whether there’s anything Spotify could improve on for future campaigns?

Our only small recommendation is to make the SMS call to action more prominent on the poster creative. Whilst the creative grabs your attention, personal experience tells us it might take longer for people to notice the SMS call to action. Clear visual cues to draw more attention to the SMS mechanism (a mobile phone, arrow etc.) would have potentially improved opt-in rates.

Spotify Australia worked with Media Agency, Bohemia and JCDecaux on this simple, creative and entirely rewarding customer journey, and we can’t wait to see what they do next. Feeling inspired for your next SMS marketing campaign? Learn more tips on how to create a winning SMS campaign here .

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