Spotify’s Mayur Gupta on Defining the Brand’s Always-On Demand Creation and Demand Capture

Headshot of Nadine Dietz

Mayur’s innovation superpower? Leveraging the “always on” intersection of data, technology and great content to predict what a customer wants before they do. Fun fact? You probably didn’t know that Mayur started his career as an engineer and approaches marketing as “art in science and science in art”.

Tell us about your current role and responsibilities. Why did you choose to join your current company?

I joined Spotify in mid-2016 with a mission to evolve marketing into a data-driven growth engine for the company – we called it “marketing sciences”. Piggybacking on a brilliant product that has established the foundation for one of the best global brands, the role required building a growth engine on top of that foundation.

The modern consumer does not exercise choice within the start and end date of a campaign. She is at the center of the ecosystem, in a constant search for value as and when she has a need. And brands need the ability to predict what she needs before she knows she needs it. I call that the “always-on” mindset; enabled at the intersection of data, technology and content.

At a stage in the company where we had already proven a strong product-market fit, we defined marketing’s role across two “always-on” pillars – “Demand Creation” and “Demand Capture”.

  • Demand Creation – If you think about your entire addressable audience in a series of concentric circles, the inner circles representing the users you’re more likely to have, or you deserve to have; I think about Demand Creation as an ability to identify new audiences in those outer circles who would NOT have come otherwise. Of course it influences and inspires the ones who re are already aware of your brand and just need a nudge but more importantly it’s creating demand for the ones further away who are truly incremental. This is where we leverage the power of our brand, it’s impact on culture to connect with those people in more meaningful ways. Once you do that, people connect with culture, they discover music and discover themselves in the process.
  • Demand Capture – it’s the more scientific part of marketing that is intertwined with data, content and technology to capture that demand, in an always-on way, – it’s a constantly running engine that “bring them home”. You apply the science to inspire these users to enter the Spotify ecosystem and use the power of your content to keep bringing them back one more time and one more time. Of course, underneath that engine lies a lot of data, lot of experiments to see what works, with what type of user, who is coming back and staying active vs who is slowing down, how do we engage them in a way that is unique to them and so on.

Why Spotify: These are fascinating times for marketing. A lot of change, complexity and expectations. Even though it’s a cliché, marketing truly is art in science and science in art.

I started my career as an engineer, building technology products. Over the years I gravitated towards technology for the world of advertising and marketing – AdTech & MarTech. That opened the doors of marketing for me where I was a clear misfit. Being an engineer, I approached marketing as a system that had too many disconnected dots and I have a passion to connect the dots.

Spotify gave me a blank canvas to try and connect those dots for the first time, to experiment and fail without fear. And even more exciting about joining Spotify was the opportunity to learn the part I never grew up with – understanding the value of culture and hence the value of a brand that can influence that culture. It’s quite magical. It’s a lab where you’re learning and concocting something new every day. There was no better place for me to become a marketer.

nadine.dietz@adweek.com Nadine Dietz is chief community officer at Adweek and host of the CMO Moves podcast.
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