An Open Letter.

spotify-logoDear Spotify,

We love Spotify at KashFlow. Nearly all our staff have personal accounts, and we have Sonos throughout the office running primarily from a dedicated Spotify account too. Many of us use it on our phones on the commute into work too. We’re addicts.

Last year, and then again in January this year, we decided to test some advertising with Spotify after being recommended to by our radio advertising agency. It appeared to work quite well at driving trialists, but we quickly realised that it’s virtually immeasurable.

When a user clicked the ad box in Spotify it worked really well – we knew exactly how many clicks we were getting and how many people signed up to try our accounting software.

But there’s a problem – this isn’t how people use Spotify. Very few people sit with it open, and if they hear an advert they’re more likely to open a new browser window and type our name into Google than click the box. I know that’s what I usually do.

When the campaigns were running we saw a significant increase in the number of people searching for ‘KashFlow’ and signing up for a trial. However, this wasn’t the only marketing we were doing over the period (very unlikely to be the case for most companies) so we have no idea how much to attribute to Spotify and thus determine how much of a success the campaign was.

There are lots of ‘half solutions’, like sending people to a specific URL or asking them to Google a specific term, but the reality is that the majority of people will still just Google ‘KashFlow’.

In an ideal world you’d use cookies, like Google AdWords does, to track the number of conversions. But what about in the absence of that situation?

You know your users’ IP addresses – I suspect you store it on every login. Why not give us a little piece of code to put on our website that will talk to your servers and tell you that someone who heard our ad also went to our site (without clicking on the little ad box)?

This would allow everyone who advertises with you to better understand your benefit to them. The number you report back to advertisers can only go up, meaning that the ROI your campaigns offer automatically goes up too. In turn, cost per acquisition through Spotify advertising goes down. This has two consequences:

1) People will be willing to spend more money with you.
2) Thousands of business owners who think they can’t afford to advertise with you will realise it’s not as costly as they thought, and start knocking on your door.

Unfortunately, that’s the only way I think we could justify spending more money advertising with you.

Spotify, with regret, you’re fired.



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