Chapter 5 Power Growth through Digital Sales

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes.

—Marcel Proust

When considering a digital sales strategy, ask yourself, WWTD—What Would Taylor Do? Country-pop crossover star Taylor Swift understands the power of digital technologies like no one else. She’s a social-media rock star as much as a musical one. She has 70 million Twitter followers, 64 million on Instagram, and 74 million Facebook page likes. Swift understands, intuitively it seems, the power of digital.

Her grasp of social media may not be so surprising; what catapults her above pretty much all her peers is her grasp of digital platforms for music sales. She made a very public decision to pull her 2015 album, 1989, from Apple Music when she disagreed with the company’s policy of not paying royalties during the three-month free-trial period for new subscribers. The result? 1989 sold more copies in its opening week than any album in the previous 12 years. On top of that, Swift made $173 million from her 1989 tour in just six months. It’s a useful reminder that for all her digital prowess, the offline product still has to deliver.1

It may sound far-fetched, but the same omnichannel tactics that have made Swift a global brand also apply to both consumer and B2B sales. By 2017, almost two-thirds of all US retail sales will involve some form of online research, consideration, or purchase. Successful brands don’t just “do digital”; ...

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