How Deezer Builds Lasting Relationships between Users and the Music They Love – Marin Lorant, Head of Product, Deezer

How Deezer Builds Lasting Relationships between Users and the Music They Love – Marin Lorant, Head of Product, Deezer

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Deezer’s User-Centric Product Design

Deezer is one of the leading music streaming platforms in the world, with over 90 million tracks available in 180 countries. What does it take to create a product that satisfies the diverse needs and preferences of music lovers around the globe? 

Source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/deezer-deal-to-net-more-royalties-for-pop-artists-mtmfwsn76

To find out, we spoke to Marin Lorant, Head of Product at Deezer, who shared with us insights into Deezer’s user-centric product design and the various ways through which they gather user insights to deliver compelling personalised music experiences.

Creating Meaningful Connections between People and Music at Deezer 

 Marin’s role entails leading the strategic vision and execution of product development, ensuring the delivery of innovative and user-centric music streaming experiences. Leading a team of two product managers, their overarching objective is to ensure that people establish meaningful connections with music. The team’s responsibility is to facilitate the discovery of new music that resonates with users and to enhance their enjoyment of the music they discover.

Marin said that he strives to provide guidance and assistance to his team in all areas of product management while driving user engagement, activation, and ultimately, user retention. User retention is the team’s ultimate goal, and they concentrate their efforts on two primary inputs: activation and engagement. By optimising these aspects, Marin and his team are focused on delivering a compelling user experience that keeps users actively engaged and connected to the platform. The aim is to create lasting relationships between their users and the music they love.

Unlocking User Insights for Successful Product Design

At the core of building a lasting relationship between the users and the music lies a product design based on user insights. When it comes to understanding user needs, we rely on various sources of insights, Marin said. 

Our approach to understanding user needs encompasses combining these various sources of insights to have a holistic understanding of our users’ preferences, behaviours, and challenges, which ultimately informs our product development and decision-making processes. The various sources of insights are listed below:

Source: https://www.ultimate.ai/customer-stories/deezer
1. Direct Conversation with Users

Every week, we meet with two customers and conduct interviews to gain a deeper understanding of their general usage and experiences. This practice aligns with our commitment to continuous discovery and maintaining proximity to our customers. I am a strong advocate for this approach, as I believe there is immense value in directly engaging with customers regularly.

Here are the ways in which businesses can directly engage with users to gain valuable insights that can inform product design (Massive Rocket Insights):

  • User Interviews and Surveys: Conduct structured user interviews and surveys to gather qualitative and quantitative data directly from users. Structured interviews allow for open-ended discussions, enabling deeper insights, while surveys provide quantifiable data on a larger scale. 
  • User Testing and Feedback Loops: Implement user testing sessions and establish feedback loops to iterate on product features based on user input. Creating feedback loops ensures continuous communication with users, allowing product professionals to refine the design based on real-world usage and user preferences.

2. Collaborating with the User Research Team

We have a dedicated user research team that collaborates with us. Whenever we identify a strategic topic or have a specific business opportunity, we work with the user research team to formulate a research brief. This collaboration helps us gather relevant insights and address the questions or challenges at hand. By leveraging their expertise, we can conduct studies and gain deeper insights into user behaviour and preferences.

Here are the ways in which the product and user research teams can work synergistically to integrate user insights into the product design process (Massive Rocket Insights):

  • Joint Workshops and Ideation Sessions: By jointly exploring user insights, team members can combine their expertise to generate innovative ideas and solutions. Workshops can facilitate discussions on user personas, journey maps, and pain points, allowing both teams to contribute their unique perspectives. 
  • User-Centred Design Sprint: Conduct user-centred design sprints that involve both product and user research teams in the ideation, prototyping, and testing phases. Including user researchers ensures that user insights are at the forefront of the design process. 

3. Leveraging Data Analytics

Internally, we also rely on data analytics to gain valuable user insights. We have a data analytics tool and a team of analysts who assist us in monitoring key metrics. I have access to dashboards that allow me to track important input and output metrics, which I review daily. When there are notable trends or user qualitative insights that require further evaluation, I can collaborate with the data analytics team to conduct an in-depth analysis and gain a more comprehensive understanding.

Source: uk.pcmag.com/services-players/94456/deezer

Here are the ways in which product teams can gain a holistic understanding of user needs and preferences by leveraging data analytics (Massive Rocket Insights).

  • User Behaviour Analysis: Utilise data analytics tools to analyse user behaviour within the product. This provides valuable insights into their preferences, pain points, and usage patterns. This information is crucial for making data-driven decisions to enhance the user experience.
  • User Feedback Analysis: Combine quantitative data with qualitative insights gathered from user feedback. While quantitative data provides metrics and patterns, qualitative data from user feedback (such as reviews, support tickets, and surveys) offers a deeper understanding of user sentiments and specific pain points. 

Experience Optimisation & Personalisation

Massive Rocket Insights explain that personalisation starts at the first touchpoint with customer acquisition targeting and follows the user through the onboarding, activation and retention journeys. Accurate data analytics are helpful not just for the product teams, they also enable CRM teams to execute more effective lifecycle campaigns focused on activating, retaining, and converting users and ultimately increasing the CRM programme’s profitability. 

Source: Massive Rocket Insights

4. Exploring External Sources of Information

In addition to these internal sources, we also explore external sources of information. This includes monitoring trends, analysing social media mentions, app store reviews, tweets about our brand or specific features, and even engaging with our community website. Our customer care team manages the community website, where our power users provide feedback and share their requests. This external feedback helps us evaluate the significance and prioritise different user needs.

Here are the ways in which product teams can leverage external feedback for informing user-centric product design (Massive Rocket Insights):

  • Aggregating and Analysing User Feedback: Systematically collect, aggregate, and analyse feedback from various external sources, including customer support channels, social media, app store reviews, and community forums. This way, product teams can identify common themes, recurring issues, and emerging trends and analyse this information to prioritise product design changes. 
  • Incorporating User Feedback: Integrate external feedback into the iterative design and development processes of the product. Regularly incorporating user feedback into design iterations allows the product team to validate design decisions, refine features, and ensure that the product evolves in response to user needs and expectations.

About Deezer

Deezer is a global music streaming service that allows users to listen to music content from record labels and podcasts on various devices, online or offline. It is one of the world’s largest independent music streaming platforms, providing access to lossless HiFi audio, innovative recommendation technology and industry-defining features.

As the home of music, it brings artists and fans together on a scalable and global platform to unlock music’s full potential through technology.

Marin’s Career Journey in Product Management

Reminiscing his career journey, Marin said – I began my professional journey in the advertising industry, drawn to the captivating world of strategic planning. Inspired by shows like ‘Mad Men’, I was fascinated by the power of understanding customer psychology, designing brand strategies, and influencing human behaviour through concepts. However, I soon realised that I yearned for a more hands-on role in product creation, where I could write stories from the very source by gathering user needs and building products to address those needs. 

Source: https://deezer.io/how-deezer-built-the-first-emotional-ai-a2ad1ffc7294

I discovered the field of product management by avidly exploring resources such as Medium and Twitter (now known as X). An article titled ‘Minimum Viable Product Manager’ caught my attention, describing the three intersecting circles of design, business, and tech that encapsulated my aspirations perfectly. I knew I couldn’t be content with focusing on just one aspect; I wanted to work at the intersection of all three.

When the opportunity to join Deezer arose, it felt like a perfect fit. In my current role, I am responsible for helping users discover new songs each week, which is a dream come true. The impact I can make on the world by assisting millions of people in finding their next favourite song is incredibly fulfilling. At Deezer, for me, it’s not just a job; it’s a calling that fuels my every waking moment.

Final Thoughts 

When asked about his learnings, this is what Marin said: One thing that has consistently surprised me throughout my work experience is the prevalence of talk about being user-centric. However, what often goes overlooked is actually talking to the customers themselves. It’s rare to find companies that genuinely engage in direct conversations with their customers.

In today’s digital age, there is immense value in having direct conversations with people when you’re working on something that aims to be meaningful to them. While technologies like ChatGPT may provide excellent summaries of user insights from around the world, my conviction is that nothing can replace the act of engaging with real humans.

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Letizia Miccio
Letizia Miccio
www.massiverocket.com

CRM Consultant Massive Rocket helps companies use data to understand their customers, build beautiful experiences and automate communications across channels to generate predictable growth.

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