Donald Glover’s Airdrop stunt at Coachella proves experiential marketing gets bolder with influence

Fortune favors the influencer – especially when combined with an unusual experiential marketing tactic and a new pair of sneakers.

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Artist Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) used iOS Airdrop at Coachella to surprise random festival-goers with a photo of shoes he created in collaboration with Adidas. Those who accepted the Airdrop received a free pair of the sneakers – with terms and conditions, of course.

The lucky recipients had to sign a contract stating they would wear the shoes, attend the show, and keep the shoes on all weekend. Experiential marketing in action.

Why we should care

Glover’s Airdrop play comes at a time when experiential marketing is making waves. From Chanel’s Le Rouge Pop-Up to Refinery29’s 29Rooms funhouse, brands are finding ways to invite customers into their story.

But the creative experiences are only part of the strategy. In Adidas’ case, the brand leveraged Glover’s celebrity to influence an audience that was already tuned in (literally). The Airdrop tactic was simply an unexpected and delightful conduit bringing fans to the product.

Before launching an experiential strategy, we should consider what resources are appropriate and available to rally awareness and engagement. Because if there’s anything we’ve learned about tangible experiences, it’s that delivery and perception can be everything.

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Spotify acquires Parcast storytelling podcast studio

Spotify announced Tuesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Parcast, a storytelling-driven podcast studio. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. “The addition of Parcast to our growing roster of podcast content will advance our goal of becoming the world’s leading audio platform,” said Dawn Ostroff, Spotify Chief Content Officer. Parcast […]

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Spotify announced Tuesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Parcast, a storytelling-driven podcast studio. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The addition of Parcast to our growing roster of podcast content will advance our goal of becoming the world’s leading audio platform,” said Dawn Ostroff, Spotify Chief Content Officer.

Parcast runs 18 high-quality scripted, story-driven podcast series including Serial Killers, Unsolved Murders, Cults and Conspiracy Theories and the studio’s first fiction series, Mind’s Eye. These genres are particularly appealing to women, according to Spotify. Over seventy-five percent of the Parcast audience is female.

“In three years, we have created a production house that has grown exponentially and hit a chord with mystery and true-crime fans, especially women, across all 50 states and around the world,” said Ostroff.

Parcast will continue to develop its own stories. In addition to the podcast series Parcast currently runs, the studio is developing more than twenty new scripted shows focused on topics like crimes of passion, the justice system, and the world’s most resilient survivors which Spotify plans to launch by the end of 2019.

Why you should care

The podcast industry as a whole is growing, and Spotify considers itself the second biggest podcasting platform in the world, behind Apple. The acquisition further bolsters both Spotify’s competitive edge and podcast advertising revenues.

The IAB and PwC forecast that podcasting ad revenue will more than double to $659 million by 2020.

While Spotify doesn’t play ads to Premium subscribers, some podcasts might have third-party ads within their episodes. For some marketers trying to reach certain demographics, podcast advertising could prove to be a effective channel. Whitepapers like the IAB’s Podcast Playbook: A Guide for Marketers are a good starting point for marketers interested in exploring more about the opportunity. Spotify’s Ad Studio program also offers extensive resources and tools for advertisers.

More about the deal

  • Spotify has said it plans to spend up to $500 million on podcast start-ups this year.
  • In February, Spotify spent $337 million to acquire the Gimlet Media podcast network and production house Anchor.
  • Spotify claims more than 200 million global users, far behind Apple’s nearly 1 billion users.

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Adobe, WordPress, Google Docs lead CabinetM list of content marketing tools

CabinetM reports content marketing technology is the sixth most popular layer within client martech stacks.

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Content marketing technology is the sixth most common layer of customers’ martech stacks, said Anita Brearton, CEO of CabinetM, a marketing technology management platform. And based on her company’s list, Adobe, Google and WordPress are the most common of that mix.

“There is no longer a clean line between content marketing and marketing technology,” said Brearton. “We are all content marketers in one way or another. And, as such, we all use one or more pieces of technology to create, deliver, manage or measure the effectiveness of content.”

Brearton pulled a list of the most often used content marketing tools among her clients and found the number one tool was Adobe Creative Cloud, which CabinetM classifies as a content creation solution.

Top 10 Content Marketing Tools based on CabinetM data:

  1. Adobe Creative Cloud (Adobe)
  2. WordPress (Automattic)
  3. Google Docs (Google)
  4. Canva (Canva)
  5. Drupal (Drupal Association)
  6. SharePoint (Microsoft)
  7. Sitecore Web Experience Manager (Sitecore)
  8. Curata Curation Software (Curata)
  9. InVision (InVision)
  10. LiveChat (LiveChat Software)

Of the top 20 content marketing tools from Brearton’s list, five were content creation platforms, three of which showed up in the top 10: Adobe Creation Cloud, Canva and InVision. While content creation platforms made up 20 percent of Brearton’s top 20 most popular content marketing tools, the bulk of the list was divided evenly between content management/workflow solutions, content management systems, content marketing platforms and chat systems.

“One of the biggest trends is that marketers are viewing chat as a content marketing tool and are recognizing that it offers a way to engage customers and enhance the customer experience,” said Brearton, “There are three chat tools in the top 20!”

Drift, a content marketing/chat solution focused on “conversational marketing” came in 16th in Brearton’s list of top 20 content marketing platforms. Brearton said the tool was a big driver in the chat trend.

What makes a great platform? Brad Smith, founder of the content creation firm Codeless, says the true value of content marketing technology isn’t that it allows content marketers to do more, but that enables them to do less.

“Martech removes the time-consuming bottlenecks, making preparation easier, collaboration more seamless, and distribution more consistent. That frees up content marketers to spend more time prioritizing the most difficult part: starting at a blank, white screen and creating something from scratch,” said Smith.

When asked which content marketing technology the team at Codeless finds most helpful, Smith points to everything from an SEO content template from SEMrush, a workflow management platform and a Facebook ads tool.

“We use AdEspresso for social paid promotion,” said Smith, who disclosed the platform is also a client of Codeless. “We pay for an account and use it to automatically run split tests for both ad creative and placements to bring down distribution costs. You can set the variables, and then it will automatically pause under-performing placements and creative, or increase budget on others that are working well.”

One of the content creation tools in Smith’s arsenal of content marketing tech is Grammarly. Codeless uses it to catch glaring errors, but Smith said it also helps his team check for plagiarism (both automated and manual) when contracting out writing assignments to freelancers.

“For example, we commonly see less experienced writers will basically rip off content that’s already out there and that puts us and our clients at risk,” said Smith.

Snail mail? You might expect something like AI or virtual reality to come up as the next big thing in content marketing, but Brearton has another idea: direct mail.

“In the world of what’s old is new again, marketers are back to focusing on direct mail as part of their omnichannel programs because the response rates are very good, and direct mail serves as a great reinforcement for mobile and online initiatives,” said Brearton.

CabinetM recently released its direct mail technology stack with assistance from the United States Postal Service and Postalytics. The stack includes more than 175 martech solutions aimed at creating, personalizing, distribution and tracking direct mail campaigns.

In a release announcing the direct mail technology stack, USPS vice president of product innovation Gary Reblin said that direct mail response rates are often 30 times higher than display ads and nine-times higher than email ads.

“What’s new and exciting is that there are lots of new tools that make it easy to create, produce, and deliver personalized direct mail on demand, as well as tools that provide the means to track and measure the effectiveness of direct mail programs,” said Brearton.

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