Sparksheet’s Top Three Reads for July 2015

By July 15th, 2015

If you’ve read the latest copy of The New York Times (or The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian etc.), it’s likely you’ve stumbled upon a carefully crafted piece of native advertising—designed to look and feel like a traditional article. The jury is still out on whether this advertising tactic, which is projected to double its market share in the next three years, is sneaky or smart. Insight consultant Neil Sharman examines how publishers can maintain reader trust while balancing a push for sponsored content.

Mobile, video and digital marketing may be dominating the current marketing ecosystem but there’s a foundational tactic that is often overlooked: word-of-mouth marketing. Sparksheet had the chance to speak with veteran marketer Ted Wright about his new book, Fizz, on how word-of-mouth turned Pabst Blue Ribbon from a backwards brand into the hipster beer of choice.

Speaking of trendy, Spotify, Tidal and Rdio have all been courting the hip crowd for potential subscribers. With Apple Music and the brand’s comprehensive tech ecosystem now in the mix, the battle for hip may be irrelevant.  Business administration and management expert, Elena Novelli argues that Apple’s “generative strategy” will be the tidal wave that wipes out the music streaming competition.


Paid thumbIt’s Complicated: The Tangle of News, Native Advertising and Trust

Insight consultant Neil Sharman unpacks the increasingly complex relationship between news and advertising and explains why the controversy around reader trust and native ads may not be all that bad.


timthumbChat and Fizz: Q&A With Word-of-Mouth Marketer Ted Wright

Heard of Ted Wright? No? Well if you’ve ever flown with Delta Airlines, enjoyed a glass of Chocolate Milk or looked down the bar to see a moustachioed hipster drinking a tall can Pabst Blue Ribbon, you’ve been touched by his work.


Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 5.02.11 PMWhy Apple is Entering the Music Streaming Industry

Apple is joining the likes of Rdio, Tidal, Spotify and Pandora in the music streaming battle. How will the established company stand out among the competitors? Through a generative strategy, argues Elena Novelli.