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What can Marketers Learn from Alicia Keys, REM, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Song Exploder?

Here on PF, we love ourselves a good podcast. That’s why we’ve recently been bringing you a monthly lineup of the best podcast episodes we think marketers should listen to.

And while we try to keep the list diverse, extracting marketing lessons from a podcast about artists breaking down their own songs is something so unique and intriguing, we 100% welcome it.

Which is exactly what Rony Vexelman, Optimove’s director of product marketing, did when he watched the four episodes of Song Exploder on Netflix.

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According to Vulture, “Song Exploder is probably the best use of the podcast format ever.” In each episode, different musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.

They delve into the specific decisions that went into creating their work, discussing the creative process used to create a particular song, going from songwriting to recording, all the way to post-production, and more.

Recently, Netflix turned four of its iterations into TV episodes where Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, R.E.M., and Ty Dolla $ign break down their own work.

In many ways, what he saw there reminded Mr. Vexelman of some marketing challenges and truths he is facing daily. Why? We’ll let him explain.

Four Lessons From Song Exploder

1. Alicia Keys and Sampa teach us that the same message can be interpreted very differently by two people. So imagine how differently thousands of customers and prospects understand your messaging. One-size-fits-all is a method long outdated for marketers.

2. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s constant tweaking of the tones was masterful. But his understanding that keeping the audience off-balance is what struck me. Marketers should not be afraid to change little subtle things to keep their audiences engaged and surprised.

3. REM’s choice to go with no chorus and use a mandolin throughout ‘Losing my Religion” was against any convention and recommendation. But it taught us to be different and stay true to your gut. If you want your message to stand out, being unique while authentic is a must.

4. Ty Dolla $ign showed us maybe the most powerful lesson of all. Let others chime in and help you on your journey. His collaboration on the road to writing the beautiful “LA” is a core message to all marketing managers out there. Your best work would come from your best collaborations.

 Great lessons can come from any direction. You just need to keep your ears to the ground. Or to the Netflix…


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