Ever since I began blogging about her innovative “in production” promotional strategies last year, I have been repeatedly impressed by the small but effective gems that Imogen Heap has produced, not just musically, but marketing-wise, and in terms of audience engagement. More than any other artist around today, Ms. Heap has embraced the power of UGP (User Generated Promotions), seeming to implicitly and explicitly understand how the offering must surrender itself to the power of the mass wave: we – as marketers of a product or solution – can no longer exercise an arrogant expectation of consumer devotion, based solely on the outcome of our “push” marketing techniques. We must truly OFFER our value to the marketplace, long before it is ready, and seek the partnership of our audience/customers/consumers, during the final germination of the submission. Imogen Heap’s latest campaign is her Cello accompanist competition. This follows on the heels of her invitation for Twitter followers to select her next single; her vlogs and blogs during production of her latest album, “Ellipse”; and her experiments with found objects as instrumentation. The woman is prepared to try anything, as she seeks to discover. Her willingness to accept the unpredictability of her exercise has resulted in a fan-following that eclipses the likes of Ani DiFranco, and promises to possibly show even the likes of Prince and Stevie Wonder a thing or two about self-producing one’s own work. It is no longer just about the music itself, but about the whole relationship that swirls around the music, the artist, and the listener.  What fun it is to witness, and be a small part of, this extraordinary artist’s explorations!

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