Happy Monday! Here’s the CRM news that your peers are reading, curated by GetApp Analyst Chris Warnock.

Spotify introduces new voice-activated ad format

Spotify recently introduced a novel approach to capturing consumer attention using interactive, voice-enabled advertisements. The first companies testing this new ad format are Unilever and Spotify itself. When prompted, users that respond by saying “play now” will be directed to an Axe body spray branded playlist or a Spotify original podcast. While the ads currently only promote content within Spotify’s own platform, there is potential for future expansion that might have the gears in creative marketers’ minds churning.

Instagram can’t keep drug dealing off its platform

User-generated content poses a host of challenges for businesses. For Instagram, that includes drug dealers leveraging the platform to advertise and sell illegal substances. As tech companies awkwardly settle into the role of content gatekeepers, getting users to adhere to the most basic of rules is proving difficult. While Instagram, and its parent company Facebook, are large enough to withstand negative publicity from unsavory users, smaller businesses trying to manage their online reputation, or content on their own platform, face an uphill battle.

Apple Store stumbles on customer experience

If you’ve visited an Apple store recently, your experience may have ranged from mildly frustrating to downright terrible. How did a once premiere shopping experience turn into a trip to the DMV? According to current and former employees, brand-building became a higher priority than serving shoppers. Additionally, as the company drastically expanded its retail footprint, the quality of staff declined. The waning appeal of the Apple Store offers up lessons about scaling a business, sales and marketing strategy, as well as the importance of keeping customer experience at top of mind.

Cardboard delivery boxes have brand-building potential

As consumers spend less time visiting brick-and-mortar retail outlets and more time shopping online, businesses have fewer opportunities to shape customer experience. However, some organizations are recognizing a simple opportunity to create a meaningful impression: delivery boxes. The dull cardboard box has made its way out of warehouses and delivery trucks and into consumers’ homes, rendering it an underutilized branding opportunity.

China is reinventing marketing practices

Though recent headlines are focused on mounting trade war tensions, the Harvard Business Review offers a different perspective on what sets China apart from the West: marketing practices. As mobile-first consumers that leapfrogged personal computers and credit cards in favor of smartphones and digital payments, the Chinese have created an entirely new playing field for advertisers. Standard marketing practices from the West are slow, expensive, and too fragmented when applied to the Chinese market—where consumer data is heavily concentrated in the hands of a few major tech conglomerates.