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CMWorld Session Recap: How REI uses disruptive content marketing

1 minute, 55 seconds Read

How REI Moves Mountains with Disruptive Content Marketing presented by Paolo Mottola who is REI’s Digital Engagement Program Manager.  

How REI Moves Mountains with Disruptive Content Marketing


DESCRIPTION: Outdoor retailer REI has evolved its content marketing strategy into disruptive, informative and entertaining content that reflects its customers’ passion for outdoor adventure. Hear how the largest consumer cooperative in the United States expresses brand through content marketing and captures the attention of its membership to drive real business value.


  • Differentiate content marketing strategies and know how to articulate them internally.
  • Learn how to balance business requirements with creative work.
  • Make customer insights and real world listening your true north.


Not sure if Paolo is well-known, his session has a great clickable headline (that’s what sold me), or both because there was a long line to get into the room and people were sitting on the sidelines.

Paolo sees content marketing as a way to reach and engage audiences outside of their 130 brick and mortar stores across the United States. How REI gets to that content is through Inspiration. Inspiration through utility (is it really useful to the user?), through its members such as their 1440 project (user-generated content), through beautiful content (because REI is all about outdoors), humor, and education —  in the form of longform guides, illustrations, and videos.

Some of the content are hits. Some are misses, but all this content is brand-appropriate to REI’s tenants.

Artist drawing How REI Moves Mountains with Disruptive Content Marketing

How Does REI measure success on their content?

REI measures the success through engagement (time on site, users that use hashtags are more likely to do this), driving future and existing behavior (using 1440 hashtag, campaign fail), and the bottom line.

Measuring success in less tangible ways. Was the content disruptive? Was it on-brand? Was it diverse?

What’s Ahead for REI?

A new blog is coming out for REI – reaching out to influencers that are authoritative in their subject matter.  More educational content. Optimization of current article content. Thinking of readability and how content is seen on mobile.

SUMMARY: The session subject may have been about disruption, but the session was anything but. It flowed quite nicely. Paolo was friendly, engaging, approachable with great content. There’s a lot to be said about a presentation that’s so smooth and segued, that it made writing this post pleasant.

Content Marketing World Paolo Mottola

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