In this issue we’ve grabbed our backstage pass for holiday treats in the Green Room. In a tradition we’ve borrowed from the US, the potluck lunch where everyone brings a favorite of theirs to share, we’ve asked our Rockstars what they would bring from this year to share with the world of marketing.
I would bring leftovers from last year. Yeah, and as gross as that sounds it can be so truly tasty. One of the things we’ve seen this year in our client work is that doing a proper content audit can uncover a treasure trove of raw materials that can be used to assemble some compelling experiences.
Brands – especially on the B2B side – tend to create content, promote it, and then forget about it as ‘stale food’ that rots away on the SharePoint server. That wonderful white paper we cooked up in the first quarter – we haven’t ever re-promoted it again. Why? Because it was created in the first quarter. Never mind that it’s awesome and evergreen and still tastes as good today.
The key is in having a content strategy that leverages not only what is created today, but makes yesterday’s content more valuable because it exists. In short, this new white paper is MORE valuable, because the one that we created last quarter exists, and is referenced, and vice versa. This, of course, requires quite a bit of forethought about our editorial strategy, and the way we’re going to utilize content. It’s almost as if we need to think about the fact that we should have a strategic approach to our leftovers. What a concept!
In this article, Christine Bailey, CMO of Valitor, an international payment solutions company, gets into the holiday spirit with the gift of data. Not that old regifted parcel we’ve all been passing around, but something a little more polished – and she has the research to prove it – and you can have it too.
Are marketers an endangered species?
My first marketing job out of business school was an Associate Brand Manager for Hanesbrands in Winston-Salem, NC. Among my primary responsibilities was analyzing IRI and NPD panel data for the product lines our team was responsible for, and looking for insights that would be actionable for our marketing efforts. This was a typical first job for a Brand Marketer and a good way to learn the business from the ground up. Using this data, we were able to identify an opening in the market for L’eggs to position itself against an unserved market segment and grow our sub-category market share by 6 points in the following year.
When thinking about jobs replaced by automation most people think of low skilled jobs like factory, warehouse and even transportation jobs in the not too distant future. As a recent VOX article points out however, knowledge workers are likely to bear more of the brunt of automation job constriction that originally imagined. For example, the article cites over 700,000 people who work as market analysts, something deep learning algorithms will likely be far superior at developing unique insights into in years to come.
An AI based system would have likely surpassed our efforts with syndicated data by compiling vast swaths of digital signals not necessarily directly related to simple transactions. Some good Thanksgiving conversations can be had discussing, considering and debating the future of the marketing profession ten years from now. While it’s likely that the human touch will become much more valuable, the net number of current marketing jobs is likely to be much less than it is today.
One thing I’ve learned this year is that companies must remember that marketing isn’t an afterthought. It should be a forethought. I’ve seen a lot of companies focus so much on development and products and then wonder why customers aren’t beating down their door after launch. I think the ‘If you build it they will come’ mentality needs to be altered a bit. Think of it more like building a sailboat without a sail. You need to from the beginning think about marketing and foster your customers throughout the product lifecycle or you’ll be left afloat alone on the lake.
There has (and continues) to be tension in companies and agencies alike on the battle between advertising and marketing, with the latter becoming more and more pervasive and demanding. This move toward digitalized marketing has had an extremely negative effect on the advertising world, resulting in high volume and dismally low-quality output.
The speed and need for material has provided agencies with very little time to develop thoughtful, insightful and differentiated stories to engage and excite the prospects and customers in cyber-space.
This erosion of the art of advertising combined with the intrusiveness of ads has caused a real backlash in engagement from the public with companies and products.
My learning this year, therefore, is that there has to be a greater focus on omnichannel storytelling and on delivering a value exchange with the audience if we wish to win the war of apathy and disinterest with the ads we produce.
In this article, Wendy Bryant-Beswick, VP Marketing for Service Credit Union gets in the spirit and shares her spoonful of advice:
“be open and look deeply at your company. Be a consumer. Always seek customer feedback and talk to your customers“
Perfect is the enemy of good content. When it comes to website content, most organizations miss the mark for all the wrong reasons. Most are so concerned about getting the perfect content up that they do all the writing and updating offline trying to get it to the ideal state prior to posting the content online. Then they get it up and don’t update it further.
A much more SEO-friendly approach is to get decent, yet not perfect, content posted online and then start iterating from there, driving improvements with continuous updates. This lets the search engines know that the content is being nurtured and showcases it as current and up-to-date, which helps with search engine rankings, among other factors. It takes courage to take on this approach, yet results justify it.
Jasmine Martirossian, PhD, is the Vice President of Marketing at TÜV SÜD Americas, where she is responsible for all areas and aspects of marketing from strategy to implementation for the region, with focus on the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. Prior to this, Jasmine Martirossian was the Vice President of Marketing at TTA (The Training Associates).
Read more from our backstage interview.