Prep Your Team for the Future of Marketing with These Key Lessons

The future of marketing is bright with opportunity. AI gives us the ability to create incredibly customized messages for our audiences. And consumers will continue to expect more personalized content and advertising as they engage with brands they love and those they’ve just discovered.

The algorithms and technology used to serve those unique experiences will continue to become more sophisticated and advanced. Content and marketing teams must level up to keep pace with the changing landscape of consumer expectations.

The future of marketing has already started

This isn’t the first time marketers changed their operations and team functions to stay relevant. Before the 90s, no one knew about “digital marketing.” And who could predict that, with the birth of Google in 1998, words like “SEO” and “social share” would be top-of-mind?

In a 2022 survey from Marketing AI Institute, over 51% of respondents said that AI is critically important to their marketing success over the next few months. And 74% said they’ll be intelligently automating more than a quarter of their tasks in the next five years.

It’s time to face the music. The future of marketing’s team structure must undergo significant restructuring if it’s going to survive the disruptive shift AI will cause.

But is AI genuinely on track to take over the world in some SkyNet nightmare? How can we reassure our team—and ourselves—that we can be relevant despite the coming changes?

Training is crucial

While most of us agree that AI is critical to future success, many marketing teams have yet to adopt it. Marketing and content teams are behind. So, why aren’t we leading the charge in embracing this new world?

One of the biggest fears facing marketing teams? Not having the knowledge and education to integrate new AI tech successfully into strategy and process. Nearly half of the Marketing AI Institute’s survey respondents said they consider themselves beginners in AI, and most companies don’t have AI-focused training for their employees.

Those marketing teams seeking to outpace their competition will need to ramp up their AI education starting yesterday. While we could get a certification in a topic and call it good a few years ago, that’s not the case with AI. As technology adapts and changes, so must our knowledge and training. To stay relevant and ahead of the curve, ongoing AI education and training will become a “must have,” not just a “nice to have.”

It’s a unique partnership

While we’re learning how AI can improve and accelerate our customer relationships, we need to start thinking about this tech differently. AI, while incredibly predictive and intelligent, isn’t perfect. It’s only as smart as the data it receives.

While its ability to predict and deliver a fantastic customer experience is scarily accurate, it has its moments where it’s wildly off-brand or gives the wrong message to a section of an audience. That doesn’t even begin to touch on the legal and ethical conversations around the intersection of AI and customer privacy.

To keep your AI tools on the straight and narrow, someone needs to ensure the data and parameters given to the machine are accurate. In addition, a human must watch those outputs to ensure the deliverables are just as solid.

Division of labor

In the future, AI will be a strategic member of your marketing team. As you look at all the strengths that your team possesses, you’ll need to decide which ones fit into “Team Human” and which ones fit into “Team AI.”

We like how AI for CMOs: The Real-World Playbook for Digital Transformation put it:

“Human marketers understand best what consumers are looking for in comprehensive, compelling content, and give them what they want. AI understands best what search algorithms are looking for when ranking search results and gives them what they want. It’s the perfect marriage of human and machine.”

As you assess the functions of your team, look at the specific tasks within the 5Ps of marketing intelligence to determine where AI might fit best: planning, production, personalization, promotion, and performance.

Some of the things AI tends to excel at include:

  • Data-driven, repeated tasks
  • Creating personalized experiences
  • Providing better, more actionable data
  • Generating greater ROI
  • Predicting consumer needs and behaviors

How do teams shift?

As you’re looking at how AI sits at the marketing table, you also need to look at how the structure of your marketing team may need to flex. Are your teams currently siloed? This may be the time to readjust into cross-functional teams that can respond and bend more nimbly.

Sadly, you can’t flip a switch tomorrow morning and have AI back your operations. As you move from “how you do it now” to “how we’re going to do it,” you’ll want to create a pilot program with a minor team that focuses on a specific project and puts your AI model to the test.

You want to prove the model works before you try to scale up. The team you create for this project can be influential in training the rest of your team about how your AI works and what it means to use it as a true partner.

A plan for long-term success

It’s a complex and uncomfortable fact: Teams’ roles will change. Anytime a job held by a human for decades is threatened, it causes people to reach for that bottle of heartburn pills.

Yes, some traditional positions will be replaced by AI, and some will be modified. But new jobs will also be created. How nice would it be to add “marketing AI specialist,” “AI ops leader,” “director of deep learning,” or “VP of AI” to your LinkedIn profile?

The future of marketing will house different roles. AI will do repetitive tasks and even some level of data interpretation. Future marketers will focus on strategy, testing what AI delivers, and optimizing AI to perform better tasks.

Humans will still be at the wheel. We’ve just got a new navigator.

Image by girafchik123

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How to Use Podcasts as Part of Your Marketing Strategy

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Take NerdWallet, for example. Sean Pyles hosts the Smart Money Podcast for a user base that wants to learn how to eliminate debt, build savings, and start their investment journey. This makes sense for their business model since they have an app that helps their users track their money and make smart personal finance decisions. This can also be a great opportunity for partnership with other brands, which NerdWallet does well, too. From credit cards and travel to personal loans, mortgages, and insurance, NerdWallet partners with a variety of industry leaders to highlight the best financial products for their audience. Talk about a great place for financial organizations to advertise their services. From building brand awareness to driving traffic and boosting engagement, content marketing podcasts can be a game-changer for your business. According to Claritas, podcasts can lift brand awareness between 24-79%, depending on the industry. That’s 30x the average of other channels. Claritas evaluated 158 campaigns over 36 months, resulting in 834 million impressions. They found the following brand awareness lift based on industry: Retailers: 79% B2B: 77% Consumer goods: 63% Pharmaceuticals: 37% Automotive: 30% Telecommunications: 26% Insurance: 24% What makes a good podcast? Podcasts are one of the most popular forms of content consumption today, but it does take some skill to create a podcast worthy of listeners. If you’re going to integrate podcasts into your content marketing strategy, make sure that you have the following attributes: Compelling content: Start by selecting relevant topics for your target audience. Good podcasts have interesting and engaging content that keeps listeners coming back for more. The topic, storytelling, and quality of research or interviews should all be well thought out. Quality audio: Poor audio quality can be a major turnoff for listeners, so it’s essential to invest in good recording equipment or work with professionals who can help produce high-quality sound. Consistency: Maintain a consistent schedule so listeners know when to expect new episodes. This means releasing new episodes regularly, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. Authenticity: A good podcast is authentic and genuine, reflecting the personality and style of the hosts or guests. Authenticity helps build a connection with the audience and makes the show more relatable and engaging. Audience engagement: Invite feedback, questions, and comments to understand your audience. This will help you understand what they want and create content relevant to them in future episodes. Marketing: Promote and market your podcast to the right audience. You can use social media, email lists, or partnerships with other podcasts or media outlets. 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Building Trust and Engagement: Best Practices for Financial Services Content Marketing

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Organizations in this sector need to provide truthful and trustworthy content that appeals to customers wary of shady investments and deceptive practices. Consumers want accurate information about their options, so companies need to focus on building trust through transparency, reputable practices, and support for social issues. JPMorgan Chase & Co., for example, includes a section on its site to explore its general impact and commitment to racial equity. Successful financial services content strategies should focus on these four steps to build a solid foundation: Create data-backed buyer personas. Perform a full content audit. Assess your organization’s content maturity model. Set and track content goals and KPIs. These measures can help establish credibility among potential customers and give them confidence that they are dealing with a reputable company. Take Financial SEO Challenges Into Consideration Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a critical role in content marketing, particularly in industries such as finance. However, financial service organizations face two main challenges in optimizing their content for search: Challenge 1: Large institutions often dominate high-volume search queries, making it challenging for smaller institutions to rank for them. Solution: Focusing on long-tail keywords is often more effective, particularly as consumers become increasingly specific in their search queries. Local optimization can be effective for financial companies with brick-and-mortar offices, too. Challenge 2: Google holds finance-related content to a higher standard to protect searchers from harm. Solution: Ensure all content adheres to Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) and Y-M-Y-L (Your Money, Your Life) concepts. You should strive to have subject-matter experts write financial content and ensure all content is well-researched to demonstrate authority and trustworthiness. Y-M-Y-L guidelines apply to content that can potentially impact a person’s health, happiness, or financial stability. Financial organizations should ensure their content is accurate, trustworthy, and transparent to meet these guidelines and avoid any negative impact on their reputation or rankings. 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Improving Content’s Impact Using Marketing Data Analytics

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