Content marketing is broken. The new way Google understands the world. Marketing in an AI world. Everything we know about marketing and advertising is based on yesterday’s rules – marketing in a post-digital world when the (marketing) funnel no longer exists. New tech changing consumer behaviour and finally, why 9 out of 10 marketing launches suck (and how to be the one that doesn’t). These were just some of the topics covered at the 2018 Turing Fest (“The gathering for tech tribes”) in Edinburgh this week.
Lucky I’m ok with change and like a challenge.
The digital marketing landscape has never stood still for long. Out of all the industries to choose a career in, digital marketing is not one for anyone who likes to stay in their comfort zone because the landscape and the rules are forever changing.
So there are loads of challenges now and even more on the way, which can seem rather daunting and make many want to go bury their already overwhelmed heads in the sand, but actually I think the changes are a good thing.
Google is constantly changing the way it understands the world and their goal is to deliver the most apt results to the end-user. It’s why they are so successful and have no real competition. But like all other companies, they need to make money and therefore paid-advertising is continuing to increase across all channels. So how do little companies compete with the big players when they don’t have a budget that allows to keep throwing money at PPC (pay-per-click) advertising campaigns? Is it even worth bothering? Yes! because Google still wants to deliver the right results to the right people, so it’s about being smart. It’s about focusing on a holistic digital marketing approach (rather than putting all your eggs in one basket such as only your website). It’s about continuously producing relevant content and about thinking towards the future.
The future is going to see an increase of voice assisted search – so what does that mean if Google is delivering results without the need for a keyboard or even a screen? Does that spell the death of websites? No. It means taking voice-search into consideration and it means the (digital marketing) funnel that we know it is dead. Thinking about the language your viewers use is more important and it means adding value and having a strong brand that people will remember is more important than ever.
User Experience (UX) is also increasingly important (although I’d argue it always has been). We can’t afford to be lazy with our web design. It’s not just about making things look pretty and giving people the information they are looking for, it is all about giving the user a seamless experience so they can easily and quickly navigate through your site to where they need to go (especially on a mobile device). This is nothing new, but in a competitive world it is increasingly what will make the difference between success and failure. If users are irritated by your website before they have even had the opportunity to do business with you – then you’ve not only lost them, but you’ve damaged your reputation that you’ve no doubt spent so much time investing in.
What about marketing in an AI world? Artificial intelligence sounds super futuristic an sci-fi, but really the future is already here and we are already using it – we just need to use it to our own advantage. Think “machine learning” rather than just automation to help overcome those time-consuming tasks.
Machine learning? Yeah, I’m still learning on that one. In fact every time I go to Turing Fest I get a little freaked out by the amount of continual learning that is required in this job. I guess that’s why I fell into this career. I’ve never been good at being bored.