The Key to Good Marketing? Responsibility

MarketingThis year’s DMEXCO conference had a motto for all 40,000 attendees: Take C.A.R.E. The acronym refers to four pillars of effective marketing—curiosity, action, responsibility and experience.

Most marketers think about how these terms apply to their jobs, but I’d like to focus on responsibility for a moment. Because while many of us strive to take more responsibility for our work, actually doing it can be challenging.

The hottest topic at DMEXCO 2018, whether through the lens of bitcoin or machine learning or GDPR, was digital transformation. As technology continues to evolve, companies have the ability to address their audiences wherever and whenever they want. But just because the bells and whistles have improved doesn’t mean our content will be better. With all of these new capabilities, the individual consumer still has to remain our primary focus.

As I reflect on my time as both a presenter and an attendee at DMEXCO, here are three crucial ways marketers can be more responsible in the future.

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A Personalized Customer Experience

Personalization was top of mind at DMEXCO this year. After the introduction of GDPR, consumers became increasingly aware that brands were using their data. Now, these people expect brands to use that information responsibly while still providing valuable and customized experiences.

While more brands are investing in personalization like automated content and product recommendations, the lack of attention to the individual audience member is still a common pain point. However, some companies are starting to use data effectively in their marketing activities and are finally analyzing the relationship between data and customer needs. This is a concept content marketers understand well because there is no way to properly understand our audience without data analysis.

Now we need to go one step further. Companies will have to learn how to tie that data to insights that drive their decisions. That brings us to the second trend I noticed at DMEXCO…

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AI is Everywhere

Artificial intelligence gets plenty of hype, and for good reason–it’s starting to fundamentally change the way brands operate. Earlier this year, the global advertising firm Publicis debuted Marcel, an AI program that connects the company’s 80,000 employees by studying emails, calendars, timesheets and more, according to Fast Company. Over time, the app will be able to suggest recommendations on factors like who should be involved with a project and how a brief should be constructed. The goal is to make the whole company more efficient.

During the conference, Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun sat down with MediaLink CEO Michael E. Kassan to talk about the relationship between AI and creativity. By using AI, brands will be in a position to automate their response to consumers at each stage of the buyer journey. Addressing customer needs on an individual basis has long been a top priority for many enterprises. It seems technology in this area is advancing extremely quickly.

But here’s the thing: The growing sophistication of AI tools means we will all interact with screens very differently than we did in the past. As a result, brands must adapt with the customer experience in mind.

At Contently, for example, we’ve used AI to build our own tone analyzer that helps brands set and monitor their brand voice. The analyzer scrapes a website for as much content as possible, then assigns a numeric “score” for a set of personality traits. By assessing the trait scores, brands have the data to see if they are consistent or need to make small tweaks to reach the audience in a way that resonates.

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Video is the Future of Storytelling

Video took center stage on both days at DMEXCO. Interactive videos, branded videos and storytelling, and the intimate connection between video and data were explored and discussed on several stages. I was on a panel with Expedia, Vice, and Rocket Beans Entertainment on how to drive engagement and sales with branded video. And by all accounts, video is the future of content marketing.

However, as I noted before the event started, video is just a format, not a cure. Before brands start spending their budgets on video assets, they need to understand how their audience uses video. More importantly, they need to figure out how to implement video in a way that offers value to customers and leads alike. If a B2B company in finance gets millions of video views but none of those views come from the right audience, it may actually hurt its chances to build meaningful relationships.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that brands are adopting video as a preferred way of storytelling and for conversations with new generations of consumers. But ultimately, branded video can only be as great as the strategy behind it.

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