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3 Strategies To Help Navigate Work Grief and Burnout



3 Strategies To Help Navigate Work Grief and Burnout

For over three years, people have carried a crushing burden of unprocessed grief while enduring a withering barrage of change at work. It’s a many-sided issue with no clear cause or fix.

But the result is that content marketers are burnt the font out.

Today, I’ll share the stories of folks who are going through it – and some who’ve emerged on the other side. The sooner you make these changes to your work environment, the better because mental unhealth can cause physical ailments. And if you can’t stop overworking, eventually, overworking will stop you. And nobody, no matter how creative, does useful content marketing when logging in from the hospital. (True story.)

Nobody – no matter how creative – does useful #ContentMarketing when logging in from the hospital, says @cgillespie317 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Content stress stories often begin with the loss of a leader

In interviewing seven individuals for this article, one theme emerged: Content teams’ wellness declines the moment they lose a leader.


The leader doesn’t just leave behind a hole – they leave an open door that anyone in the company can stroll through and make demands. It also leaves that team exposed to well-intentioned but taxing (or nonsensical) requests from higher-ups. If those higher-ups don’t feel the team is working fast enough, they may micromanage them and increase the burden.

A leader’s departure leaves the team exposed to higher-ups who may micromanage and increase its burdens, says @cgillespie317 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Content marketer Dominika Stankiewicz says when her marketing leader left, things grew chaotic. “Our manager was pretty much Ted Lasso. Everything was fantastic,” she says. “But when he left, all hell broke loose. We lost our guiding light. There was no more vision, just pressure from all sides to not only keep up but to increase performance.”

Another content marketer, who wants to remain anonymous, had a similar experience. “When our VP left, we lost our layer of defense,” she recalls. “Now nobody’s there to filter.”

Both of these content marketers grew unwell as a result of the stress. Dominika developed a body rash so intense she and her coworkers could play tic-tac-toe on the back of her hand, which should give you a sense of her humor and resilience. She developed allergies to metals, foods, and makeup, and everything itched. She stuck it out for a long time, but once she quit, the rash disappeared. One year later, it has not returned.

“The greatest gift a content leader can give her team is focus,” explains Sonja Jacob, director of content marketing at athenahealth. “Whether that comes via the goals you set for the work, the space to do it in, or both, the recipe for success on content teams is narrowing the aperture on what qualifies as ‘work.’ This will give your team the ability to focus on – and deliver – what’s critical to business success.”


But when you lose that leader? You have to build those boundaries on your own.

1. Build polite but firm boundaries

What can you do when your team’s protective shield disappears? First off, understand what the person you now report to seeks to achieve. Present your content expertise in terms of supporting those goals. If they want sales, explain your effect upon sales enablement. If marketing awareness is the goal, share how you build audiences.

Find out what the person you report to wants to achieve and present your expertise in those terms, says @cgillespie317 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

If they understand how your work supports their mission, you can say you need guardrails to ensure you aren’t overstretched. For them to get what they need, they have to shield you.

Ask for their help in setting boundaries:

  • Make a list of what you do and do not do.
  • Set response times and working hours.
  • Create a content request form and use it.
  • Require a content brief (or similar).
  • Manage a public backlog of projects so others are aware.
  • Grant access to your project board so they don’t ask for updates.
  • Be proactive so people don’t feel compelled to check in.

And because those leaders are probably under pressure right now and inclined toward rush requests, reply with options. Say, “To start this new thing, which existing thing should I pause to accommodate it?” This gently reminds them of your capacity and invites them to do the rearranging.

And, if you’ve got all the above handled, investigate how to achieve more with less. For example, that anonymous content marketer has been investigating how she can incorporate generative AI and making a case for that investment in terms of her boss’ goals.


2. Sustain your creativity to prove your value

Right now, you may not have the option to simply switch jobs. They have grown scarce. Countless qualified marketers have joined the “double layoff” club, and most are making the best of the job they’ve got, as Nia Balbo, Ashley Dyment, and Jeremy Hunt share in their LinkedIn posts.

If that’s the case for you, worry not. There’s a lot you can do.

That anonymous content marketer, for example, is committed to staying in place because prior to her current role, she was part of a large layoff. Then, she went through a long hiring process just to have the offer rescinded. “Basically, my mortgage requires me to stay,” she says with a laugh.

That’s why she’s so committed to protecting her mental health and seeking help. “I think everyone should see a therapist,” she says. “I’m not embarrassed about that. I think everyone should see one.”

You can also guard your creative time by placing recurring “focused work” blocks on your calendar and insisting on working some days from home. Research from the University of Chicago, Stanford, and Microsoft suggests workers are more productive in their own environment, free from distraction – 8.9% more productive by some measures.

If you can set aside some days for all the calls, meetings, and status updates, you can leave other at-home days for deep work.


Consider these additional ideas:

  • Defend your work hours (no nights and weekends).
  • Carve out daily time for things you enjoy, like reading or music.
  • Commit to recurring physical exercise.
  • Use all your allowable leave (and make a coverage plan now).
  • Consider taking an unpaid vacation if it provides a true reset.

Of course, you may not be able to fully control your environment, and you shouldn’t blame yourself.

3. Organize chaos to eliminate needless tasks

As teams and priorities shift, content marketers are being asked to wear three, five, or seven hats, which, as my colleague, Fenwick writer and strategist Donnique Williams, points out, “is as weird as it sounds. Just think about that. Visually.”

Talk with your peers about what they are experiencing. “Everybody’s trying to do 10 different jobs,” says Kristin Hillery, director of content and brand at the AI conversation design startup Voiceflow. “And on the back of that, I don’t think people are acknowledging what’s going on in each others’ personal lives. Maybe it feels inappropriate. But I think that shared understanding helps.”

You may find your peers are burned out, too, and you can work together to improve how you work.

For example, consider diagramming your content marketing operations end to end. Tweak it to eliminate needless tasks by asking:

  • Must so many approvers be on this email chain?
  • Must so many sequential steps be documented?
  • Must the design team always build from scratch?
  • Must the brand always promote across all these channels?
  • Can we write pieces in batches far in advance?
  • Can we set any of these programs to run autonomously?
  • Can we lean more on any partners to do the promoting?

These questions may lead you to find, like we have, that companies tend to involve far more reviewers than are necessary. We helped one client kindly evict the PR and legal teams from reviewing articles. Instead, they each provide a one-page policy with their guidance. It saves everyone time.

Where can you make similar no-regret cutbacks?


And similarly, where can you cut unnecessary chatter, especially outside of work? “We all know at this point that Slack has a feature that allows you to schedule messages during work hours,” says Kristin. “Set an example by using that and silencing notifications after work. If you’re working all hours, it suggests others should too, and that’s bad for everybody.”

How to find your stride after being let go

This leads me to my most egregious story.

As the pandemic began, the software company hit hyperscale. Overnight, it was a household name. Overnight, a woman on the marketing team was asked to work seven days a week and transition to PR crisis communication. It started to affect her health, and then she learned she was pregnant.

“I didn’t want to tell my managers, who were already unsupportive of anyone taking time away, because what was the point?” she recalls. Her health failed. At a routine checkup, she was admitted to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a condition that has a 37% mortality rate for mother and child. Weeks later, she gave birth prematurely. The cause of her illness, according to her doctor, was work stress.

When she returned to work after maternity leave and additional unpaid time off to care for her son, who “has a long road ahead,” the company laid her off.

Suffice it to say, it’s rough out there. Companies have fired a half million workers this year, many of them in marketing. When Disney fired 3% of staff, it was mostly from its demand-and-marketing division.


How do you re-find your confidence after what, for many, is an emotional moment of reckoning? Here are a few tips:

1. Remember your personal value has nothing to do with work

The new mom bounced right back and found a new job. “At the end of the day, it’s a numbers game,” she says. “I’m a professional. I loved my team, and I’ll continue to do good work.”

Similarly, Greg Cooper, a creative director, says, “Know it’s just about the company’s bottom line.”

If you’re having trouble maintaining this distinction, ask friends and family who can reflect your value back to you.

2. Use what you’ve learned to apply to the next role

“Ask yourself, ‘How has the layoff increased my wisdom of the field?’” says Cody Lucas, a creative producer. “Layoffs happen at every company. Try to understand why your role might not have been a critical asset.” In which case, the layoff wasn’t personal. It was business, and you now understand this type of business better. That helps you tell a better story in your interviews.

3. If it’s a group layoff, stay in touch and work as a team

“I’ve been through two layoffs as an entire team, and both times, my former coworkers have helped me pick up the pieces,” says Kathryn Casna, a writer and editor. “You have a ready-made job hunt mastermind group.” Trade ideas, support, and links to jobs you know they’d be a fit for.


4. Keep moving and working on something

Take your time and process the change, but don’t stop moving, advises Michael Fasciano, a brand and content leader. “Get back into the things you’re most passionate about. Exercise, read, learn, or start new projects. This keeps you focused, gives you something to talk about, and momentum builds momentum.”

5. Ask your friends in the human resources space for advice

Nobody’s better at advising on your resume than people who do it for a living. Ask for a resume makeover. Get practice telling your story and having someone repeat it back to you. Begin your job search with the warmest introductions, and let your network know you’re looking. People want to help more than you’d think, and LinkedIn’s green #OpenToWork badge has become a sign of confident vulnerability.

The only emergencies are the ones we create

One of our firm’s principles is “No marketing emergencies.” Behind almost every deadline is an arbitrary date that someone forgot to question, and if higher-ups are shown how it impacts their team’s physical and mental well-being, they’ll happily change it.

Plus, work just isn’t worth burning out over.

“Try explaining your job to an ER doctor, as I have, and you’ll see their eyes glaze over,” Kristin says with a laugh.

This is not to say our work is not important – it is vital – only that your health comes first. You deserve to live a fulfilling work life that doesn’t impact your personal life and offers you space and time to be creative. That creativity is what the company hired you for in the first place.


You can safeguard it by creating boundaries to deal with the loss of a leader, carving out time to do what gives you joy, simplifying your content workflow, and remembering that none of this affects your personal value.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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How to Use AI For a More Effective Social Media Strategy, According to Ross Simmonds



How to Use AI For a More Effective Social Media Strategy, According to Ross Simmonds

Welcome to Creator Columns, where we bring expert HubSpot Creator voices to the Blogs that inspire and help you grow better.

It’s the age of AI, and our job as marketers is to keep up.

My team at Foundation Marketing recently conducted an AI Marketing study surveying hundreds of marketers, and more than 84% of all leaders, managers, SEO experts, and specialists confirmed that they used AI in the workplace.

AI in the workplace data graphic, Foundation Labs

If you can overlook the fear-inducing headlines, this technology is making social media marketers more efficient and effective than ever. Translation: AI is good news for social media marketers.

Download Now: The 2024 State of Social Media Trends [Free Report]

In fact, I predict that the marketers not using AI in their workplace will be using it before the end of this year, and that number will move closer and closer to 100%.


Social media and AI are two of the most revolutionizing technologies of the last few decades. Social media has changed the way we live, and AI is changing the way we work.

So, I’m going to condense and share the data, research, tools, and strategies that the Foundation Marketing Team and I have been working on over the last year to help you better wield the collective power of AI and social media.

Let’s jump into it.

What’s the role of AI in social marketing strategy?

In a recent episode of my podcast, Create Like The Greats, we dove into some fascinating findings about the impact of AI on marketers and social media professionals. Take a listen here:

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the benefits of this technology:

Benefits of AI in Social Media Strategy

AI is to social media what a conductor is to an orchestra — it brings everything together with precision and purpose. The applications of AI in a social media strategy are vast, but the virtuosos are few who can wield its potential to its fullest.


AI to Conduct Customer Research

Imagine you’re a modern-day Indiana Jones, not dodging boulders or battling snakes, but rather navigating the vast, wild terrain of consumer preferences, trends, and feedback.

This is where AI thrives.

Using social media data, from posts on X to comments and shares, AI can take this information and turn it into insights surrounding your business and industry. Let’s say for example you’re a business that has 2,000 customer reviews on Google, Yelp, or a software review site like Capterra.

Leveraging AI you can now have all 2,000 of these customer reviews analyzed and summarized into an insightful report in a matter of minutes. You simply need to download all of them into a doc and then upload them to your favorite Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) to get the insights and data you need.

But that’s not all.

You can become a Prompt Engineer and write ChatGPT asking it to help you better understand your audience. For example, if you’re trying to come up with a persona for people who enjoy marathons but also love kombucha you could write a prompt like this to ChatGPT:


ChatGPT prompt example

The response that ChatGPT provided back is quite good:

GPT response example

Below this it went even deeper by including a lot of valuable customer research data:

  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Consumer behaviors
  • Needs and preferences

And best of all…

It also included marketing recommendations.

The power of AI is unbelievable.

Social Media Content Using AI

AI’s helping hand can be unburdening for the creative spirit.

Instead of marketers having to come up with new copy every single month for posts, AI Social Caption generators are making it easier than ever to craft catchy status updates in the matter of seconds.


Tools like HubSpot make it as easy as clicking a button and telling the AI tool what you’re looking to create a post about:

AI social media caption generator step 1

The best part of these AI tools is that they’re not limited to one channel.

Your AI social media content assistant can help you with LinkedIn content, X content, Facebook content, and even the captions that support your post on Instagram.

It can also help you navigate hashtags:

AI social media hashtags generator example, HubSpot

With AI social media tools that generate content ideas or even write posts, it’s not about robots replacing humans. It’s about making sure that the human creators on your team are focused on what really matters — adding that irreplaceable human touch.

Enhanced Personalization

You know that feeling when a brand gets you, like, really gets you?


AI makes that possible through targeted content that’s tailored with a level of personalization you’d think was fortune-telling if the data didn’t paint a starker, more rational picture.

What do I mean?

Brands can engage more quickly with AI than ever before. In the early 2000s, a lot of brands spent millions of dollars to create social media listening rooms where they would hire social media managers to find and engage with any conversation happening online.

Thanks to AI, brands now have the ability to do this at scale with much fewer people all while still delivering quality engagement with the recipient.

Analytics and Insights

Tapping into AI to dissect the data gives you a CSI-like precision to figure out what works, what doesn’t, and what makes your audience tick. It’s the difference between guessing and knowing.

The best part about AI is that it can give you almost any expert at your fingertips.


If you run a report surrounding the results of your social media content strategy directly from a site like LinkedIn, AI can review the top posts you’ve shared and give you clear feedback on what type of content is performing, why you should create more of it, and what days of the week your content is performing best.

This type of insight that would typically take hours to understand.

Now …

Thanks to the power of AI you can upload a spreadsheet filled with rows and columns of data just to be met with a handful of valuable insights a few minutes later.

Improved Customer Service

Want 24/7 support for your customers?

It’s now possible without human touch.


Chatbots powered by AI are taking the lead on direct messaging experiences for brands on Facebook and other Meta properties to offer round-the-clock assistance.

The fact that AI can be trained on past customer queries and data to inform future queries and problems is a powerful development for social media managers.

Advertising on Social Media with AI

The majority of ad networks have used some variation of AI to manage their bidding system for years. Now, thanks to AI and its ability to be incorporated in more tools, brands are now able to use AI to create better and more interesting ad campaigns than ever before.

Brands can use AI to create images using tools like Midjourney and DALL-E in seconds.

Brands can use AI to create better copy for their social media ads.

Brands can use AI tools to support their bidding strategies.


The power of AI and social media is continuing to evolve daily and it’s not exclusively found in the organic side of the coin. Paid media on social media is being shaken up due to AI just the same.

How to Implement AI into Your Social Media Strategy

Ready to hit “Go” on your AI-powered social media revolution?

Don’t just start the engine and hope for the best. Remember the importance of building a strategy first. In this video, you can learn some of the most important factors ranging from (but not limited to) SMART goals and leveraging influencers in your day-to-day work:

The following seven steps are crucial to building a social media strategy:

  1. Identify Your AI and Social Media Goals
  2. Validate Your AI-Related Assumptions
  3. Conduct Persona and Audience Research
  4. Select the Right Social Channels
  5. Identify Key Metrics and KPIs
  6. Choose the Right AI Tools
  7. Evaluate and Refine Your Social Media and AI Strategy

Keep reading, roll up your sleeves, and follow this roadmap:

1. Identify Your AI and Social Media Goals

If you’re just dipping your toes into the AI sea, start by defining clear objectives.

Is it to boost engagement? Streamline your content creation? Or simply understand your audience better? It’s important that you spend time understanding what you want to achieve.


For example, say you’re a content marketing agency like Foundation and you’re trying to increase your presence on LinkedIn. The specificity of this goal will help you understand the initiatives you want to achieve and determine which AI tools could help you make that happen.

Are there AI tools that will help you create content more efficiently? Are there AI tools that will help you optimize LinkedIn Ads? Are there AI tools that can help with content repurposing? All of these things are possible and having a goal clearly identified will help maximize the impact. Learn more in this Foundation Marketing piece on incorporating AI into your content workflow.

Once you have identified your goals, it’s time to get your team on board and assess what tools are available in the market.

Recommended Resources:

2. Validate Your AI-Related Assumptions

Assumptions are dangerous — especially when it comes to implementing new tech.

Don’t assume AI is going to fix all your problems.


Instead, start with small experiments and track their progress carefully.

3. Conduct Persona and Audience Research

Social media isn’t something that you can just jump into.

You need to understand your audience and ideal customers. AI can help with this, but you’ll need to be familiar with best practices. If you need a primer, this will help:

Once you understand the basics, consider ways in which AI can augment your approach.

4. Select the Right Social Channels

Not every social media channel is the same.

It’s important that you understand what channel is right for you and embrace it.


The way you use AI for X is going to be different from the way you use AI for LinkedIn. On X, you might use AI to help you develop a long-form thread that is filled with facts and figures. On LinkedIn however, you might use AI to repurpose a blog post and turn it into a carousel PDF. The content that works on X and that AI can facilitate creating is different from the content that you can create and use on LinkedIn.

The audiences are different.

The content formats are different.

So operate and create a plan accordingly.

Recommended Tools and Resources:

5. Identify Key Metrics and KPIs

What metrics are you trying to influence the most?


Spend time understanding the social media metrics that matter to your business and make sure that they’re prioritized as you think about the ways in which you use AI.

These are a few that matter most:

  • Reach: Post reach signifies the count of unique users who viewed your post. How much of your content truly makes its way to users’ feeds?
  • Clicks: This refers to the number of clicks on your content or account. Monitoring clicks per campaign is crucial for grasping what sparks curiosity or motivates people to make a purchase.
  • Engagement: The total social interactions divided by the number of impressions. This metric reveals how effectively your audience perceives you and their readiness to engage.

Of course, it’s going to depend greatly on your business.

But with this information, you can ensure that your AI social media strategy is rooted in goals.

6. Choose the Right AI Tools

The AI landscape is filled with trash and treasure.

Pick AI tools that are most likely to align with your needs and your level of tech-savviness.

For example, if you’re a blogger creating content about pizza recipes, you can use HubSpot’s AI social caption generator to write the message on your behalf:


AI social media generator example

The benefit of an AI tool like HubSpot and the caption generator is that what at one point took 30-40 minutes to come up with — you can now have it at your fingertips in seconds. The HubSpot AI caption generator is trained on tons of data around social media content and makes it easy for you to get inspiration or final drafts on what can be used to create great content.

Consider your budget, the learning curve, and what kind of support the tool offers.

7. Evaluate and Refine Your Social Media and AI Strategy

AI isn’t a magic wand; it’s a set of complex tools and technology.

You need to be willing to pivot as things come to fruition.

If you notice that a certain activity is falling flat, consider how AI can support that process.

Did you notice that your engagement isn’t where you want it to be? Consider using an AI tool to assist with crafting more engaging social media posts.


Make AI Work for You — Now and in the Future

AI has the power to revolutionize your social media strategy in ways you may have never thought possible. With its ability to conduct customer research, create personalized content, and so much more, thinking about the future of social media is fascinating.

We’re going through one of the most interesting times in history.

Stay equipped to ride the way of AI and ensure that you’re embracing the best practices outlined in this piece to get the most out of the technology.

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Advertising in local markets: A playbook for success



Advertising in local markets: A playbook for success

Many brands, such as those in the home services industry or a local grocery chain, market to specific locations, cities or regions. There are also national brands that want to expand in specific local markets. 

Regardless of the company or purpose, advertising on a local scale has different tactics than on a national scale. Brands need to connect their messaging directly with the specific communities they serve and media to their target demo. Here’s a playbook to help your company succeed when marketing on a local scale.  

1. Understand local vs. national campaigns

Local advertising differs from national campaigns in several ways: 

  • Audience specificity: By zooming in on precise geographic areas, brands can tailor messaging to align with local communities’ customs, preferences and nuances. This precision targeting ensures that your message resonates with the right target audience.
  • Budget friendliness: Local advertising is often more accessible for small businesses. Local campaign costs are lower, enabling brands to invest strategically within targeted locales. This budget-friendly nature does not diminish the need for strategic planning; instead, it emphasizes allocating resources wisely to maximize returns. As a result, testing budgets can be allocated across multiple markets to maximize learnings for further market expansion.
  • Channel selection: Selecting the correct channels is vital for effective local advertising. Local newspapers, radio stations, digital platforms and community events each offer advantages. The key lies in understanding where your target audience spends time and focusing efforts to ensure optimal engagement.
  • Flexibility and agility: Local campaigns can be adjusted more swiftly in response to market feedback or changes, allowing brands to stay relevant and responsive. 

Maintaining brand consistency across local touchpoints reinforces brand identity and builds a strong, recognizable brand across markets. 

2. Leverage customized audience segmentation 

Customized audience segmentation is the process of dividing a market into distinct groups based on specific demographic criteria. This marketing segmentation supports the development of targeted messaging and media plans for local markets. 


For example, a coffee chain might cater to two distinct segments: young professionals and retirees. After identifying these segments, the chain can craft messages, offers and media strategies relating to each group’s preferences and lifestyle.

To reach young professionals in downtown areas, the chain might focus on convenience, quality coffee and a vibrant atmosphere that is conducive to work and socializing. Targeted advertising on Facebook, Instagram or Connected TV, along with digital signage near office complexes, could capture the attention of this demographic, emphasizing quick service and premium blends.

Conversely, for retirees in residential areas, the chain could highlight a cozy ambiance, friendly service and promotions such as senior discounts. Advertisements in local print publications, community newsletters, radio stations and events like senior coffee mornings would foster a sense of community and belonging.

Dig deeper: Niche advertising: 7 actionable tactics for targeted marketing

3. Adapt to local market dynamics

Various factors influence local market dynamics. Brands that navigate changes effectively maintain a strong audience connection and stay ahead in the market. Here’s how consumer sentiment and behavior may evolve within a local market and the corresponding adjustments brands can make. 

  • Cultural shifts, such as changes in demographics or societal norms, can alter consumer preferences within a local community. For example, a neighborhood experiencing gentrification may see demand rise for specific products or services.
    • Respond by updating your messaging to reflect the evolving cultural landscape, ensuring it resonates with the new demographic profile.
  • Economic conditions are crucial. For example, during downturns, consumers often prioritize value and practicality.
    • Highlight affordable options or emphasize the practical benefits of your offerings to ensure messaging aligns with consumers’ financial priorities. The impact is unique to each market and the marketing message must also be dynamic.
  • Seasonal trends impact consumer behavior.
    • Align your promotions and creative content with changing seasons or local events to make your offerings timely and relevant.
  • New competitors. The competitive landscape demands vigilance because new entrants or innovative competitor campaigns can shift consumer preferences.
    • Differentiate by focusing on your unique selling propositions, such as quality, customer service or community involvement, to retain consumer interest and loyalty.

4. Apply data and predictive analytics 

Data and predictive analytics are indispensable tools for successfully reaching local target markets. These technologies provide consumer behavior insights, enabling you to anticipate market trends and adjust strategies proactively. 

  • Price optimization: By analyzing consumer demand, competitor pricing and market conditions, data analytics enables you to set prices that attract customers while ensuring profitability.
  • Competitor analysis: Through analysis, brands can understand their positioning within the local market landscape and identify opportunities and threats. Predictive analytics offer foresight into competitors’ potential moves, allowing you to strategize effectively to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Consumer behavior: Forecasting consumer behavior allows your brand to tailor offerings and marketing messages to meet evolving consumer needs and enhance engagement.
  • Marketing effectiveness: Analytics track the success of advertising campaigns, providing insights into which strategies drive conversions and sales. This feedback loop enables continuous optimization of marketing efforts for maximum impact.
  • Inventory management: In supply chain management, data analytics predict demand fluctuations, ensuring inventory levels align with market needs. This efficiency prevents stockouts or excess inventory, optimizing operational costs and meeting consumer expectations.

Dig deeper: Why you should add predictive modeling to your marketing mix

5. Counter external market influences

Consider a clothing retailer preparing for a spring collection launch. By analyzing historical weather data and using predictive analytics, the brand forecasts an unseasonably cool start to spring. Anticipating this, the retailer adjusts its campaign to highlight transitional pieces suitable for cooler weather, ensuring relevance despite an unexpected chill.


Simultaneously, predictive models signal an upcoming spike in local media advertising rates due to increased market demand. Retailers respond by reallocating a portion of advertising budgets to digital channels, which offer more flexibility and lower costs than traditional media. This shift enables brands to maintain visibility and engagement without exceeding budget, mitigating the impact of external forces on advertising.

6. Build consumer confidence with messaging

Localized messaging and tailored customer service enhance consumer confidence by demonstrating your brand’s understanding of the community. For instance, a grocery store that curates cooking classes featuring local cuisine or sponsors community events shows commitment to local culture and consumer interests. 

Similarly, a bookstore highlighting local authors or topics relevant to the community resonates with local customers. Additionally, providing service that addresses local needs — such as bilingual service and local event support — reinforces the brand’s values and response to the community. 

Through these localized approaches, brands can build trust and loyalty, bridging the gap between corporate presence and local relevance.

7. Dominate with local advertising 

To dominate local markets, brands must:

  • Harness hyper-targeted segmentation and geo-targeted advertising to reach and engage precise audiences.
  • Create localized content that reflects community values, engage in community events, optimize campaigns for mobile and track results.
  • Fine-tune strategies, outperform competitors and foster lasting relationships with customers.

These strategies will enable your message to resonate with local consumers, differentiate you in competitive markets and ensure you become a major player in your specific area. 

Dig deeper: The 5 critical elements for local marketing success


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy



Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

As we march closer to the 2024 U.S. presidential election, CMOs and marketing leaders need to prepare for a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape. Election years have always posed unique challenges for advertisers, but the growing dominance of digital media has made the impact more profound than ever before.

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that will shape the advertising environment in the coming months and provide actionable insights to help you navigate these turbulent waters.

The Digital Battleground

The rise of cord-cutting and the shift towards digital media consumption have fundamentally altered the advertising landscape in recent years. As traditional TV viewership declines, political campaigns have had to adapt their strategies to reach voters where they are spending their time: on digital platforms.

1713626763 903 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy1713626763 903 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

According to a recent report by eMarketer, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. is expected to reach 65.1 million by the end of 2023, representing a 6.9% increase from 2022. This trend is projected to continue, with the number of cord-cutters reaching 72.2 million by 2025.

Moreover, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2023 found that 62% of U.S. adults do not have a cable or satellite TV subscription, up from 61% in 2022 and 50% in 2019. This data further underscores the accelerating shift away from traditional TV and towards streaming and digital media platforms.

As these trends continue, political advertisers will have no choice but to follow their audiences to digital channels. In the 2022 midterm elections, digital ad spending by political campaigns reached $1.2 billion, a 50% increase from the 2018 midterms. With the 2024 presidential election on the horizon, this figure is expected to grow exponentially, as campaigns compete for the attention of an increasingly digital-first electorate.

For brands and advertisers, this means that the competition for digital ad space will be fiercer than ever before. As political ad spending continues to migrate to platforms like Meta, YouTube, and connected TV, the cost of advertising will likely surge, making it more challenging for non-political advertisers to reach their target audiences.


To navigate this complex and constantly evolving landscape, CMOs and their teams will need to be proactive, data-driven, and willing to experiment with new strategies and channels. By staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the changing media consumption habits of their audiences, brands can position themselves for success in the face of the electoral advertising onslaught.

Rising Costs and Limited Inventory

As political advertisers flood the digital market, the cost of advertising is expected to skyrocket. CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) will likely experience a steady climb throughout the year, with significant spikes anticipated in May, as college students come home from school and become more engaged in political conversations, and around major campaign events like presidential debates.

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For media buyers and their teams, this means that the tried-and-true strategies of years past may no longer be sufficient. Brands will need to be nimble, adaptable, and willing to explore new tactics to stay ahead of the game.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Perfect Storm

The challenges of election year advertising will be particularly acute during the critical holiday shopping season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which have historically been goldmines for advertisers, will be more expensive and competitive than ever in 2024, as they coincide with the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

To avoid being drowned out by the political noise, brands will need to start planning their holiday campaigns earlier than usual. Building up audiences and crafting compelling creative assets well in advance will be essential to success, as will a willingness to explore alternative channels and tactics. Relying on cold audiences come Q4 will lead to exceptionally high costs that may be detrimental to many businesses.

Navigating the Chaos

While the challenges of election year advertising can seem daunting, there are steps that media buyers and their teams can take to mitigate the impact and even thrive in this environment. Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind:

Start early and plan for contingencies: Begin planning your Q3 and Q4 campaigns as early as possible, with a focus on building up your target audiences and developing a robust library of creative assets.


Be sure to build in contingency budgets to account for potential cost increases, and be prepared to pivot your strategy as the landscape evolves.

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Embrace alternative channels: Consider diversifying your media mix to include channels that may be less impacted by political ad spending, such as influencer marketing, podcast advertising, or sponsored content. Investing in owned media channels, like email marketing and mobile apps, can also provide a direct line to your customers without the need to compete for ad space.

Owned channels will be more important than ever. Use cheaper months leading up to the election to build your email lists and existing customer base so that your BF/CM can leverage your owned channels and warm audiences.

Craft compelling, shareable content: In a crowded and noisy advertising environment, creating content that resonates with your target audience will be more important than ever. Focus on developing authentic, engaging content that aligns with your brand values and speaks directly to your customers’ needs and desires.

By tapping into the power of emotional triggers and social proof, you can create content that not only cuts through the clutter but also inspires organic sharing and amplification.


The 2024 election year will undoubtedly bring new challenges and complexities to the world of digital advertising. But by staying informed, adaptable, and strategic in your approach, you can navigate this landscape successfully and even find new opportunities for growth and engagement.

As a media buyer or agnecy, your role in steering your brand through these uncharted waters will be critical. By starting your planning early, embracing alternative channels and tactics, and focusing on creating authentic, resonant content, you can not only survive but thrive in the face of election year disruptions.


So while the road ahead may be uncertain, one thing is clear: the brands that approach this challenge with creativity, agility, and a steadfast commitment to their customers will be the ones that emerge stronger on the other side.

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