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40+ Mistakes Derailing Your Content Team (and How To Fix Them)



40+ Mistakes Derailing Your Content Team (and How To Fix Them)

No content marketer works alone. Even if people who make up a content team of one still engage with colleagues, clients, and contractors. And everyone reports to a boss.

Great, productive interactions and collaboration feel exhilarating and inspiring. But not all collaboration falls into that category.

Challenges always arise when people come together (virtually or physically) to strategize, brainstorm, create, publish, and promote content. Mistakes involving resources, content operations, and more can derail even the most promising projects.

We asked the speakers at Content Marketing World 2022 where they see the biggest problems happening on content marketing teams. Their responses should resonate with anyone who has worked with people (and that’s everyone). But they’re especially helpful for content marketers.

Managing #content teams isn’t easy. But the productivity that comes from successful collaboration make it worthwhile. Steer around common pitfalls with help from #CMWorld speakers via @AnnGynn @CMIContent @Canto. Click To Tweet

Forgetting the Golden Rule

It’s the same mistake people make managing anyone – they forget the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would do to yourself.

First, treat each other like humans. Be flexible. Be sympathetic. Constantly put yourself in their shoes. My entire team follows each other on social media and shares what’s happening in real life. (Psssst … Real life is work life. If you have to have “balance,” you should probably get another job.)

When you work by the Golden Rule, you work “nicer.” You also build fans from within so that our overarching marketing strategy of evangelism radiates from the inside out. – Kate Bradley Chernis, co-founder and CEO, Lately

Fitting people into boxes

I think this applies to managing any team. Many new managers will fit employees into a box based on the needs of a business. But what if you shifted your perspective and looked first at the needs of your employees? What makes them tick? What do they enjoy doing? What makes their work shine? Once you understand your people, it’s easy to match their skills with what the business needs. – Amy Higgins, senior director, content marketing, Twilio

Asking for everything in one role

I’ve seen so many content marketing job descriptions that are wildly unrealistic. Unless you’re a small company, it’s a mistake to expect any one content marketer to “do it all,” especially if the scope of content marketing and expectations for its impact are bigger than the scope of your resources.

Stop spreading your peanut butter too thin – it’s a recipe for burnout. Instead:

  1. Increase the size of the team and allow individuals to focus on the work they love/are best at (with the opportunity to learn and try new things).
  2. Stop doing all the things and do fewer things better. Like Drew Davis asked in his 2021 CM World keynote, “What if we spend our creative energy wisely on one outcome?” – Carmen Hill, principal strategist and writer, Chill Content

Spreading your #ContentMarketing team too thin is a recipe for burnout, says @CarmenHill via @CMIContent @Canto. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Hiring only marketers

Mistake 1: Hiring only people with marketing backgrounds. (People with diverse experiences and backgrounds make for much better content). Mistake 2: Siloes. Maximizing the collaboration between parts of the team and content mediums (blog, social, video, audio) to repurpose ideas and content into different formats is a key process to establish. – Jennifer Jordan, vice president and global head of content, Babbel

Including only content strategists and creators

Content marketing teams are too often limited to content strategists and creators only. If we see content marketing as a company mindset and a culture, then teams should include colleagues that benefit from the content and who may not describe themselves as marketers: sales professionals, product developers, CEOs, etc. The team should also include the people who facilitate successful content marketing: IT and tech, CFOs, etc.

Defining the content marketing team as a broader team helps to avoid Joe Pulizzi’s law No. 1: The Law of They Have No Clue What You’re Doing. Within the team, the implementation task force consists of a content strategist and creators who take the responsibility of bringing ideas to life. – Bert van Loon, strategist, CMFF

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Looking for the same skills

One of the biggest mistakes in building and managing a content marketing team is too much focus on the same skills with the intention of producing a high volume of content. Teams should have diverse skills, diverse backgrounds, and diverse ideas and should be led by a data-driven leader focused on business results. – Bernie Borges, vice president global content marketing, iQor

#ContentMarketing teams need people with diverse skills, backgrounds, and ideas – and a data-driven leader, says @BernieBorges via @CMIContent @Canto. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Onboarding for specialization

Overspecializing is a big one. Instead of bringing on new people or agencies for every skill or channel, look for more T-shaped people (folks with broad knowledge across many content disciplines, along with one area of deep expertise).

There are times when a specialist is the right way to go, but especially for full-time hires, and especially if you’re a smaller team, you’re better off looking for utility players. – Andrea Fryrear, CEO and co-founder, AgileSherpas

Not saying no

A writing team’s bandwidth is not infinite, but many content leaders don’t have a framework or the confidence to turn down requests. This reactionary operational model may lead to burnout and, ultimately, turnover of valuable staff.

Every content marketing manager needs a process for managing and prioritizing content intake requests. This may include tying requests to broader marketing campaigns, gaps, and initiatives, defining standard pieces to be included in content bundles, and establishing metrics to determine effectiveness.

At technical B2B companies, it is highly difficult and inefficient to create quality content without consulting with a subject matter expert (SME). Support your team by evangelizing the business impact of content internally. Help clear roadblocks so your writers’ time is spent on sourcing and writing, not hounding unenthusiastic SMEs. – Wendy Covey, CEO and co-founder, TREW Marketing

Many #ContentMarketing leaders lack a framework or the confidence to turn down requests, says @wendycovey via @CMIContent @Canto. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Trying to do it all

The biggest mistake people make when managing a content team is thinking they can (and should) do it all, where small content marketing teams, or even one person, are expected to have expertise in copywriting, storytelling, design, demand gen, demand capture, SEO, organic social, paid social, podcasting, video marketing, blogging … the list goes on.

There is so much you can do with content marketing that it’s easy to overload your in-house team or feel limited by the available skillsets and time. But there is another option: outsourcing.

Working with skilled partners can help you achieve much more while alleviating pressure on your team. By doing this, you keep everyone operating within their zone of genius. I believe managing a high-performing content marketing team means balancing happy and engaged in-house personnel with strategic, nurtured partnerships. – Amy Woods, founder and CEO, Content 10x

Misunderstanding the editor-in-chief role

A lot of content folks graduate up into content marketing management and get frustrated about their role being so focused on project management, but that’s what the role of a good editor-in-chief is.

You need to train and set guidelines for quality, but you also need to manage the content calendar, educate others on how long types of content take to make, and spot when the team is creating two very similar assets that could be combined into one.

There is a lot of duplicative work on content marketing teams due simply to the lack of a dedicated project manager, which is the EIC’s job. – Tracey Wallace, director of content strategy, Klaviyo

Omitting quality assurance

Mistake 1: not having a quality assurance person or process. Mistake 2: not having a project manager.

As I’ve said, project management is not a nice to have for any project. It is critical for its success regarding scope, budget, and timing. When it comes to creative projects, project management is crucial to managing meetings, reviews, assets, and expectations. Project management should never be an afterthought. – Michael Weiss, vice president of consulting services and solutions, Creative Circle

Project management should never be an afterthought for #ContentMarketing teams, says @MikePWeiss via @CMIContent @Canto. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Failing to build bridges

Allowing the content marketing team to become siloed would be a big mistake. It’s critical for the content team to build strong bridges to every other area of marketing.

Pair a content marketer with a product marketer and extend that to other areas of marketing, creating “pods” aligned to a single product area or persona. This supports content-driven collaboration that’s scalable and productive. – Ali Orlando Wert, director of content strategy, Qlik 

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Not seeing value in integration

One big mistake that some organizations still make is not integrating the content marketing team’s efforts with those of the larger marketing department.

At best, this can result in the appearance that one group is unaware of the other’s activities. At worst, it can cost the opportunity to amplify messaging and ensure consistency. – Nancy Harhut, CCO, HBT Marketing

Disregarding cross-training

Always cross-train your team. In this era of the Great Resignation and COVID, it’s important to make sure that no one person is the linchpin of your team.

Your top performer may suddenly be out of the office with an illness or leave for a new job. Also, we’re all finally taking vacations and deserve some time unconnected from work. Projects can’t stop because one person is missing.

Cross-training team members to cover for each other can provide career growth opportunities. A team member may learn more about a different side of content marketing and flourish. Also, your projects will benefit from fresh perspectives. – Penny Gralewski, senior director, product and portfolio marketing, DataRobot

Make sure no one person is the linchpin of your #ContentMarketing team, says @VirtualPenny via @CMIContent @Canto. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Possessing a team-only mindset

Overlooking individual motivations as a root cause of team performance issues. Team members can find all sorts of plausible excuses for not meeting goals. Handling them in a one-off way just addresses symptoms without changing the team dynamic.

Use content marketing tools like personas and journey maps to reflect on your internal team’s motivations for getting the work done and see if the team performance doesn’t skyrocket. – Jenny Magic, founder, Better Way to Say It

Ignoring the individual

It’s a mistake not to deeply understand the individuals on their team. As marketers, we spend a lot of time learning about our audience – building personas, finding out what motivates them, and understanding what makes them tick – all so we can create better content for them. Why wouldn’t we do the same thing with our teams? We should deeply understand them so we can manage them more effectively and support them in doing their best work? – Monica Norton, head of content marketing, Yelp

Not looking to the future

A common mistake that marketing team leads make is overlooking the team aspect. Your content marketing team is made up of individuals with unique experiences, goals, and passions.

I see content marketing leaders not helping their employees to define their career path. It’s important to understand where everyone on your team wants to go (which may or may not be into a leadership position), so you can provide the right growth opportunities.

A second mistake I see frequently is that marketing teams rarely have a good content library or information repository. Give your team, including marketing consultants, the resources they need to thrive. In way too many organizations, people are unaware of existing content that they can reuse, repurpose, or link to, leading to duplicating efforts. Similarly, templates for common deliverables like blog posts, thought leadership plans, and channel audits are a great way to streamline work.

A final mistake is when teams treat all content as lead-generation content, thinking that content must have a hard CTA that drives people into the funnel. That’s simply not how relationships are built and can undermine your content strategy. Sometimes, the best call to action is a piece of content that’s the next step in a learning journey, not in an immediate buyer’s journey. – Erika Heald, founder, lead consultant, Erika Heald Marketing Consulting

Expecting creators to be SMEs

The biggest mistake is thinking your content team can be your sole subject matter expert. Yes, they are experts, but their role is to be curators and generators that herald the brand’s voice. But they can only do so if other members of your organization proactively contribute meaningfully to the thought leadership desired by your audience. – Karen McFarlane, chief marketing officer, LetterShop

Your #Content team shouldn’t be your sole subject matter experts, says @karenkmcfarlane via @CMIContent @Canto. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Looking only inside

From a brand perspective, one of the biggest mistakes I see is limiting content creation to the bandwidth of an internal team. No matter how niche or regulated your industry is, I promise you there are extremely talented freelance writers who can support your crew.

Prevent burnout internally by paying well for professional freelancers. This also presents your internal team with a growth opportunity they might not otherwise have at a large company.

Allow them to give feedback, edit, and manage external resources like their own micro-team, and you’ll help them branch out from a traditional content role and build their professional skill set. – Haley Collins, director of operations and content, GPO


Leaders who micromanage their teams stifle creativity. Leaders who ignore their teams create apathy.

If you lead a content marketing team, neither of these scenarios is ideal. You want to let creativity flourish on your team while assuring team members that you are there to support and guide them if needed. – Andi Robinson, global digital content marketing, Corteva Agriscience

#ContentMarketing leaders who micromanage their teams stifle creativity, says @hijinxmarketing via @CMIContent @Canto. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Overlooking strategy and goals

Not understanding the actual strategy and goal driving the creation of that piece of content and then effectively communicating that to the team. If you don’t know what action you want each piece of your content to drive, you’re missing the mark. – Brian Piper, director of content strategy and assessment, University of Rochester

Not communicating your team’s mission

Mistake 1: Not having a goal for each channel. All channels must play a role. So, the one in charge of creating content for that very specific channel can always work with a challenge in mind.

Mistake 2: Your team doesn’t know what your content mission statement is. What happens then? Your team will implement dozens of informal guidelines, which means following no guidelines at all. – Cassio Politi, founder, Tracto Content Marketing

Diffusing the focus

Mistake 1: Unclear outcomes – just asking a team to create content isn’t enough. Exactly what are you trying to accomplish with the content you create?

Mistake 2: Too many outcomes – inviting your team to increase engagement, raise brand awareness, generate leads, become the industry expert, drive sales, and increase your search ranking with your content is asking too much of your team (not your content).

Define one clear outcome for your content marketing strategy and watch your team thrive. – Andrew Davis, author and keynote speaker, Monumental Shift

Expecting too much

Not getting out of their own way and thinking that one person can (and should!) do two people’s jobs. – Chris Ducker, founder,

Involving too many stakeholders

One well-intentioned inefficiency is an overly large group of client-side stakeholders, which can result in both content creation by consensus and approval paralysis.

Don’t get me wrong, we love enthusiastically engaged clients, but we also love leaders stepping up to be accountable for individual client-side teams. – Diane di Costanzo, chief content officer, Foundry 360, Dotdash Meredith

Not providing the foundation

It’s incredibly important to provide brand standards to your content marketing team. Each brand has its own point of view, voice, and do’s and don’ts. Make sure your content marketing team is intimately familiar with these brand standards to ensure your content looks and feels and sounds like your brand. – Brittany Graff, senior director of marketing, Painting with a Twist

Focusing on the little things

Mistake 1. A failure to understand the full process of developing/creating content and trying to micromanage each person and their responsibilities.

Mistake 2. Not giving your team the resources they need to be successful or the latitude to try and test new ideas. – Michael Bordieri, senior content solutions consultant, LinkedIn

Forgetting to give the tools

Failing to give their team the right templates, processes, and tech that can make them more efficient and effective at their jobs. – Paul Roetzer, CEO, Marketing AI Institute

Seeing only stars

They have good experiences with a few superstar writers, so they try to get along without content briefs and creative briefs. As a result, they cannot scale. They don’t have sources of truth, and they kill their writer morale with developmental edits that are unreasonable. – Jeff Coyle, co-founder, CSO, MarketMuse

Zigging and zagging

The big mistake I encounter with content marketing teams is not starting and following a strategic path with clear and identifiable goals. Content marketing is not easy. As a team, we need to decide what success looks and feels like before we begin a project.

Another mistake is not giving the team the resources or adequate time to be creative. Burnout is a real thing and can happen so quickly if you are not willing to prevent it or recognize it when it does happen. – Jacquie Chakirelis, chief digital strategy officer, Quest Digital/Great Lakes Publishing

Going for the wrong things

Focusing on quantity over quality. Spammy keywords or hashtags. Not getting feedback before posting content. – Tim Schmoyer, founder/CEO, Video Creators

Casting doubt with lack of information

Teams need certainty. Marketing teams struggle with creating a clear vision and a change plan for new initiatives.

Identifying influencers and who will be impacted is a key first step in getting the team to adopt new ways of working. Take a broader perspective and consider what you can take off their plate to improve team performance. – Melissa Breker, strategic business advisor, Breker Group

Thinking tactically

Telling content marketers what to create and focusing on tasks vs. outcomes can be serious errors. – Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group

Not writing things down

Not having a documented plan. Too often, what we do is kept in our heads and not duly noted and documented. It makes it very hard to share the plan with anyone else or for them to jump in when nothing is documented. – Meg Coffey, managing director, Coffey & Tea

Going in many directions

The biggest mistake is no clear editorial mission statement with a focus on a specific content niche. Without it, teams have no clear common goal. They might have a different understanding of the content qualities that would make the publication they contribute to the best source of information in the defined niche or who they write for.

We want them to be creative and to contribute their ideas and skills, but at the same time, the sum of all these efforts should have a single direction.

It’s like pulling a cart: If everyone pulls in their own direction, we will go nowhere. The most likely result will be inconsistent content with little audience resonance. – Igor Bielobadek, digital marketing senior manager, Deloitte

Forgetting content marketing’s roots

The biggest mistake I have seen — and made — is forgetting that content marketing is ultimately rooted in creativity. Yes, you need a strategy. Yes, you need structure. Yes, you need a keen measurement plan.

But you also need to give a team of creatives — writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, videographers, audio editors, and more — the freedom to experiment. Create a culture where thinking creatively is encouraged. Give people the freedom to have bad ideas and even fail from time to time. Because for each bad idea, there also will be a gem. And ultimately, content made by creators who feel free and love what they do will be more resonant. – Chris Blose, founder, Chris Blose Content

Discouraging creative workouts

Never strangle your content team’s creativity. Sure, sometimes boring stuff needs to be created. But if you can’t let your team flex those intuitive, creative muscles, they will move on.

That doesn’t always mean they need to write creatively. Sometimes, a new project or even a new framework can help them glow. It never hurts to ask them what they need to do their best work. It might not be what you think. – Gina Balarin, director and content queen, Verballistics

Fixing rather than teaching

  1. Knowledge sharing is critical. As a member of leadership, you’re privy to far more context than the people you manage. It’s critical that you share that context with your people. This can be anything from an emerging trend your salespeople are encountering on calls or a news story about your competitors. Give your people as much information as possible so they don’t miss out. Open an update channel on Slack (or whatever your chosen platform may be) and encourage people to share links and insights there. Then lead by example. Start dropping links and insights there, and your team will follow.
  2. Fixing instead of teaching. If one of your content writers isn’t hitting a point well enough or is missing something in terms of tone or message, don’t just rewrite it. Take a moment to pinpoint the actual issue and then let the person figure out how to fix it. If you rewrite them, they’re not going to learn and will keep making the same mistakes. Trust your people to fix their own work. They’ll do a better job than you, I promise. – Inbar Yagur, vice president of marketing, GrowthSpace

Assuming too much

The biggest mistake is assuming everyone remembers to create from an overarching goal. Producing content for social media requires us to move outside the traditional sales-driven content.

But we have to remember that we exist to complement and supplement our company’s business. It’s easy to forget that and just “play on social.” It all has to ladder up to the business goal, but in a voice and context relevant to the social audience. – Jason Falls, senior influence strategist, Cornett

Failing to work cross-functionally

Remember, content marketers may not be the right people to tee up your content for buyers within campaigns. This is where demand or growth teams need to work cross-functionally with content marketers to map the buyer journey.

Every campaign has a channel, and the content is often the destination. This mindset is crucial to getting your content marketers to think about their role in acting as the connective tissue within your organization. – Randy Frisch, chief evangelist, Uberflip

Failing to promote

One mistake would be failing to promote the content once it’s created. Public relations professionals are great at both creating content and promoting it, which is why I believe you shouldn’t silo off these two teams – they should be working together. Also, don’t overlook the role the social media team plays in this process.

Squeeze all the juice from each piece of content that’s created. That means if you write a customer success story, why not pitch it to your key industry publications? They may want to include it with a link back to the original piece on your site. Then, you can promote that on social media.

I’ve even had editors contact me about a client’s thought leadership piece or customer story they saw in another publication, asking if they can also publish a version of it. It works. – Michelle Garrett, consultant, Garrett Public Relations

Concentrating too much on numbers

They overmanage the campaign KPIs instead of managing the conversations (think conversations you want to be part of in your industry). They forget human metrics for people – joy, fun, experimentation, playfulness.

It’s a big mistake not to give teams latitude to experiment. The bigger mistake is not to remember that human metrics – humor, creativity, and joy – matter. Stop treating humor like a bandage for shitty culture and leadership. We have to stop treating it like campaigns and one-offs. It’s got to be part of your culture and how your team operates.

I see leaders often blaming marketers for bad content. If you don’t make it safe, fun, and part of the culture to fail, have fun, learn, and grow, your team won’t. Stop blaming marketers for crappy culture. If your culture sucks, so will marketing. – Kathy Klotz-Guest, founder, Keeping it Human

Stop blaming marketers for crappy culture. If your culture sucks, so will marketing, says @kathyklotzguest via @CMIContent @Canto. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Thinking they know

Believing that content is simple because it looks simple. Great content should have elements that require cross-functional skills: SEO, images, writing, video, podcast, development, editing, etc. If you’re managing folks, be sure you understand what goes into their day and the duties assigned to them.

We all hate the ask for showing ROI, but it’s critical that content be aligned with sales and the messaging they need. Your team can’t just be creatives; you’ve got to understand pipeline attribution and the user journey. – Jenn Vande Zande, editor-in-chief, SAP Customer Experience

Make a better content marketing team

Think of these mistakes as fodder for self-reflection. After reading each, decide if the error happens in your organization or your team.

Then ask yourself if it’s really a mistake. You may find what doesn’t work for someone else might work for you (or vice versa).

Fix what you can and collaborate to address the rest.

The important thing is to review your content marketing team operations intentionally. And that’s never a mistake.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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AI driving an exponential increase in marketing technology solutions



AI driving an exponential increase in marketing technology solutions

The martech landscape is expanding and AI is the prime driving force. That’s the topline news from the “Martech 2024” report released today. And, while that will get the headline, the report contains much more.

Since the release of the most recent Martech Landscape in May 2023, 2,042 new marketing technology tools have surfaced, bringing the total to 13,080 — an 18.5% increase. Of those, 1,498 (73%) were AI-based. 

Screenshot 2023 12 05 110428 800x553

“But where did it land?” said Frans Riemersma of Martech Tribe during a joint video conference call with Scott Brinker of ChiefMartec and HubSpot. “And the usual suspect, of course, is content. But the truth is you can build an empire with all the genAI that has been surfacing — and by an empire, I mean, of course, a business.”

Content tools accounted for 34% of all the new AI tools, far ahead of video, the second-place category, which had only 4.85%. U.S. companies were responsible for 61% of these tools — not surprising given that most of the generative AI dynamos, like OpenAI, are based here. Next up was the U.K. at 5.7%, but third place was a big surprise: Iceland — with a population of 373,000 — launched 4.6% of all AI martech tools. That’s significantly ahead of fourth place India (3.5%), whose population is 1.4 billion and which has a significant tech industry. 

Dig deeper: 3 ways email marketers should actually use AI

The global development of these tools shows the desire for solutions that natively understand the place they are being used. 

“These regional products in their particular country…they’re fantastic,” said Brinker. “They’re loved, and part of it is because they understand the culture, they’ve got the right thing in the language, the support is in that language.”

Now that we’ve looked at the headline stuff, let’s take a deep dive into the fascinating body of the report.

The report: A deeper dive

Marketing technology “is a study in contradictions,” according to Brinker and Riemersma. 

In the new report they embrace these contradictions, telling readers that, while they support “discipline and fiscal responsibility” in martech management, failure to innovate might mean “missing out on opportunities for competitive advantage.” By all means, edit your stack meticulously to ensure it meets business value use cases — but sure, spend 5-10% of your time playing with “cool” new tools that don’t yet have a use case. That seems like a lot of time.

Similarly, while you mustn’t be “carried away” by new technology hype cycles, you mustn’t ignore them either. You need to make “deliberate choices” in the realm of technological change, but be agile about implementing them. Be excited by martech innovation, in other words, but be sensible about it.

The growing landscape

Consolidation for the martech space is not in sight, Brinker and Riemersma say. Despite many mergers and acquisitions, and a steadily increasing number of bankruptcies and dissolutions, the exponentially increasing launch of new start-ups powers continuing growth.

It should be observed, of course, that this is almost entirely a cloud-based, subscription-based commercial space. To launch a martech start-up doesn’t require manufacturing, storage and distribution capabilities, or necessarily a workforce; it just requires uploading an app to the cloud. That is surely one reason new start-ups appear at such a startling rate. 

Dig deeper: AI ad spending has skyrocketed this year

As the authors admit, “(i)f we measure by revenue and/or install base, the graph of all martech companies is a ‘long tail’ distribution.” What’s more, focus on the 200 or so leading companies in the space and consolidation can certainly be seen.

Long-tail tools are certainly not under-utilized, however. Based on a survey of over 1,000 real-world stacks, the report finds long-tail tools constitute about half of the solutions portfolios — a proportion that has remained fairly consistent since 2017. The authors see long-tail adoption where users perceive feature gaps — or subpar feature performance — in their core solutions.

Composability and aggregation

The other two trends covered in detail in the report are composability and aggregation. In brief, a composable view of a martech stack means seeing it as a collection of features and functions rather than a collection of software products. A composable “architecture” is one where apps, workflows, customer experiences, etc., are developed using features of multiple products to serve a specific use case.

Indeed, some martech vendors are now describing their own offerings as composable, meaning that their proprietary features are designed to be used in tandem with third-party solutions that integrate with them. This is an evolution of the core-suite-plus-app-marketplace framework.

That framework is what Brinker and Riemersma refer to as “vertical aggregation.” “Horizontal aggregation,” they write, is “a newer model” where aggregation of software is seen not around certain business functions (marketing, sales, etc.) but around a layer of the tech stack. An obvious example is the data layer, fed from numerous sources and consumed by a range of applications. They correctly observe that this has been an important trend over the past year.

Build it yourself

Finally, and consistent with Brinker’s long-time advocacy for the citizen developer, the report detects a nascent trend towards teams creating their own software — a trend that will doubtless be accelerated by support from AI.

So far, the apps that are being created internally may be no more than “simple workflows and automations.” But come the day that app development is so democratized that it will be available to a wide range of users, the software will be a “reflection of the way they want their company to operate and the experiences they want to deliver to customers. This will be a powerful dimension for competitive advantage.”

Constantine von Hoffman contributed to this report.

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Continue Reading


Mastering The Laws of Marketing in Madness



Mastering The Laws of Marketing in Madness

Mastering The Laws of Marketing in Madness

Navigating through the world of business can be chaotic. At the time of this publication in November 2023, global economic growth is expected to remain weak for an undefined amount of time.

However, certain rules of marketing remain steadfast to guide businesses towards success in any environment. These universal laws are the anchors that keep a business steady, helping it thrive amidst uncertainty and change.

In this guide, we’ll explore three laws that have proven to be the cornerstones of successful marketing. These are practical, tried-and-tested approaches that have empowered businesses to overcome challenges and flourish, regardless of external conditions. By mastering these principles, businesses can turn adversities into opportunities, ensuring growth and resilience in any market landscape. Let’s uncover these essential laws that pave the way to success in the unpredictable world of business marketing. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to integrate these insights into your career. Follow the implementation steps!

Law 1: Success in Marketing is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Navigating the tumultuous seas of digital marketing necessitates a steadfast ship, fortified by a strategic long-term vision. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Take Apple, for instance. The late ’90s saw them on the brink of bankruptcy. Instead of grasping at quick, temporary fixes, Apple anchored themselves in a long-term vision. A vision that didn’t just stop at survival, but aimed for revolutionary contributions, resulting in groundbreaking products like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

In a landscape where immediate gains often allure businesses, it’s essential to remember that these are transient. A focus merely on the immediate returns leaves businesses scurrying on a hamster wheel, chasing after fleeting successes, but never really moving forward.

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A long-term vision, however, acts as the north star, guiding businesses through immediate challenges while ensuring sustainable success and consistent growth over time.

Consider This Analogy: 

Building a business is like growing a tree. Initially, it requires nurturing, patience, and consistent care. But with time, the tree grows, becoming strong and robust, offering shade and fruits—transforming the landscape. The same goes for business. A vision, perseverance, and a long-term strategy are the nutrients that allow it to flourish, creating a sustainable presence in the market.

Implementation Steps: 

  • Begin by planning a content calendar focused on delivering consistent value over the next six months. 
  • Ensure regular reviews and necessary adjustments to your long-term goals, keeping pace with evolving market trends and demands. 
  • And don’t forget the foundation—invest in robust systems and ongoing training, laying down strong roots for sustainable success in the ever-changing digital marketing landscape.

Law 2: Survey, Listen, and Serve

Effective marketing hinges on understanding and responding to the customer’s needs and preferences. A robust, customer-centric approach helps in shaping products and services that resonate with the audience, enhancing overall satisfaction and loyalty.

Take Netflix, for instance. Netflix’s evolution from a DVD rental company to a streaming giant is a compelling illustration of a customer-centric approach.

Their transition wasn’t just a technological upgrade; it was a strategic shift informed by attentively listening to customer preferences and viewing habits. Netflix succeeded, while competitors such a Blockbuster haid their blinders on.

Here are some keystone insights when considering how to Survey, Listen, and Serve…

Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty:

Surveying customers is essential for gauging their satisfaction. When customers feel heard and valued, it fosters loyalty, turning one-time buyers into repeat customers. Through customer surveys, businesses can receive direct feedback, helping to identify areas of improvement, enhancing overall customer satisfaction.


Engaging customers through surveys not only garners essential feedback but also makes customers feel valued and involved. It cultivates a relationship where customers feel that their opinions are appreciated and considered, enhancing their connection and engagement with the brand.

Product & Service Enhancement:

Surveys can unveil insightful customer feedback regarding products and services. This information is crucial for making necessary adjustments and innovations, ensuring that offerings remain aligned with customer needs and expectations.

Data Collection:

Surveys are instrumental in collecting demographic information. Understanding the demographic composition of a customer base is crucial for tailoring marketing strategies, ensuring they resonate well with the target audience.

Operational Efficiency:

Customer feedback can also shed light on a company’s operational aspects, such as customer service and website usability. Such insights are invaluable for making necessary enhancements, improving the overall customer experience.


Consistent surveying allows for effective benchmarking, enabling businesses to track performance over time, assess the impact of implemented changes, and make data-driven strategic decisions.

Implementation Steps:

  • Regularly incorporate customer feedback mechanisms like surveys and direct interactions to remain attuned to customer needs and preferences.
  • Continuously refine and adjust offerings based on customer feedback, ensuring products and services evolve in alignment with customer expectations.
  • In conclusion, adopting a customer-centric approach, symbolized by surveying, listening, and serving, is indispensable for nurturing customer relationships, driving loyalty, and ensuring sustained business success.

Law 3: Build Trust in Every Interaction

In a world cluttered with countless competitors vying for your prospects attention, standing out is about more than just having a great product or service. It’s about connecting authentically, building relationships rooted in trust and understanding. It’s this foundational trust that transforms casual customers into loyal advocates, ensuring that your business isn’t just seen, but it truly resonates and remains memorable.

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For instance, let’s talk about Oprah! Through vulnerability and honest connections, Oprah Winfrey didn’t just build an audience; she cultivated a community. Sharing, listening, and interacting genuinely, she created a media landscape where trust and respect flourished. Oprah was known to make her audience and even guests cry for the first time live. She had a natural ability to build instant trust.

Here are some keystone insights when considering how to develop and maintain trust…

The Unseen Fast-Track

Trust is an unseen accelerator. It simplifies decisions, clears doubts, and fast-forwards the customer journey, turning curiosity into conviction and interest into investment.

The Emotional Guardrail

Trust is like a safety net or a warm embrace, making customers feel valued, understood, and cared for. It nurtures a positive environment, encouraging customers to return, not out of necessity, but a genuine affinity towards the brand.

Implementation Steps:

  • Real Stories: Share testimonials and experiences, both shiny and shaded, to build credibility and show authenticity.
  • Open Conversation: Encourage and welcome customer feedback and discussions, facilitating a two-way conversation that fosters understanding and improvement.
  • Community Engagement: Actively participate and engage in community or industry events, align your brand with genuine causes and values, promoting real connections and trust.

Navigating through this law involves cultivating a space where authenticity leads, trust blossoms, and genuine relationships flourish, engraving a memorable brand story in the hearts and minds of the customers.

Guarantee Your Success With These Foundational Laws

Navigating through the world of business is a demanding odyssey that calls for more than just adaptability and innovation—it requires a solid foundation built on timeless principles. In our exploration, we have just unraveled three indispensable laws that stand as pillars supporting the edifice of sustained marketing success, enabling businesses to sail confidently through the ever-shifting seas of the marketplace.

Law 1: “Success in Marketing is a Marathon, Not a Sprint,” advocates for the cultivation of a long-term vision. It is about nurturing a resilient mindset focused on enduring success rather than transient achievements. Like a marathon runner who paces themselves for the long haul, businesses must strategize, persevere, and adapt, ensuring sustained growth and innovation. The embodiment of this law is seen in enterprises like Apple, whose evolutionary journey is a testament to the power of persistent vision and continual reinvention.

Law 2: “Survey, Listen, and Serve,” delineates the roadmap to a business model deeply intertwined with customer insights and responsiveness. This law emphasizes the essence of customer-centricity, urging businesses to align their strategies and offerings with the preferences and expectations of their audiences. It’s a call to attentively listen, actively engage, and meticulously tailor offerings to resonate with customer needs, forging paths to enhanced satisfaction and loyalty.

Law 3: “Build Trust in Every Interaction,” underscores the significance of building genuine, trust-laden relationships with customers. It champions the cultivation of a brand personality that resonates with authenticity, fostering connections marked by trust and mutual respect. This law navigates businesses towards establishing themselves as reliable entities that customers can resonate with, rely on, and return to, enriching the customer journey with consistency and sincerity.

These pivotal laws form the cornerstone upon which businesses can build strategies that withstand the tests of market volatility, competition, and evolution. They stand as unwavering beacons guiding enterprises towards avenues marked by not just profitability, but also a legacy of value, integrity, and impactful contributions to the marketplace. Armed with these foundational laws, businesses are empowered to navigate the multifaceted realms of the business landscape with confidence, clarity, and a strategic vision poised for lasting success and remarkable achievements.

Oh yeah! And do you know Newton’s Law?The law of inertia, also known as Newton’s first law of motion, states that an object at rest will stay at rest, and an object in motion will stay in motion… The choice is yours. Take action and integrate these laws. Get in motion!

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Intro to Amazon Non-endemic Advertising: Benefits & Examples



Intro to Amazon Non-endemic Advertising: Benefits & Examples

Amazon has rewritten the rules of advertising with its move into non-endemic retail media advertising. Advertising on Amazon has traditionally focused on brands and products directly sold on the platform. However, a new trend is emerging – the rise of non-endemic advertising on this booming marketplace. In this article, we’ll dive into the concept of non-endemic ads, their significance, and the benefits they offer to advertisers. This strategic shift is opening the floodgates for advertisers in previously overlooked industries.

While endemic brands are those with direct competitors on the platform, non-endemic advertisers bring a diverse range of services to Amazon’s vast audience. The move toward non-endemic advertising signifies Amazon’s intention to leverage its extensive data and audience segments to benefit a broader spectrum of advertisers.

Endemic vs. Non-Endemic Advertising


Let’s start by breaking down the major differences between endemic advertising and non-endemic advertising… 

Endemic Advertising

Endemic advertising revolves around promoting products available on the Amazon platform. With this type of promotion, advertisers use retail media data to promote products that are sold at the retailer.

Non-Endemic Advertising

In contrast, non-endemic advertising ventures beyond the confines of products sold on Amazon. It encompasses industries such as insurance, finance, and services like lawn care. If a brand is offering a product or service that doesn’t fit under one of the categories that Amazon sells, it’s considered non-endemic. Advertisers selling products and services outside of Amazon and linking directly to their own site are utilizing Amazon’s DSP and their data/audience segments to target new and relevant customers.

7 Benefits of Running Non-Endemic Ad Campaigns


Running non-endemic ad campaigns on Amazon provides a wide variety of benefits like:

Access to Amazon’s Proprietary Data: Harnessing Amazon’s robust first-party data provides advertisers with valuable insights into consumer behavior and purchasing patterns. This data-driven approach enables more targeted and effective campaigns.

Increased Brand Awareness and Revenue Streams: Non-endemic advertising allows brands to extend their reach beyond their typical audience. By leveraging Amazon’s platform and data, advertisers can build brand awareness among users who may not have been exposed to their products or services otherwise. For non-endemic brands that meet specific criteria, there’s an opportunity to serve ads directly on the Amazon platform. This can lead to exposure to the millions of users shopping on Amazon daily, potentially opening up new revenue streams for these brands.

No Minimum Spend for Non-DSP Campaigns: Non-endemic advertisers can kickstart their advertising journey on Amazon without the burden of a minimum spend requirement, ensuring accessibility for a diverse range of brands.

Amazon DSP Capabilities: Leveraging the Amazon DSP (Demand-Side Platform) enhances campaign capabilities. It enables programmatic media buys, advanced audience targeting, and access to a variety of ad formats.

Connect with Primed-to-Purchase Customers: Amazon’s extensive customer base offers a unique opportunity for non-endemic advertisers to connect with customers actively seeking relevant products or services.

Enhanced Targeting and Audience Segmentation: Utilizing Amazon’s vast dataset, advertisers can create highly specific audience segments. This enhanced targeting helps advertisers reach relevant customers, resulting in increased website traffic, lead generation, and improved conversion rates.

Brand Defense – By utilizing these data segments and inventory, some brands are able to bid for placements where their possible competitors would otherwise be. This also gives brands a chance to be present when competitor brands may be on the same page helping conquest for competitors’ customers.

How to Start Running Non-Endemic Ads on Amazon


Ready to start running non-endemic ads on Amazon? Start with these essential steps:

Familiarize Yourself with Amazon Ads and DSP: Understand the capabilities of Amazon Ads and DSP, exploring their benefits and limitations to make informed decisions.

Look Into Amazon Performance Plus: Amazon Performance Plus is the ability to model your audiences based on user behavior from the Amazon Ad Tag. The process will then find lookalike amazon shoppers with a higher propensity for conversion.

“Amazon Performance Plus has the ability to be Amazon’s top performing ad product. With the machine learning behind the audience cohorts we are seeing incremental audiences converting on D2C websites and beating CPA goals by as much as 50%.” 

– Robert Avellino, VP of Retail Media Partnerships at Tinuiti


Understand Targeting Capabilities: Gain insights into the various targeting options available for Amazon ads, including behavioral, contextual, and demographic targeting.

Command Amazon’s Data: Utilize granular data to test and learn from campaign outcomes, optimizing strategies based on real-time insights for maximum effectiveness.

Work with an Agency: For those new to non-endemic advertising on Amazon, it’s essential to define clear goals and identify target audiences. Working with an agency can provide valuable guidance in navigating the nuances of non-endemic advertising. Understanding both the audience to be reached and the core audience for the brand sets the stage for a successful non-endemic advertising campaign.



Amazon’s venture into non-endemic advertising reshapes the advertising landscape, providing new opportunities for brands beyond the traditional ecommerce sphere. The  blend of non-endemic campaigns with Amazon’s extensive audience and data creates a cohesive option for advertisers seeking to diversify strategies and explore new revenue streams. As this trend evolves, staying informed about the latest features and possibilities within Amazon’s non-endemic advertising ecosystem is crucial for brands looking to stay ahead in the dynamic world of digital advertising.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on all things Amazon, but if you’re looking to learn more about advertising on the platform, check out our Amazon Services page or contact us today for more information.

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