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A Quick Guide to Nonprofit Website Redesigns [+Best Practices]

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It’s hard to overstate the importance of having a quality website for nonprofit organizations. All of an organization’s outreach, marketing, and ads need to drive an audience to take action like donating, finding out about services, or signing up for information.

An effective website allows these actions to happen quickly and seamlessly, making the path to conversion for any of these actions feel effortless.

On the other hand, subpar websites actually distract audiences from the goals you want them to accomplish, confusing visitors with navigation that obscures the most relevant information or overloading them with too many calls-to-action.

As digital marketing experts, we have a basic process we use as a guide when we start new nonprofit website projects, ensuring that the end product is clear, easy-to-use, and ultimately, effective.

Let’s dive in.

The 6 Phases of a Successful Nonprofit Website Project

1. Discovery

During the discovery phase, your project team will define its goals and understand existing strengths, opportunities for growth, and audiences.

Identify Your Goals

The first step in building a better website is recognizing that you need one, and determining goals for redesign efforts. Sometimes you can look at data to determine if your current site is meeting your expectations.

Understand Audiences

Tools such as Google Analytics can help you determine which actions or content are getting more or less traction with audiences to optimize accordingly. Implementing audience surveys can also provide insight into what parts of your website may be resonating better or worse with your key groups.

Evaluate Content

Sometimes the issue may have to do with the visual presentation of your brand elements –– your site may just need a general facelift or improved accessibility. Marketing agencies can help audit and review your current site in more detail to provide you with specific recommendations to guide and prioritize your goals for your new website.

Site Audit

In a full site redesign, research may be required as a first step to inform strategy and design. This might involve doing an in-depth audit of all of the existing content for your current site, as well as research and documentation about any other technical platforms (like CRM systems or fundraising platforms at your organization). This also might entail doing deeper research into your audience groups and mapping their specific needs at various stages of their journey interacting with your organization.

SEO Audit

An SEO audit is an important step to capture insights for your site rebuild, ensuring audiences can easily find it via search. An SEO audit involves taking an in-depth analysis of all the factors that affect a website’s visibility in search engines. Doing this audit gives complete insights into the website, overall traffic, and individual pages in regards to site health and overall domain authority.

Here are just a few things to consider during an SEO audit:

  • Does your site support a breadcrumb structure?
  • Does your navigation make sense?
  • Is it easy for users to find important and relevant content on your site?
  • Does the content reach the right audience and target important keywords?
  • Is there correct metadata throughout the site? Title tags?
  • Are there server errors on your site?

While these may seem like simple and mundane tasks, they are crucial steps in ensuring your site and brand increase organic visibility. Overall, completing this task can help assure that you are reaching your traffic goals and can make any changes necessary in the website redesign.

2. Strategy

Once your discovery is complete, you can move to your strategy phase. Here, you and your team will dive into planning how all of your content, including copy, images, videos, and any other assets, will be presented across the new website.

Content Strategy

Once you have a handle on who your audiences are, and how you’d like them to engage with your information, you can dive into your content strategy — or the way you’ll organize and develop content for visitors to engage with on your site. This might include revising your site map (otherwise known as a list of pages in a hierarchical order for your website), and navigation so content that’s relevant to a particular audience is grouped together, and in a way that will make it easy for them to find the right piece of content at the right point of their journey.

During your content strategy exploration, considering all stages of an audience’s user journey is critical. How are people new to your site engaging, and how can you make life easier for return visitors?

As a nonprofit, you’ll want to share different pieces of your story with new versus existing supporters — for instance, with new visitors, you can share background on your nonprofit, and with existing supporters, you can show them the impact and results of your nonprofit so they can see how their contributions matter.

Information Architecture

Once the overall content strategy is in place, you can start to solidify the role, or story, each individual page will play. Bringing the most important messages to the top, and allowing for less urgent pieces to cascade down the page, builds your loose information architecture that will help UXers and designers bring your story to life.

3. UX and Design

As you move into your user experience (UX) and design phase, you’ll bring all of your discovery and strategy to life with visuals. By keeping your audiences top of mind during this phase, you’ll be able to meet their needs in the most effective way possible.

User experience (UX) design comes next, often in the form of prototypes or wireframes, to provide visual structure for each page. Sometimes these wireframes also include notional copy, which are brief bits of text to indicate things like ‘Headline about our giving program goes here.’ This can be helpful to guide later copywriting efforts for site content.

Things get more interesting and fun as the new website’s visual and creative direction gets established. Designers can recommend a new visual approach to your brand elements, colors, fonts, and other style elements. When approved, this visual approach gets applied to page designs and layouts to arrive at finalized page designs.

4. Implementation

In your implementation phase, you’ll notice that the development processes vary a bit depending on the platform. As you and your team work through implementing your work, you’ll make some decisions that’ll impact how easy your site will be to maintain (through no/low-code platforms versus code-driven products).

Designs, requirements, specifications, and copy come together with development efforts to bring a new website to life. Today, organizations have a lot of great options to consider: No-code platforms such as Squarespace or Wix can make many parts of the development process so simple that developers aren’t needed and maintenance costs are greatly reduced, at the cost of some flexibility about what types of technical integrations they can work well with and how much customization can occur. 

Some solutions such as Hubspot’s CMS are tailored for HubSpot’s CRM tools and offer an out-of-the-box solution for organizations that want a powerful but easy-to-use interface. HubSpot offers more than two dozen themes for nonprofits to choose from, making customization and a sleek design and user experience available within minutes.

More development-intensive platforms like WordPress come with higher investment needed in the building process and long-term maintenance costs for things like plugins and hosting, but offer endless opportunities to realize a custom website vision.

no code and low code

5. Quality Assurance Testing

Once final content is entered or migrated into your new site, and an approach to blog posts and SEO considerations have been addressed, quality assurance (QA) testing can happen.

QA testing can check that the site presents well across all devices, meets accessibility standards, is optimized for speed, and is functioning according to requirements.

6. Accessibility

Creating a website that’s not only functional and well-organized but also accessible to all is becoming the standard. As nonprofit organizations, it’s even more important to be catering to all audiences, especially those you may be serving.

Remember that accessibility means accommodating for all disabilities, not just ones that are readily apparent. Over 13% of the U.S. population has a visual impairment. Making the mindful shift to ensuring your site is accessible consists of small changes, like using proper colors, H1/H2 tagging for screen readers, and providing alt text on all images and graphics. Checking these boxes goes a long way in helping everyone have a positive experience on your site.

Once your QA testing is complete, including your accessibility checks, you can make changes and find solutions, and then the site is ready for final approval to release.

Regardless of your platform, there are a few details (that are often forgotten) to always keep in mind.

Here are a few examples of great no-code and low-code nonprofit websites.

No-Code Nonprofit Website Examples

1. 50 States, 50 Grants

 It Gets Better: 50 States. 50 Grants. 5000 voices campaign was built using webflow. Although built on a template, the website still has great movement and engagement, and portrays a more custom website.

Issue Area: LGBTQIA+

Website Platform: Webflow

Website: https://www.50states50grants.com/ 

2. RiseUP Marketing Fellowship

RiseUP Marketing Fellowship is a purpose-driven marketing fellowship that works to increase diversity, access, and tangible social impact across the marketing and advertising industries.

Issue Area: Employment

Website Platform: Squarespace

Website: https://www.riseupfellows.com/

Code-driven Nonprofit Website Examples

1. OPS

OPS inspires, empowers, and connects a global community using high-impact films and visual storytelling to expose the most critical issues facing our planet.

Issue Area: Environment

Website Platform: WordPress

Website: https://www.opsociety.org/

2. Outward Bound USA

Outward Bound USA is the leading provider of outdoor education programs that allows young people to explore their personal potential, since 1962.

Issue Area: Education

Website Platform: WordPress

Website: https://www.outwardbound.org/

3. The Gerson Mission

The Gerson Institute’s mission is anchored in the education of food as medicine, reducing toxic exposure and creating a healthier world where Gerson Therapy is not just a viable option, but a pillar of treating chronic illness.

Issue Area: Health

Website Platform: WordPress

Website: https://gerson.org/

Common Nonprofit Website Pitfalls

1. Tracking and Conversions

All too often, organizations forget to transfer and/or set up their tracking on a new website. At the very least, make sure your Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics are published when the website is released.

Chances are with most website rebuilds, elements and forms on the website have shifted. Buttons may have changed colors or placements and new pages may have been added. Any custom event or conversion tracking on your existing website will need to be recreated for the next website so that you don’t lose out on any of your tracking.

There’s nothing worse than realizing a pixel isn’t firing correctly mid-campaign. Make sure you take the time to QA your site, test forms and buttons, and run reports the second the website is live.

2. SEO

Every company needs a strong marketing strategy, even nonprofits! However, most nonprofits don’t know or haven’t considered investing in search engine optimization (SEO) even though it can have one of the highest returns on investment.

How do you expect your supporters, volunteers, and advocates to find you if you don’t invest in your SEO and content strategy? Roughly, 53% of individuals say they always do research before they buy something to ensure they are making the best possible choice. This is no different for nonprofits.

Strong SEO is more vital for nonprofits than ever with the accelerated digital transformation due to COVID and the overall political climate within the United States. Many Americans are looking for ways to support organizations of specific social issues — highlighting the greater need for strong SEO.

3. Accessibility

According to the World Health Organization, one billion people — approximately 15% of the world’s population — live with some form of disability. And, roughly 75% of Americans with disabilities report using the internet on a daily basis.

It’s important to keep in mind accessibility in web design is best when planned ahead, but can be remedied in meaningful ways at any stage in a website’s lifecycle.

As mentioned above, there are small changes that can go a long way in helping everyone engage with your website, but a few of the most critical are as follows:

  • Ensure the colors of your text/backgrounds are friendly for those experiencing visual disabilities, including color blindness
  • When available, draft specific copy for alt texts on images and graphics to verbally describe what someone else would see
    • This also helps with folks who use screen readers, having a voice to describe what they’re seeing adds context and color to their experience online
  • Using the tab key to navigate your site to see how folks who are unable to mouse around will engage with your content can illuminate any areas where more work may need to be done.
  • And lastly, checking for discrepancies between a mobile and desktop experience can be a great last pass to ensure you’re up to par with accessibility needs

Ultimately, a website redesign isn’t easy, but it’s a smart and lucrative business decision when it comes to helping your nonprofit reach new audiences and increase impact. A strong website is critical for any brand, but particularly vital for nonprofits that are goaled on reaching and inspiring interested audiences.

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Intro to Amazon Non-endemic Advertising: Benefits & Examples

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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.

Conclusion

 

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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How Does Success of Your Business Depend on Choosing Type of Native Advertising?

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How Does Success of Your Business Depend on Choosing Type of Native Advertising?

The very first commercial advertisement was shown on TV in 1941. It was only 10 seconds long and had an audience of 4,000 people. However, it became a strong trigger for rapid advertising development. The second half of the 20th century is known as the golden age of advertising until the Internet came to the forefront and entirely transformed the advertising landscape. The first commercial banner appeared in the mid-90s, then it was followed by pop-ups, pay-by-placement and paid-pay-click ads. Companies also started advertising their brands and adding their business logo designs, which contributes to consumer trust and trustworthiness.

The rise of social media in the mid-2000s opened a new dimension for advertising content to be integrated. The marketers were forced to make the ads less intrusive and more organic to attract younger users. This is how native advertising was born. This approach remains a perfect medium for goods and services promotion. Let’s see why and how native ads can become a win-win strategy for your business.

What is native advertising?

When it comes to digital marketing, every marketer talks about native advertising. What is the difference between traditional and native ones? You will not miss basic ads as they are typically promotional and gimmicky, while native advertising naturally blends into the content. The primary purpose of native ads is to create content that resonates with audience expectations and encourages users to perceive it seamlessly and harmoniously.

Simply put, native advertising is a paid media ad that organically aligns with the visual and operational features of the media format in which it appears. The concept is quite straightforward: while people just look through banner ads, they genuinely engage with native ads and read them. You may find a lot of native ads on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – they appear in the form of “in-feed” posts that engage users in search for more stories, opinions, goods and services. This unobtrusive approach turns native ads into a powerful booster for any brand.

How does native advertising benefit your business?

An average Internet user comes across around 10,000 ads a day. But even physically, it is impossible to perceive this amount of information in 24 hours. So, most of them use adblockers, nullifying all efforts of markers. Native ads successfully overcome this digital challenge thanks to their authenticity. And this is not the only advantage of native advertising. How else does your business benefit? Here are just a few major benefits that prove the value of native ads:

Better brand awareness. Native ads contribute to the brand’s visibility. They seamlessly blend into educational, emotional, and visual types of content that can easily become viral. While promotional content typically receives limited shares, users readily share valuable or entertaining content. Consequently, while you incur expenses only for the display of native ads, your audience may go the extra mile by sharing your content and organically promoting your brand or SaaS product at no additional cost.

Increased click-through rates. Native ads can generate a thrilling click-through rate (CTR) primarily because they are meticulously content-adaptable. Thus, native ads become an integral part of the user’s journey without disrupting their browsing experience. Regardless of whether your native advertising campaign is designed to build an audience or drive specific actions, compelling content will always entice users to click through.

Cost-efficient campaign performance. Native advertising proves to be cheaper compared to a traditional ad format. It mainly stems from a higher CTR. Thanks to precise targeting and less customer resistance, native ads allow to bring down cost-per-click.

Native ads are continuously evolving, enabling marketers to experiment with different formats and use them for successful multi-channel campaigns and global reach.

Types of native advertising

Any content can become native advertising as there are no strict format restrictions. For example, it can be an article rating the best fitness applications, an equipment review, or a post by an influencer on a microblog. The same refers to the channels – native ads can be placed on regular websites and social media feeds. Still, some forms tend to be most frequently used.

  • In-feed ads. This type of ad appears within the content feed. You have definitely seen such posts on Facebook and Instagram or such videos on TikTok. They look like regular content but are tagged with an advertising label. The user sees these native ads when scrolling the feed on social media platforms.
  • Paid search ads. These are native ads that are displayed on the top and bottom of the search engine results page. They always match user’s queries and aim to capture their attention at the moment of a particular search and generate leads and conversions. This type of ad is effective for big search platforms with substantial traffic.
  • Recommendation widgets. These come in the form of either texts or images and can be found at the end of the page or on a website’s sidebar. Widgets offer related or intriguing content from either the same publisher or similar sources. This type of native ads is great for retargeting campaigns.
  • Sponsored content. This is one of the most popular types of native advertising. Within this format, an advertiser sponsors the creation of an article or content that aligns with the interests and values of the platform’s audience. They can be marked as “sponsored” or “recommended” to help users differentiate them from organic content.
  • Influencer Advertising. In this case, advertisers partner with popular bloggers or celebrities to gain the attention and trust of the audience. Influencers integrate a product, service, or event into their content or create custom content that matches their style and topic.

Each of these formats can bring stunning results if your native ads are relevant and provide value to users. Use a creative automation platform like Creatopy to design effective ads for your business.

How to create a workable native ad?

Consider these 5 steps for creating a successful native advertising campaign:

  • Define your target audienceUsers will always ignore all ads that are not relevant to them. Unwanted ads are frustrating and can even harm your brand. If you run a store for pets, make sure your ads show content that will be interesting for pet owners. Otherwise, the whole campaign will be undermined. Regular market research and data analysis will help you refine your audience and its demographics.
  • Set your goals. Each advertising campaign should have a clear-cut objective. Without well-defined goals, it is a waste of money. It is a must to know what you want to achieve – introduce your brand, boost sales or increase your audience.
  • Select the proper channels. Now, you need to determine how you will reach out to your customers. Consider displaying ads on social media platforms, targeting search engine result pages (SERPs), distributing paid articles, or utilizing in-ad units on different websites. You may even be able to get creative and use email or SMS in a less salesy and more “native”-feeling way—you can find samples of texts online to help give you ideas. Exploring demand side platforms (DSP) can also bring good results.
  • Offer compelling content. Do not underestimate the quality of the content for your native ads. Besides being expertly written, it must ideally match the style and language of the chosen channel,whether you’re promoting professional headshots, pet products, or anything else. The main distinctive feature of native advertising is that it should fit naturally within the natural content.
  • Track your campaign. After the launch of native ads, it is crucial to monitor the progress, evaluating the costs spent and results. Use tools that help you gain insights beyond standard KPIs like CTR and CPC. You should get engagement metrics, customer data, campaign data, and third-party activity data for further campaign management.

Key takeaway

Summing up the above, it is time to embrace native advertising if you haven’t done it yet. Native ads seamlessly blend with organic content across various platforms, yielding superior engagement and conversion rates compared to traditional display ads. Marketers are allocating higher budgets to native ads because this format proves to be more and more effective – content that adds value can successfully deal with ad fatigue. Native advertising is experiencing a surge in popularity, and it is to reach its peak. So, do not miss a chance to grow your business with the power of native ads.or you can do digital marketing course from Digital Vidya.

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OpenAI’s Drama Should Teach Marketers These 2 Lessons

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OpenAI’s Drama Should Teach Marketers These 2 Lessons

A week or so ago, the extraordinary drama happening at OpenAI filled news feeds.

No need to get into all the saga’s details, as every publication seems to have covered it. We’re just waiting for someone to put together a video montage scored to the Game of Thrones music.

But as Sam Altman takes back the reigns of the company he helped to found, the existing board begins to disintegrate before your very eyes, and everyone agrees something spooked everybody, a question arises: Should you care?

Does OpenAI’s drama have any demonstrable implications for marketers integrating generative AI into their marketing strategies?

Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain (and give a shoutout to Sutton’s pants rage on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), or keep reading his thoughts:

For those who spent last week figuring out what to put on your holiday table and missed every AI headline, here’s a brief version of what happened. OpenAI – the huge startup and creator of ChatGPT – went through dramatic events. Its board fired the mercurial CEO Sam Altman. Then, the 38-year-old entrepreneur accepted a job at Microsoft but returned to OpenAI a day later.

We won’t give a hot take on what it means for the startup world, board governance, or the tension between AI safety and Silicon Valley capitalism. Rather, we see some interesting things for marketers to put into perspective about how AI should fit into your overall content and marketing plans in the new year.

Robert highlights two takeaways from the OpenAI debacle – a drama that has yet to reach its final chapter: 1. The right structure and governance matters, and 2. Big platforms don’t become antifragile just because they’re big.

Let’s have Robert explain.

The right structure and governance matters

OpenAI’s structure may be key to the drama. OpenAI has a bizarre corporate governance framework. The board of directors controls a nonprofit called OpenAI. That nonprofit created a capped for-profit subsidiary – OpenAI GP LLC. The majority owner of that for-profit is OpenAI Global LLC, another for-profit company. The nonprofit works for the benefit of the world with a for-profit arm.

That seems like an earnest approach, given AI tech’s big and disruptive power. But it provides so many weird governance issues, including that the nonprofit board, which controls everything, has no duty to maximize profit. What could go wrong?

That’s why marketers should know more about the organizations behind the generative AI tools they use or are considering.

First, know your providers of generative AI software and services are all exploring the topics of governance and safety. Microsoft, Google, Anthropic, and others won’t have their internal debates erupt in public fireworks. Still, governance and management of safety over profits remains a big topic for them. You should be aware of how they approach those topics as you license solutions from them.

Second, recognize the productive use of generative AI is a content strategy and governance challenge, not a technology challenge. If you don’t solve the governance and cross-functional uses of the generative AI platforms you buy, you will run into big problems with its cross-functional, cross-siloed use. 

Big platforms do not become antifragile just because they’re big

Nicholas Taleb wrote a wonderful book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder. It explores how an antifragile structure doesn’t just withstand a shock; it actually improves because of a disruption or shock. It doesn’t just survive a big disruptive event; it gets stronger because of it.

It’s hard to imagine a company the size and scale of OpenAI could self-correct or even disappear tomorrow. But it can and does happen. And unfortunately, too many businesses build their strategies on that rented land.

In OpenAI’s recent case, the for-profit software won the day. But make no bones about that victory; the event wasn’t good for the company. If it bounces back, it won’t be stronger because of the debacle.

With that win on the for-profit side, hundreds, if not thousands, of generative AI startups breathed an audible sigh of relief. But a few moments later, they screamed “pivot” (in their best imitation of Ross from Friends instructing Chandler and Rachel to move a couch.)

They now realize the fragility of their software because it relies on OpenAI’s existence or willingness to provide the software. Imagine what could have happened if the OpenAI board had won their fight and, in the name of safety, simply killed any paid access to the API or the ability to build business models on top of it.

The last two weeks have done nothing to clear the already muddy waters encountered by companies and their plans to integrate generative AI solutions. Going forward, though, think about the issues when acquiring new generative AI software. Ask about how the vendor’s infrastructure is housed and identify the risks involved. And, if OpenAI expands its enterprise capabilities, consider the implications. What extra features will the off-the-shelf solutions provide? Do you need them? Will OpenAI become the Microsoft Office of your AI infrastructure?

Why you should care

With the voluminous media coverage of Open AI’s drama, you likely will see pushback on generative AI. In my social feeds, many marketers say they’re tired of the corporate soap opera that is irrelevant to their work.

They are half right. What Sam said and how Ilya responded, heart emojis, and how much the Twitch guy got for three days of work are fodder for the Netflix series sure to emerge. (Robert’s money is on Michael Cera starring.)

They’re wrong about its relevance to marketing. They must be experiencing attentional bias – paying more attention to some elements of the big event and ignoring others. OpenAI’s struggle is entertaining, no doubt. You’re glued to the drama. But understanding what happened with the events directly relates to your ability to manage similar ones successfully. That’s the part you need to get right.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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