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How to make web accessibility a part of digital marketing efforts



How to make web accessibility a part of digital marketing efforts

After being diagnosed with dyslexia in the final semester of my undergraduate degree nearly 40 years ago, the issue of accessibility has always been on my mind. I think of all the issues I have faced when it came to correctly reading various materials — including advertising.

I was thrilled to be present 25 years ago when Sir Tim Berners-Lee first announced the Web Accessibility Initiative back in April 1997. But while awareness of accessibility issues may have increased and various government legislations have mandated it (for some), anyone involved in the field of accessibility knows that digital campaigns as a whole are lacking.

Many people don’t think about accessibility beyond seeing ramps added to buildings. When they find themselves on crutches or using a wheelchair, only then do they become concerned with physical accessibility.

Accessible design — when combined with advances in technology that may hinder accessibility and an aging population who can no longer read small print — is becoming (and should be) front-of-mind for everyone in the marketing community.

I interviewed three accessibility authorities on the subject to find out the current state of things and the best way to ensure that accessibility becomes part of all digital projects. 


Our experts are:

What percentage of digital campaigns do you feel involve any level of accessibility thought and or testing?

The experts responded in an almost unanimous response of “none to almost none”. Evans was the most optimistic, estimating no more than 10% while Scudamore estimated 5%. She went on to expand:

“I am still seeing light grey fonts, red fonts, and other colors of fonts that do not have the high contrast that makes it easy for everyone to see. Many ads have very small fonts that also make them hard to read. Inaccessible content is still far too common. Many landing pages pop up over the website, and many pop-ups, landing pages and shopping carts are not reachable without a mouse, which makes them inaccessible.”

What is the most common aspect of accessibility that digital marketers forget?

Berg stressed: 

“It’s more of a lack of training than being forgetful or neglectful. Marketers are focused on able-bodied target markets and SEO and less inclined to consider how people access content. There’s a gigantic segment of the population using assistive technology or accessibility settings on their computers and mobile devices whose needs are ignored. They are simply not getting promotions because there are barriers preventing them from accessing content.”

Evans emphasized: 

“The most common aspect of accessibility that digital marketers forget is using the headings on blog posts and web-based content. They tend to enter headers and subheaders, and then format them to look the way they want. This deprives their content of search engine juice.

Search engines give a higher priority to headers and subheaders than using proper headings as in <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc. When you don’t use headings, the headers are treated like a paragraph. 

Think about reading an article in the newspaper or online. Do you scan the headlines, subheadings, images, and bullets? Most of us do. It’s how we get the lay of the land. Online content with <h#> headings provide the lay of the land for people using screen readers. Without them, they can’t skip around the content.”


Dig deeper: The cost of ignoring website accessibility

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Have you ever seen a digital campaign where you felt the marketers and designers did a good job from an accessibility perspective?

Both Evans and Berg couldn’t think of a single campaign that did a good job with accessibility, Scudamore did identify a single one:

“U.K. Unilever a few years ago. From their ad campaigns to their site, they did a really nice job and a seamless experience from the ad to the landing page to the sale. They have slipped a bit. I think there have been some leadership changes there, and perhaps accessibility isn’t the priority it still should be. is also a good example. However, if you use the WAVE Evaluation Tool it will appear that the site has errors. It doesn’t. This shows that tools can only test a site through math, accessibility evaluations need both tools and people to review. We need marketers to up their game and knowledge about accessibility so we don’t rely on automated tools that have varying degrees of accuracy.”

If you could make digital marketers and designers implement a single aspect or key aspects of accessibility into their campaigns, what would it be? How could they test it to be sure they did it correctly?

Evans recommends looking at color contrast: 

“Campaigns are usually very visual. So, a single aspect I’d recommend they check is the color contrast. They can do that easily with a free color contrast tool like Colour Contrast Analyser.”

Berg also encouraged the use of tools for testing:

“Imagine what your campaign sounds like without the visuals. The bulk of the delivery is with the use of images, UI layout, calls to action and text. Without images, would you know the purpose of the promotion? Are the images described with alt text?

Use a built-in browser web dev tool extension to remove all images and see if there is anything left to communicate the promotion and then provide the opportunity in multiple ways, such as text, links, buttons with your keywords and verbs.”

Scudamore highlighted that accessibility testing shouldn’t be an afterthought:


“Brands must bring people with various abilities to the table at the start of the development of any campaign, website, app, etc. They must keep them on board to test as the project develops.

As an industry, we have got to stop wasting money trying to retrofit poorly developed projects. Too many brands and agencies lose time and opportunity by not considering accessibility as an imperative (as opposed to being an option, at best — or ignored, at worst).”

Dig deeper: Optimizing the online experience for disabilities improves it for all customers

Tools are tools and the most important tool any digital marketer has is the one located between their ears. That said, some handy utilities/tools to provide information to our brains were provided.

Scudamore recommends “cozying up with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Each step of the way. Every time there is a function or a measurable goal, we need to check how it should be done accessibly with the WCAG” as well as a contrast tester plugin from

Berg also recommended and their WAVE browser extension. She also maintains a list of recommended resources.

Evans provided the following list:

  • W3C Easy Checks (manual review).
  • Use a color contrast analyzer for color contrast.
  • For web content, WAVE Browser Extensions, WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool, and/or Accessibility Insights for Web using the FastPass option.
  • For docs, Microsoft Word’s built-in accessibility checker.
  • For presentations, Microsoft PowerPoint’s built-in accessibility checker
  • Grackle has multiple tools

Berg’s final suggestion:

“This is not about features. It’s about delivering promotions in ways that more people will understand, perceive, and be motivated to choose. They can’t make decisions when they can’t see, hear, or comprehend marketing content and page layouts.

View your digital marketing strategies on as many computers and mobile devices as possible. Turn the page from portrait to landscape view. Magnify the page up to 200%. Be sure your marketing investment is not a big content blob when the page is requested with practices you may not have considered.”

Evans made the point, “If you want to reach more people, then make your content accessible.”

This was substantiated by Scudamore. As she pointed out:

“The American Institutes for Research estimates the spending power of people with disabilities in the United States to be $490 billion in disposable income for workers aged 16 to 64 — the after-tax dollars for basic necessities such as housing, food, and clothing. In the marketplace, PWD — as well as their families, friends, and advocates — wield considerable spending power.”

Dig deeper: How to make your content more accessible to the visually impaired

Incorporating accessibility in digital marketing efforts

It is this untapped market where we can expand the reach of our digital marketing efforts to not only increase revenues but increase our customer base.

If we are the first to tap into an untapped audience and do a great job, we’ll also create loyal customers. It’s time to take the advice of our accessibility experts and start including accessibility as part of our digital marketing efforts.

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


About The Author

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Alan K’necht an independent SEO, social and analytics consultant, a public speaker, award-winning author and a corporate trainer (SEO, social media marketing and digital analytics).


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The Role of Enterprise Mobility Management in Modern Businesses



The Role of Enterprise Mobility Management in Modern Businesses

In today’s fast-paced business environment, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) has emerged as a critical facilitator for enhancing operational efficiency and competitiveness. EMM solutions streamline workflows, ensuring that enterprises can adapt to the rapidly changing digital landscape. This blog discusses the indispensable role of EMM in modern businesses, focusing on how it revolutionizes workflows and positions businesses for success.

EMM solutions act as the backbone for securely managing mobile devices, applications, and content that facilitate remote work and on-the-go access to company resources. With a robust EMM platform, businesses can ensure data protection and compliance with regulatory requirements, even in highly dynamic environments. This not only minimizes the risk of data breaches but also reinforces the company’s reputation for reliability and security.

Seamless Integration Across Devices

In today’s digital era, seamless integration across devices is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity for maintaining operational fluency within any organization. Our EMM solutions are designed to ensure that employees have secure and efficient access to the necessary resources, irrespective of the device being used. This cross-platform compatibility significantly enhances productivity by allowing for a unified user experience that supports both the agility and dynamism required in modern business operations. Leveraging cutting-edge technology, our solutions provide a cohesive ecosystem where data flows securely and effortlessly across mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, ensuring that your workforce remains connected and productive, regardless of their physical location. The adoption of our EMM solutions speaks volumes about an organization’s commitment to fostering a technologically forward and secure working environment, echoing its dedication to innovation and excellence.

Enhanced Productivity

EMM facilitates the seamless integration of mobile devices into the corporate environment, enabling employees to access corporate resources from anywhere. This flexibility significantly enhances productivity by allowing tasks to be completed outside of traditional office settings.

Unified Endpoint Management

The incorporation of Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) within EMM solutions ensures that both mobile and fixed devices can be managed from a single console, simplifying IT operations and enhancing security.


Advanced Security Protocols

Where cyber threats loom larger than ever, our EMM solutions incorporate cutting-edge security protocols designed to shield your organization’s data from unauthorized access and breaches. By consistently updating and refining our security measures, we ensure your assets are protected by the most advanced defenses available. This commitment to security not only safeguards your information but also reinforces your company’s reputation as a secure and trustworthy enterprise.

Data Protection

EMM solutions implement robust security measures to protect sensitive corporate data across all mobile devices. This includes encryption, secure VPN connections, and the ability to remotely wipe data from lost or stolen devices, thereby mitigating potential data breaches.

Compliance Management

By enforcing security policies and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards, EMM helps businesses avoid costly fines and reputational damage associated with data breaches.

Driving Operational Efficiency

In the quest to drive operational efficiency, our solutions streamline processes, reduce redundancies, and automate routine tasks. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies, we empower businesses to optimize their workflows, resulting in significant time and cost savings. Our approach not only enhances operational agility but also positions your organization at the forefront of innovation, setting a new standard in your industry.

Automated Workflows

By automating repetitive tasks, EMM reduces manual efforts, increases accuracy, and speeds up business processes. This automation supports operational efficiency and allows employees to focus on more strategic tasks.

Real-time Communication and Collaboration

EMM enhances communication and collaboration among team members by providing tools that facilitate real-time interactions. This immediate exchange of information accelerates decision-making processes and improves project outcomes.


Testimonials from Industry Leaders

Leaders in various industries have witnessed tangible benefits from implementing EMM solutions, including increased productivity, improved security, and enhanced operational efficiency. Testimonials from these leaders underscore the transformative impact of EMM on their businesses, solidifying its vital role in modern operational strategies.

Our commitment to innovation and excellence propels us to continually refine our EMM solutions, ensuring they remain at the cutting edge of technology. This dedication not only solidifies our standing as industry leaders but also guarantees that our clients receive the most advanced and effective operational tools available, tailored specifically to meet their unique business challenges.

Looking Ahead

The evolution of EMM solutions continues at a rapid pace, with advancements in technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) further enhancing their capabilities. These developments promise even greater efficiencies, security measures, and competitive advantages for businesses willing to invest in the future of mobility management.

Our proactive approach to integrating emerging technologies with EMM solutions positions our clients at the forefront of their industries. By leveraging our deep technical expertise and industry insights, we empower businesses to not only adapt to but also lead in an increasingly digital world, ensuring they remain competitive and resilient amidst rapid technological shifts.

In conclusion, the role of Enterprise Mobility Management in modern businesses cannot be overstated. Its ability to revolutionize workflows, enhance security, and drive operational efficiency positions it as a foundational element of digital transformation strategies. We invite businesses to explore the potential of EMM solutions and partner with us to achieve unprecedented levels of success and innovation in the digital era. Together, we can redefine the boundaries of what is possible in business operations and set new benchmarks for excellence in the industry.

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Lessons From Air Canada’s Chatbot Fail



Lessons From Air Canada’s Chatbot Fail

Air Canada tried to throw its chatbot under the AI bus.

It didn’t work.

A Canadian court recently ruled Air Canada must compensate a customer who bought a full-price ticket after receiving inaccurate information from the airline’s chatbot.

Air Canada had argued its chatbot made up the answer, so it shouldn’t be liable. As Pepper Brooks from the movie Dodgeball might say, “That’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.” 

But what does that chatbot mistake mean for you as your brands add these conversational tools to their websites? What does it mean for the future of search and the impact on you when consumers use tools like Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s ChatGPT to research your brand?


AI disrupts Air Canada

AI seems like the only topic of conversation these days. Clients expect their agencies to use it as long as they accompany that use with a big discount on their services. “It’s so easy,” they say. “You must be so happy.”

Boards at startup companies pressure their management teams about it. “Where are we on an AI strategy,” they ask. “It’s so easy. Everybody is doing it.” Even Hollywood artists are hedging their bets by looking at the newest generative AI developments and saying, “Hmmm … Do we really want to invest more in humans?  

Let’s all take a breath. Humans are not going anywhere. Let me be super clear, “AI is NOT a strategy. It’s an innovation looking for a strategy.” Last week’s Air Canada decision may be the first real-world distinction of that.

The story starts with a man asking Air Canada’s chatbot if he could get a retroactive refund for a bereavement fare as long as he provided the proper paperwork. The chatbot encouraged him to book his flight to his grandmother’s funeral and then request a refund for the difference between the full-price and bereavement fair within 90 days. The passenger did what the chatbot suggested.


Air Canada refused to give a refund, citing its policy that explicitly states it will not provide refunds for travel after the flight is booked.

When the passenger sued, Air Canada’s refusal to pay got more interesting. It argued it should not be responsible because the chatbot was a “separate legal entity” and, therefore, Air Canada shouldn’t be responsible for its actions.

I remember a similar defense in childhood: “I’m not responsible. My friends made me do it.” To which my mom would respond, “Well, if they told you to jump off a bridge, would you?”

My favorite part of the case was when a member of the tribunal said what my mom would have said, “Air Canada does not explain why it believes …. why its webpage titled ‘bereavement travel’ was inherently more trustworthy than its chatbot.”

The BIG mistake in human thinking about AI

That is the interesting thing as you deal with this AI challenge of the moment. Companies mistake AI as a strategy to deploy rather than an innovation to a strategy that should be deployed. AI is not the answer for your content strategy. AI is simply a way to help an existing strategy be better.

Generative AI is only as good as the content — the data and the training — fed to it.  Generative AI is a fantastic recognizer of patterns and understanding of the probable next word choice. But it’s not doing any critical thinking. It cannot discern what is real and what is fiction.


Think for a moment about your website as a learning model, a brain of sorts. How well could it accurately answer questions about the current state of your company? Think about all the help documents, manuals, and educational and training content. If you put all of that — and only that — into an artificial brain, only then could you trust the answers.

Your chatbot likely would deliver some great results and some bad answers. Air Canada’s case involved a minuscule challenge. But imagine when it’s not a small mistake. And what about the impact of unintended content? Imagine if the AI tool picked up that stray folder in your customer help repository — the one with all the snarky answers and idiotic responses? Or what if it finds the archive that details everything wrong with your product or safety? AI might not know you don’t want it to use that content.

ChatGPT, Gemini, and others present brand challenges, too

Publicly available generative AI solutions may create the biggest challenges.

I tested the problematic potential. I asked ChatGPT to give me the pricing for two of the best-known CRM systems. (I’ll let you guess which two.) I asked it to compare the pricing and features of the two similar packages and tell me which one might be more appropriate.

First, it told me it couldn’t provide pricing for either of them but included the pricing page for each in a footnote. I pressed the citation and asked it to compare the two named packages. For one of them, it proceeded to give me a price 30% too high, failing to note it was now discounted. And it still couldn’t provide the price for the other, saying the company did not disclose pricing but again footnoted the pricing page where the cost is clearly shown.

In another test, I asked ChatGPT, “What’s so great about the digital asset management (DAM) solution from [name of tech company]?” I know this company doesn’t offer a DAM system, but ChatGPT didn’t.


It returned with an answer explaining this company’s DAM solution was a wonderful, single source of truth for digital assets and a great system. It didn’t tell me it paraphrased the answer from content on the company’s webpage that highlighted its ability to integrate into a third-party provider’s DAM system.

Now, these differences are small. I get it. I also should be clear that I got good answers for some of my harder questions in my brief testing. But that’s what’s so insidious. If users expected answers that were always a little wrong, they would check their veracity. But when the answers seem right and impressive, even though they are completely wrong or unintentionally accurate, users trust the whole system.

That’s the lesson from Air Canada and the subsequent challenges coming down the road.

AI is a tool, not a strategy

Remember, AI is not your content strategy. You still need to audit it. Just as you’ve done for over 20 years, you must ensure the entirety of your digital properties reflect the current values, integrity, accuracy, and trust you want to instill.

AI will not do this for you. It cannot know the value of those things unless you give it the value of those things. Think of AI as a way to innovate your human-centered content strategy. It can express your human story in different and possibly faster ways to all your stakeholders.

But only you can know if it’s your story. You have to create it, value it, and manage it, and then perhaps AI can help you tell it well. 

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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Only 6% of global marketers apply customer insights to product and brand



Only 6% of global marketers apply customer insights to product and brand

While many brands talk about focusing on the customer, few do it. Less than a quarter (24%) of global brands are mapping customer behavior and sentiment, according to Braze’s 2024 Customer Engagement Review. What’s worse, only 6% apply customer insights to their product and brand approach.

“At the end of the day, a lot of companies operate based on their structure and not how the consumer interacts with them,” Mariam Asmar, VP of strategic consulting, told MarTech. “And while some companies have done a great job of reorienting that, with roles like the chief customer officer, there are many more that still don’t. Cross-channel doesn’t exist because there are still all these silos. But the customer doesn’t care about your silos. The customer doesn’t see silos. They see a brand.”

Half of all marketers report either depending on multiple, siloed point solutions to cobble together a multi-channel experience manually (33%); or primarily relying on single-channel solutions (17%).  Only 30% have access to a single customer engagement platform capable of creating personalized, seamless experiences across channels. This is a huge problem when it comes to cross-channel, personalization.

The persistence of silos

The persistence of data silos despite decades of explanation about the problems they cause, surprised Asmar the most.

Screenshot 2024 02 27 140015
Source: Braze 2024 Global Customer Engagement Review

“Why are we still talking about this?” she said to MarTech. “One of the themes I see in the report is we’re still getting caught up on some of the same stumbling blocks as before.”

She said silos are indicative of teams working on different goals and “the only way that gets unsolved is if a leader comes in and aligns people towards some of those goals.”

These silos also hinder the use of AI, something 99% of respondents said they were already doing. The top uses of AI by marketers are:

  • Generating creative ideas (48%).
  • Automating repetitive tasks (47%).
  • Optimizing strategies in real-time (47%).
  • Enhancing data analysis (47%).
  • Powering predictive analytics (45%).
  • Personalizing campaigns (44%). 

Despite the high usage numbers, less than half of marketers have any interest in exploring AI’s potential to enhance customer engagement. Asmar believes there are two main reasons for this. First is that many people like the systems they know and understand. The other reason is a lack of training on the part of companies.

Dig deeper: 5 ways CRMs are leveraging AI to automate marketing today

“I think about when I was in advertising and everybody switched to social media,” she told MarTech. “Companies acted like ‘Well, all the marketers will just figure out social media.’ You can’t do that because whenever you’re teaching somebody how to do something new there’s always a level of training them up, even though they’re apps that we use every day, as people using them as a business and how they apply, how we get impact from them.”

The good news is that brands are setting the stage for the data agility they need.

  • 50% export performance feedback to business intelligence platforms to generate advanced analytics.
  • 48% sync performance with insights generated by other platforms in the business.

Also worth noting: Marketers say these are the four main obstacles to creativity and strategy:  

  • Emphasis on KPIs inherently inhibits a focus on creativity (42%).
  • Too much time spent on business-as-usual execution and tasks (42%).
  • Lack of technology to execute creative ideas, (41%).
  • Hard to demonstrate ROI impact of creativity (40%).
Screenshot 2024 02 27 135952Screenshot 2024 02 27 135952


The 2024 Global Customer Engagement Review (registration required) is based on insights from 1,900 VP+ marketing decision-makers across 14 countries in three global regions: The Americas (Brazil, Mexico, and the US), APAC (Australia, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea), and EMEA (France, Germany, Spain, the UAE, and the UK).


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