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Need a Creativity Boost? Spend Some Time With The Creative Show



Need a Creativity Boost? Spend Some Time With The Creative Show

CMI creative director Joseph Kalinowski contributed to this piece.

In just 10 episodes, CMI’s The Creative Show has completely rewritten the rules for live streaming, visual storytelling, and conversations about creativity.

Maybe we’re exaggerating a tiny bit. But we’re creatives, so we reserve the right for a bit of good-natured hyperbole about the impact of our show.

We’re excited for season two, which debuts at 2 p.m. (U.S. ET) Friday, Jan. 28, on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. If you haven’t caught every episode (or any episode), look back with us as we share some behind-the-scenes observations and highlights from our creative conversations in the first season.

Origin story

First, a little background: I met JK Kalinowski in 2012 at the Content Marketing World Health Summit. JK is CMI’s creative director. I’m a health-care content strategist by day and a comic book writer by night. We were destined to become fast friends.

FUN FACT: Our first conversation was about The Six Million Dollar Man TV show and toy line.

Over the years, we’ve written together for CMI, including:

In 2021, JK flew to New Jersey to participate in my Comic Book School panels at New York Comic-Con.

During the pandemic, JK approached me with the idea for a monthly 30-minute live show where we’d talk about creativity. The Creative Show was born. We started broadcasting – live from the deepest corners of the marketing internet, where no tactic goes uncovered, and every episode begins or ends (sometimes both) with Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe trivia.

Every month, #TheCreativeShow streams 30 minutes to talk #creativity. Go behind the scenes of its debut year via @BuddyScalera @jkkalinowski @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

The Creative Show Season 1 Episode Guide

Use these show summaries and behind-the-scenes glimpses to decide which episodes to catch up on before joining us live for season two when we can read your comments in the live show.

Episode 1 – The Debut

Streamed live: Jan. 29, 2021

Engineer: Monina Wagner

Description: Monina interviews us to dig into the secret origins of our creative power and set the stage for the show.

Behind the scenes: We hadn’t quite mastered the art of the short answer, and the audio has a lot of bounce and echo. Despite a few switching glitches, we managed our way through live learning.

Content takeaway: Both JK and I talk about how almost everyone uses creative thinking in the way they approach their jobs. JK shares how his wife applies creativity in her job teaching children with special needs:

FUN FACT: JK once designed and produced a treasure map and sent it as a message in a bottle to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville offices in hopes of landing the singer’s new alcohol line as a client for a Pennsylvania-based advertising agency. After sending messages in a bottle five weeks in a row, the agency finally scored a meeting with Jimmy’s manager.

Episode 2 – What Is the Greatest Movie Poster of All Time?

Streamed live: Feb. 26, 2021

Engineer: Monina Wagner

Description: We dive into the indisputable greatest movie poster of all time, breaking down why the visual promotion of JAWS is so iconic. We also look at less effective and exciting movie posters and discuss why they fail at differentiating in a noisy marketplace.

Behind the scenes: Our super-slick montage intro and our recurring What’s in the Box segment debut. (Spoiler: It’s Rolling Stones memorabilia in this episode). Spot a few clumsy moments as we try to figure out how to communicate with our engineer.

Content takeaways: Here’s a meta takeaway: We took repurposing content to the next level to give our livestream audience a new take on the Jaws movie poster that we wrote about in 2015.

The episode takeaway is how creators easily assume people are more familiar with your brand than they are. JK talks about the poster for the movie Joy and tells nothing about the movie except it stars Jennifer Lawrence. I liken this approach to a brand skipping an about page because they (incorrectly) assume everyone knows all about the brand. That approach fails people in the early part of their journey, where they’re looking for information. Follow our discussion here:

FUN FACT: JAWS is considered the first summer movie blockbuster.

Episode 3 – Marketers and Their Toys

Streamed live: March 26, 2021

Engineer: Monina Wagner

Description: Nurturing creativity means celebrating the spirit of play. We open up our toy boxes and talk about toy lines that benefitted from story-based content marketing.

Behind the scenes: We improve some of the production, including sound and engineering. And we repurpose more articles into this livestream experience, including:

It also gave us an excuse to talk about Star Wars, Marvel Comics, GI Joe, and He-Man. And JK shows off an issue of Vox Teen Beat from 1967 as an example of early content marketing.

Content takeaway: Hasbro created a content feast in the form of comic books to support GI Joe and taught kids how to play with the toys. That’s an important concept – marketers can use content to teach your base how to use your product. Here’s the clip, which includes lots of examples from my collection:

FUN FACT: Peter Jackson’s Get Back documentary shows The Beatles reading multiple versions of Beatles Fan Club magazines like Vox Teen Beat. (Bonus content: JK recently wrote about the creative lessons you can learn from the Get Back documentary.)

Episode 4 – That Sounds Creative

Streamed live: April 30, 2021

Engineer: Monina Wagner

Description: Impact of sound and music in videos and films – and how music helps you get into a creative groove. We share a couple of clips that show how music can change the tone of even familiar images:

Music can change the tone of even familiar images, says @BuddyScalera @jkkalinowski via @CMIContent. #Creativity #Storytelling Click To Tweet

Behind the scenes: Ironically, we discover we don’t know how to run sound just yet. Spot a few technical and linguistic challenges before we pull through in the end.

Content takeaway: Sound is its own language in cinema – and that translates over to marketing. Understanding that language is important to conveying your message. Here’s where we explore how that idea applies to explainer and other content marketing videos:

FUN FACT: Stanley Kubrick relied as heavily on music and sound as visual imagery for his horror classic The Shining.

Episode 5 – Designed to Work

Streamed live: May 28, 2021

Engineer: Monina Wagner

Description: Website design, general usability, and functional design of devices are discussed. We compare and contrast the Verizon and Roku remote controls. A little closer to home, JK explains how he creates the posters for Content Marketing World with thematic designs.

Behind the scenes: When I invited JK into the show … he doesn’t appear. (He had just lost power.) Quick-thinking Monina jumps into the conversation because, hey, we were live. Experiences like this help us prepare for future technical difficulties. We haven’t had another major glitch, but we have had a few minor ones that the audience probably didn’t even notice.

Content takeaway: Too often, design is considered ornamental, but it’s really a foundational element of any content project. That’s why the design team should be involved from the beginning.

FUN FACT: According to MRO Electric, Maine has the most power outages per year, with an average of 3.9 per customer each year.

#Design is a foundational element of any #content project. The design team should be involved from the beginning, says @BuddyScalera @jkkalinowski via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Episode 6 – Inside Creativity

Streamed live: June 25, 2021

Engineer: Monina Wagner

Description:  Finding bright spots from this otherwise terrible global experience. Bo Burnham’s Inside special on Netflix is an entry point. I discuss my Comic Book School project. (Since that time, Comic Book School has won three awards, including a Content Marketing Award.)

Behind the scenes: We finally learned how to play a clip (with audio) exactly as we mean to – only to realize there’s an F-bomb in it that we didn’t warn the audience about. (Consider yourself warned.)

Content takeaway: The pandemic uprooted our usual ways of working. But Bo Burnham took the tools he had at hand (an iPhone, a camcorder, lights, microphones) and documented the moment. He showed how to use limitations to inspire new types of storytelling. You see him try and fail ­– and document the whole thing. The pandemic didn’t pause his creativity, and it doesn’t have to put a stop to ours. Here’s the segment I’m talking about:

FUN FACT: According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, leisure time increased by an average of 37 minutes per day for men and 27 minutes for women between May 2019 and December of 2020. This increase partly reflects a decline in average work time (as the share of employed people fell during the pandemic) and a decrease in the average time people spent traveling.

Episode 7 – The Creative Toolbox

Streamed live: August 27, 2021

Engineer: Amanda Subler

Description: We talk about the tools we use to create, including software, snazzy notebooks, an industrial T-square, a scaling wheel, and an X-Acto set from the old days of physical magazine layouts.

Behind the scenes: We welcome Amanda Subler as our new engineer. Though Amanda chose not to be on camera, she finds clever ways to interact with us during the show.

Creative takeaway: I share an unusually organized look at the tools I use in creating, delivering, analyzing, reporting, and collaborating. Here’s the clip where I show that and talk with JK about following a creative project all the way through these stages:

FUN FACT: Adobe Inc. got its name from the Adobe Creek that ran behind co-founder John Warnock’s home in Los Altos, Calif. His wife Marva designed Adobe’s stylized “A” logo.

Episode 8 ­– The Idea Etherverse

Streamed live: Oct. 1, 2021

Engineer: Amanda Subler

Description: We talk about The Idea Etherverse, a shared consciousness of ideas that we can all access. Existential? Sure, why not? More practically, we discuss capturing ideas on notebooks, scraps of paper, and even in voicemails, and other strategies for capturing, saving, and improving ideas that just come to you from the ether.

Behind the scenes: JK’s custom-made shirt featuring The Creative Show logo makes its debut.

Creative takeaway: Talking through an idea can help flesh it out. Just don’t be discouraged by the initial reaction. Take the input and give the idea more time to grow. JK and I talk about our experiences with that approach:

FUN FACT: Field Notes brand was co-founded by graphic designer Aaron Draplin, who was inspired by promotional memo books given to farmers by seed and agricultural companies over the past century. JK grew up on a farm and received several memo books from his local farm co-op.

Episode 9 – The Iron Maiden of Marketing

Recorded Oct. 2, 2021

Engineer: Amanda Subler

Description: We explore the band Iron Maiden’s incredible career as an example of audience- and community-building. JK and I share the albums that we loved as teens but would have been embarrassed to share without friends. Today, we share them with pride.

Behind the scenes: This and the 10th episodes were recorded. We planned to go live from Content Marketing World, but at the last minute, I couldn’t attend. We scrambled and recorded both episodes the same day, which happened to be JK’s birthday.

Content takeaway: By building (and owning) their relationship with their community through a fan club, Iron Maiden never has to rely on earned media, which is subject to the whims of current pop-culture preferences. Iron Maiden owns its mailing list, so they communicate directly with fans. Talk about not living on rented land: They even own and fly their own plane. Here’s the segment where we talk about the creative freedom this brings:

FUN FACT: Iron Maiden’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson is doing a spoken word tour of North America.

Episode 10 – UX in the Real World

Published: Nov. 5, 2021

Engineer: Amanda Subler

Description: We talk about design, UX, and real-world experiences, including some great and some poorly conceived interfaces.

Behind the scenes: We find our rhythm. Things are a little looser, a bit less scripted, and (we think) a bit funnier.

Content takeaway: User experience is important to content’s success. Here’s JK explaining the Interactive Design Foundation’s definition of UX followed by our discussion of what it all means:

FUN FACT: Toast was invented by the ancient Egyptians. Scorching bread on hot stones beside an open fire preserved bread and prevented mold from growing.

Tune in

So that’s the debut year of The Creative Show. We’re grateful to have a platform to interact with our fellow creative thinkers and content marketers. We’re tinkering with the show all the time, and we hope you’ll take this ride with us.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 7 Ideas To Get Your Creativity Unstuck
Drop a note in the comments with your ideas and thoughts about any of these episodes. We look forward to seeing you on the upcoming shows – the last Friday of every month at 2 p.m. ET on LinkedIn, Facebook, or YouTube.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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



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



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.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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