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What part should marketing play?



What part should marketing play?

If you have an artificial intelligence program, you also have a committee, team, or body that is providing governance over AI development, deployment, and use. If you don’t, one needs to be created.

In my last article, I shared the key areas for applying AI and ML models in marketing and how those models can help you innovate and meet client demands. Here I look at marketing’s responsibility for AI governance.

So, what is AI governance?

AI governance is what we call the framework or process that manages your use of AI. The goal of any AI governance effort is simple — mitigate the risks attached to using AI. To do this, organizations must establish a process for assessing the risks of AI-driven algorithms and their ethical usage.   

The stringency of the governance is highly dependent on industry. For example, deploying AI algorithms in a financial setting could have greater risks than deploying AI in manufacturing. The use of AI for assigning consumer credit scores needs more transparency and oversight than does an AI algorithm that distributes parts cost-effectively around a plant floor. 

To manage risk effectively, an AI governance program should look at three aspects of AI-driven applications:

  • Data: What data is the algorithm using? Is the quality appropriate for the model? Do data scientists have access to the data needed? Will privacy be violated as part of the algorithm? (Although this is never intentional, some AI models could inadvertently expose sensitive information.) As data may change over time, it is necessary to consistently govern the data’s use in the AI/ML model.
  • Algorithms. If the data has changed, does it alter the output of the algorithm? For example, if a model was created to predict which customers will purchase in the next month, the data will age with each passing week and affect the output of the model. Is the model still generating appropriate responses or actions? Because the most common AI model in marketing is machine learning, marketers need to watch for model drift. Model drift is any change in the model’s predictions. If the model predicts something today that is different from what it predicted yesterday, then the model is said to have “drifted.”
  • Use. Have those that are using the AI model’s output been trained on how to use it? Are they monitoring outputs for variances or spurious results? This is especially important if the AI model is generating actions that marketing uses. Using the same example, does the model identify those customers who are most likely to purchase in the next month? If so, have you trained sales or support reps on how to handle customers who are likely to buy? Does your website “know” what to do with those customers when they visit? What marketing processes are affected as a result of this information?

How should it be structured and who should be involved?

AI governance can be structured in various ways with approaches that vary from highly controlled to self-monitored, which is highly dependent on the industry as well as the corporate culture in which it resides.  

To be able to direct to the model development as well as its validation and deployment, governance teams usually consist of both technical members who understand how the algorithms operate as well as leaders who understand why the models should work as they are planned. In addition, someone representing the internal audit function usually sits within the governance structure.  

No matter how AI governance is structured, the primary objective should be a highly collaborative team to ensure that AI algorithms, the data used by them and the processes that use the outcomes are managed so that the organization is compliant with all internal and external regulations.

Here is a sample AI Governance design for an organization taking a centralized approach, common in highly regulated industries like healthcare, finance, and telecommunications: 

Image: Theresa Kushner

What can marketers contribute to AI governance?

There are several reasons for marketing to be involved in the governance of AI models. All of these reasons relate to marketing’s mission. 

  1. Advocating for customers. Marketing’s job is to ensure that customers have the information they need to purchase and continue purchasing, as well as to evangelize for the company’s offerings. Marketing is responsible for the customers’ experiences and with protecting the customers’ information. Because of these responsibilities, the marketing organization should be involved in any AI algorithm that uses customer information or with any algorithm that has an impact on customer satisfaction, purchase behavior or advocacy.  
  1. Protecting the brand. One of marketing’s primary responsibilities is protecting the brand.  If AI models are being deployed in any way that might hurt the  brand image, marketing should step in. For example, if AI-generated credit worthiness scores are used to determine in advance which customers get the “family” discount, then marketing should be playing an important role in how that model is deployed. Marketing should be part of the team that decides whether the model will yield appropriate results or not. Marketing must always ask the question: “Will this situation change how our primary customers feel about doing business with us?”
  1. Ensuring open communications. One of the most often neglected areas of AI/ML model development and deployment is the storytelling that is required to help others understand what the models should be doing. Transparency and explicability are the two most important traits of good, governed AI/ML modeling. Transparency means that the models that are created are fully understood by those creating them and those using them as well as managers and leaders of the organizations. Without being able to explain what the model does and how it does it to the internal business leaders, the AI Governance team runs the huge risk of also not being able to explain the model externally to government regulators, outside counsels, or stockholders. Communicating the “story” of what the model is doing and what it means to the business is marketing’s job.
  1. Guarding marketing-deployed AI Models. Marketing should also be a big user of those AI/ML models that help determine which customers will purchase the most, which customers will remain customers the longest, and which of the most satisfied customers are likely to recommend you to other potential customers or indeed churn. In this role, marketing should have a seat at the AI Governance table to ensure that customer information is well managed, that bias does not enter the model and that privacy is maintained for the customer.  

Read next: AI and machine learning in marketing: Are you deploying the right models? 

But first, get to know the basics

I would like to say that your organization’s AI Governance will welcome marketers to the table, but it never hurts to be prepared and to do your homework. Here are a few skills and capabilities to familiarize yourself with before getting started: 

  • AI/ML understanding. You should understand what AI/ML are and how they work. This does not mean that you need a Ph.D. in data science, but it is a good idea to take an online course on what these capabilities are and what they do. It’s most important that you understand what impact should be expected from the models especially if they run the risk of exposing customer information or putting the organization at financial or brand risk.
  • Data. You should be well-versed in what data is being used in the model, how it was collected and how and when it is updated. Selecting and curating the data for an AI model is the first place where bias can enter the algorithm. For example, if you are trying to analyze customer behavior around a specific product, you will usually need about three-quarters of data collected in the same way and curated so that you have complete as well as accurate information. If it’s marketing data that the algorithm will be using, then your role is even more important.
  • Process. You should have a good understanding of the process in which the algorithm will be deployed. If you are sitting on the AI Governance team as a marketing representative and the AI algorithms being evaluated are for sales, then you should familiarize yourself with that process and how and where marketing may contribute to the process. Because this is an important skill to have if you serve on the AI Governance team, many marketing teams will appoint the marketing operations head as their representative.

No matter what role you play in AI Governance, remember how important it is. Ensuring that AI/ML is deployed responsibly in your organization is not only imperative, but also an ongoing process, requiring persistence and vigilance, as the models continue to learn from the data they use.  

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

About The Author

Theresa Kushner is passionate about data analysis and how it gets applied to today’s business challenges. For over 25 years she has led companies – like IBM, Cisco Systems, VMware, Dell/EMC – in recognizing, managing, and using the information or data that has exploded exponentially. Using her expertise in journalism, she co-authored two books on data and its use in business: Managing Your Business Data: From Chaos to Confidence (with Maria Villar) and B2B Data-Driven Marketing: Sources, Uses, Results
(with Ruth Stevens). Today, as the Data and Analytics practice lead for NTT DATA, Theresa continues to help companies – and their marketing departments — gain value from data and information.

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27 Best About Us and About Me Page Examples [+Templates]



Your about page summarizes your history, values, and mission — all in one place. That’s a tall order for just a few paragraphs. If you’re feeling stuck, turn to these about-page examples for inspiration. 

about us page example: laptop held in palm of hand


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MarTech’s marketing operations experts to follow



MarTech's marketing operations experts to follow

Marketing operations is what makes the magic happen. These are the folks who see that your martech stack doesn’t get stuck. They are the maestros, modelers and makers who make sure the trains run, the data is digestible and that you have the programs you need. Where would we be without them? That’s too scary to think about. Here’s our list of MOps experts who have the ear of the profession.

Darrell Alfonso

Darrell is director of marketing strategy & operations at Indeed and the former global marketing ops leader for AWS. He’s the author of “The Martech Handbook: Build a Technology Stack to Acquire and Retain Customers.” In addition to speaking at many conferences, Darrell was named one of the Top Marketers in the US by Propolis 2022 and among the “Top Martech Marketers to Follow” in 2020 by Martech Alliance. He’s a regular and popular contributor both to MarTech and the MarTech conference; you can find all of his articles at this link.

Eddie Reynolds

Eddie has been in business a long time, starting his first company when he was 14. “A pretty minimal enterprise,” he told one interviewer. “I had a tax ID number, a legal entity, and a company name. I even had the IRS coming after my dad for sales tax that I failed to report properly.” Today he is CEO and revenue operations strategy consultant of Union Square Consulting. He publishes The RevOps Weekly Newsletter and the podcast RevOps Corner. Eddie’s large LinkedIn following attests to the quality of the insights he shares there on  sales, marketing, service, and admin roles. 

Sara McNamara

Sara is an award-winning marketing and sales operations professional whose work has been recognized by awards from the likes of Salesforce (Pardot), Adobe (Marketo), Drift, and LeanData. She is a Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Slack and a martech stack (+ strategy) solution architect. That and her passion for leveraging technology and processes to improve the experiences of marketers, sales professionals, and prospects, explains why she’s a regular guest on MOps podcasts.

Ali Schwanke

Ali is the CEO and founder of Simple Strat. The firm specializes in helping companies get the most out of HubSpot — from CRM strategy and setup to marketing automation and content creation. She is also host of HubSpot Hacks, “the #1 Unofficial YouTube show for HubSpot Tutorials” and has been a guest speaker at the MarTech conference.

Mike Rizzo

Mike’s career in marketing operations showed him that there is a real and significant MOps community. That’s why he founded MO Pros/, the fast-growing online community for people in marketing operations. He is also co-host of Ops Cast, a weekly podcast. 

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About the author

Constantine von Hoffman

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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Is a Marketing Degree Worth it in 2023?



Is a Marketing Degree Worth it in 2023?

If you’re thinking about getting a degree at any age, it makes sense to think about the value of that degree. Is the qualification needed for the career you want? Are there alternative paths to that career? Can you develop better skills by gaining experience in work? 

All of these are perfectly valid questions. After all, getting a degree requires a pretty large investment of both time and money. You want to know that you’ll get enough return on that investment to make it worthwhile.

Why marketing?

When it comes to marketing, a lot of entry-level jobs list a bachelor’s degree as a requirement. That doesn’t mean there aren’t alternate ways to get into marketing but having a relevant degree certainly makes your resume more competitive. 

Growth industry

Marketing skills are in demand in the current jobs market. According to a recent report from LinkedIn, marketing job posts grew 63% in just six months last year. Half of those jobs were in the digital and media sectors, meaning digital and content marketing skills are highly valued

Personal Development & Career Path

The reason for this increased demand for marketers is tied to the rise in digital marketing. New methods of marketing have continued to develop out of the digital sector. This means that marketers capable of creating engaging content or managing social media accounts are needed.

This leaves a lot of room for personal development. Young graduates who are well-versed in social media and community management can hit the ground running in digital marketing. Getting on this path early can lead to content strategist and marketing management positions.    

What are the Types of Marketing Degrees?

When we say marketing degree, the term is a bit too general. There are a lot of degree paths that focus on marketing in major or minor ways. The level of degree available will depend on your current education history, but the specific course will be down to your personal choice. 

Associate, Bachelor’s, or Master’s?

Recent statistics suggest that 74% of US marketing professionals hold a bachelor’s degree. 9% have an associate degree and 8% have a master’s degree. Here’s a quick overview of the differences. 

Associate degrees – 2-year courses that cover marketing and business in a more basic way than bachelor’s qualifications. They’re designed to give students the basic skills needed to apply for entry-level marketing jobs.   

Bachelor’s degrees – 3/4-year courses that cover business and economics. There is a range of bachelor’s courses with marketing at their core, but you’ll also cover wider business topics like management, communication, and administration. 

Master’s degrees – 2-year courses, usually only available if you’ve already completed a bachelor’s degree. MA or MBA courses are designed to develop a deep understanding of complex business topics. They are highly specific, covering areas like strategic marketing or marketing analytics. 

Free to use image from Pixabay

Marketing Specific or Business General? 

This is down to personal choice. There are general business degrees that will cover marketing as a module as well as marketing-specific degrees. There are also multiple universities and colleges, both offline and online, offering different course platforms

If you’re looking at a specific job role or career path, then research which type of degree is most relevant. Remember that you will need to add to your marketing skills if you intend to progress to management roles in the future. 

Check the Modules & Curriculum

This is important, and not only because it lets you see which courses align with your career goals. Marketing has changed significantly over the last decade, even more so if you go back to before the digital age. Many business courses are still behind on current marketing trends. 

What Jobs Look for a Marketing Degree?

Once you’ve got your marketing qualification, what jobs should you be looking for? Here are some job titles and areas you should watch out for, and what qualifications you’ll need for them.

Entry level

If you’re starting with a degree and no experience, or work experience but no degree, take a look at these roles. 

  • Sales/customer service roles – These are adjacent roles to marketing where most companies do not ask for prior qualifications. If you don’t have a degree, this is a good place to start.
  • Marketing or public relations intern – Another possibility if you don’t have a degree, or you’re still in education. 
  • Digital/content marketing associate – These roles will almost always require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. A good grasp of new digital and social marketing techniques will be required to succeed. 
  • Copywriter/Bid writer – This is a good route into marketing for those with journalism or literature qualifications. These roles combine aspects of marketing, creative writing, and persuasive writing. 
  • SEO specialist – A more focused form of marketing centered on SEO content optimization. If you know how to optimize a blog post for search engine rankings, this role is for you. Bachelor’s or associate qualifications will be a minimum requirement. 
  • Social media/community manager – Since these are relatively new roles, we tend to see a mix of degree-qualified marketers and people who’ve had success fostering communities or online brands but don’t have on-paper credentials.  

Free to use image from Unsplash

Career Progression

If you have an MA or MBA, or significant experience in one of the above roles, then you can look at these more advanced roles for your career progression.

  • Digital Marketing Manager – A role for experienced marketers that involves running campaigns and coordinating marketing associates. 
  • Senior Marketing Coordinator – A department management level role. Responsible for overall marketing strategy and departmental performance.  
  • Content Strategist – A specialist role that focuses on content strategy. Designing content plans based on demographic and keyword research are a core aspect of this role. 
  • Marketing Analyst – This role involves analyzing customer behaviors and market trends. If you want to move into analysis from a more direct marketing role, you’ll likely need specific data analysis qualifications. 
  • Public Relations Specialist – The public voice of a large organization’s PR team. Managing a brand’s public perception and setting brand-level communication policies like tone of voice.   
  • Experiential Marketing Specialist – This area of marketing is focused on optimizing the customer experience. Experiential specialists have a deep understanding of customer psychology and behaviors. 
  • Corporate Communications Manager – Communications managers are responsible for company-wide communications policies. This is an executive-level role that a marketing coordinator or public relations manager might move up to. 

Average marketing salaries

Across all the roles we’ve discussed above, salaries vary widely. For those entry-level roles, you could be looking at anything from $25 – $40K depending on the role and your experience. 

When it comes to median earnings for marketers with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, we can get a bit more specific. Recent statistics from Zippia show us that $69,993 p/a is the average for bachelor’s degree holders and $80,365 p/a for master’s degree marketers. 

Image sourced from

Marketing Degree Pros and Cons

So, the question we asked above was “Is a marketing degree worth it?” Yet, in truth, it’s not a simple yes or no answer. The question you need to ask is “Is a marketing degree right for me?” Here’s a summary of the pros and cons that might give you some answers.  


  • Degree holders have better job prospects and higher earnings potential in marketing
  • You can study highly specific skills with the right courses
  • Gain soft skills like communication and collaboration


  • High time and money investment required 
  • Diminishing salary returns at higher levels
  • Can be a restrictive environment for self-starters and entrepreneurs

What are Marketing Degree Alternatives?

If you want to stick with education but don’t want to invest four years into a degree, then accredited online courses can provide an alternative. This can be your best choice if you wish to upskill in a specific area like running conference calls from Canada

If higher education really isn’t your thing, the other option is gaining experience. Some businesses prefer internships and training programs for entry-level roles. This allows them to train marketers “their way” rather than re-training someone with more experience.  

Free to use image from Unsplash

How to Decide if a Marketing Degree is Right for You

Ultimately, choosing to do a marketing degree depends on your goals, your preferences, and your talents. Consider all three factors before making your choice. 

Career Goals

Do you want a management position that needs marketing knowledge? What areas of marketing interest you? What skills do you already possess? Answering these three questions will help you define your career path. That will narrow down your course choices. 

If you want to get better at selling small business phone systems in Vancouver, you don’t need a four-year course for that. If you want to develop into high-level marketing roles, then you want that degree. 


You don’t need a specific personality type to work in marketing. Your personality and interests might determine what area of marketing would suit you best though. For example, if you’re outgoing and creative then public relations or social media management might be for you.    

Investment & Return

Money isn’t everything. But, if you’re going to put the resources into getting a degree, you want to know that you’ll get some return on your investment. From the figures we quoted above, it seems the “optimal” qualification in terms of salary return vs. time and money investment is a bachelor’s degree. 

Average earnings for marketers with a master’s qualification were only $10k higher. This suggests that you’re not really getting a significant financial return for the additional investment. Of course, if that master’s leads to your dream job, you might see it differently.  

Final Thoughts: Forge Your Own Path

Is a marketing degree worth it in 2023? The short answer is yes. Whether that means a marketing degree is right for you, we can’t tell you. Hopefully, though, this guide has given you the information you need to make that choice. 

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