As they look to recovery, companies are taking the digital leap – and they need people who can innovate marketing
Have you had to axe a marketing campaign or put ideas on hold because of the coronavirus crisis? Time magazine reported that almost 50% of advertisers have either halted campaigns or put them on the back burner, with a third flat-out canceling campaigns ahead of launch. “Even seemingly bland things could be upsetting for consumers in fearful lockdown, like a pizza commercial that shows people at a now-FOMO-inducing sporting event or any ad at all for the disinfectant wipes that seem impossible to get,” Time wrote.
Brands all over the world have scrambled to respond to the coronavirus crisis in a manner that is both sensitive and savvy, and there’s been an explosion of new innovations as people spend more time at home on their devices and companies rush to adapt flexible technological solutions.
At Stanton Chase, we’ve seen a sharp uptick in demand for digital marketing executives who know their way around the artificial intelligence space and have experience in bringing digital innovations. After conducting numerous searches for digital and A.I. executives and conversations with frontrunners in both the marketing and artificial intelligence spheres, we have put together a list of trends that go hand-in-hand with this increase.
Radical and disruptive changes are already afoot, and marketing executives who embrace these trends – as well as the companies who actively seek such forward-thinking leaders – will likely see success in this rapidly changing landscape.
Fresh Takes on Marketing
From online food deliveries to Zoom happy hours, the ways consumers receive information and make buying choices have fundamentally changed.
Industries and companies that are clinging to a fading past with traditional marketing techniques will be forced to change for the post-COVID-19 business world whether they like it or not. Marketing executives with extensive experience of digital and A.I.-based instruments bring immense value to these organizations, although they may also find frustation with the old structure if there is reticence toward new ideas and innovation.
Most buyers can agree on one thing: We don’t like being sold to. In actuality, though, much of what we buy, watch, and order for dinner isn’t an original thought. It’s a conglomeration of the thoughts we’ve had previously, and an accumulation of data scraped about us on the Internet. What we consume today is largely built on predictive modeling. With the likes of Netflix and Amazon’s personalized recommendations, these predictive models are aggregating the browsing and purchase data of millions of customers and predicting what they might want to consume next.
Why waste time trying to sell someone something they don’t want? Instead, companies are letting consumers think they know what they want, giving an illusion of control. Artificial intelligence plays a major role here. With the help of machine learning algorithms, organizations such as Nielson and SafeGraph have allowed customers to distill and analyze billions of aggregated datapoints to make actionable decisions.
With e-commerce poised to lead the way in the post-COVID-19 environment, it’s crucial that everyone has equal access to these platforms and services and executives will need to understand how these can impact their business.
New Roles to Reflect the New Reality
There is talk in the recruiting world about the creation of new digital marketing roles (especially in hold-out, non-digital native companies). From increasing the response time of forecasts to improving cost efficiency, artificial intelligence will continue to be applied in new ways to make better decisions with the massive amounts of data that businesses, and consumers, are creating.
As artificial intelligence boosts efficiency, and as people continue to work remotely, the call will likely be for digital-focused employees who understand the people who are at home, browsing the web, and constantly connected to their screens in order to anticipate a customer’s next move and improve the customer journey. Forward-thinking marketing executives will be the ones bringing on new and innovative talent to define and fulfill these new positions.
Chatbots that are Getting Smarter
Many of us are familiar with the old chatbot that inevitably causes frustration because you’d rather speak to a human. However, the rise of smart chatbots is impacting marketing and sales support in a variety of ways, by responding for humans, understanding complicated questions, and constantly refining the interaction process. As more interactions move online, these smart chatbots are going to be incredibly important.
As A.I. begins to provide higher-quality natural language processing and understanding of more complex customer questions, smart chatbots will give a company’s marketing team backup in the field by letting the chatbot handle the majority of tasks and help consumers solve their problems around the clock, while still providing the option for human interaction – and empathy – when necessary.
In digital marketing, this can mean taking a step away from traditional forms, cluttered email inboxes, and having to provide the right support to users at the right time. Companies are now prioritizing bringing on executive talent who grasp how transformational this can be for marketing efforts.
Putting People First
While artificial intelligence can be used to produce better business results, the future is still going to be people. There is still marketing copy to be written, creative brainstorming to be done, and important questions to be asked – especially when planning a digital leap.
Careful timing, sensitivity, and a healthy dose of common sense can help companies better understand how their digital marketing should look when paired with the power of artificial intelligence. People are going to know, and remember, how companies responded during this unprecedented crisis. Their buying, or lack of, will reflect the marketing decisions made during this time.
Maintaining a people-focused approach is still the best way to approach digital marketing, and Stanton Chase has been helping digital companies find top talent for years. While uncertainty abounds about what exactly recovery will look like, there are still ways for companies to prepare for the road ahead and executives will need teams that are able to handle Industry 4.0 and the technological revolution.
For questions about how we can help you find forward-thinking digital leaders, please reach out to George Sphiktos at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nicholas Budler at email@example.com.
About the Authors:
George Sphiktos is a Director at the Stanton Chase Washington, D.C. office, with a focus on A.I. and Analytics. He is also responsible for business development of strategic accounts. He spent 34 years with the Nielsen Company serving in various senior operational and commercial roles. He was responsible for establishing commercial operations for Nielsen in 43 countries, including Russia, Nigeria, Poland, Pakistan, and China.
Nicholas Budler is an Associate who runs marketing and communications for Stanton Chase D.C. and, in particular, supports business development of technology, nonprofit, and media accounts. He is also pursuing an M.A. in culture, communication, and technology from Georgetown University.