At its best, content marketing is exciting, fresh, invigorating and challenging. At its worst, content marketing is mundane, tedious, uninspiring and well, challenging. Chances are that you have had opportunities to work on both sides of the coin — perhaps even sometimes experiencing a wide range of emotions in a single day.
So, what are the issues that are keeping you from always being invigorated and inspired? We’re willing to bet that you’ll resonate with at least one — and possibly all — of the wishes mentioned below. If you do, you’re in good company, because some of the best marketers in the world are experiencing the same pain points you are, as is evidenced in this list of marketers’ wishes for 2018.
Marketers’ Five Biggest Wishes for 2018
Uniform advertising standards
Many marketers have desires to utilize one-to-one advertising opportunities in 2018, but find themselves stuck because of a lack of uniformity in advertising standards.
VM1 President Adam Shlachter touched upon this during a conversation with Beet.TV at CES 2017.
“We’ve been talking about [greater one-to-one advertising opportunities] for as long as I can remember. I think that one of the biggest things holding it back is… too many competing standards,” Shlachter said.
“The interoperability of all of these different systems, and platforms, and devices just don’t play nicely together today. But over time, it’s definitely where we see the world going. It’s definitely something we want to seize the opportunities of and take advantage of quickly, because we think it could provide better value for consumers… and from a creative standpoint, we could probably create things that are more personalized to your taste.”
The Interactive Advertising Bureau did release new standards for mobile and web advertisers in summer 2017, but as Shlachter pointed out, issues with systems, platforms and devices remain.
The return of organic Facebook reach
Facebook pages’ ability to organically reach audiences in 2017 took a nose dive unlike any other period of time in Facebook’s short history. A multitude of opinions exist about why this is the case, but continual news feed tweaks that are designed to do everything from improve individual relevance of posts to reduce the amount of clickbait are among some of the most prominent reasons.
According to a BuzzSumo study, the reach of posts published by brands and pages decreased by more than 20 percent in the first six months of 2017. Leslie Samuel discussed on his YouTube show how news feed tweaks and the possibility of posts from pages being relegated to the “Explore” feed could have a major impact on publishers.
“As a content creator, this is what I want you to realize. Facebook does not care about you. Facebook cares about Facebook,” Samuel said. “I believe that this is the beginning of the end for organic reach. Now, organic reach is already way worse than it ever was in the past. They are doing these tests right now, but mark my words, they will start rolling this out to the rest of the world… It will happen.”
An increased marketing budget
Every marketer wants a larger budget, but if Gartner’s CMO spend survey is to be believed, this isn’t going to happen in 2018 — and likely won’t happen again until marketers are able to justify the increase in marketing spending over the last couple of years. 2018 will be the first year since 2015 that marketing departments are going to have a decrease in budget.
Perhaps even more telling is that the marketing capability that will receive the largest portion of organizations’ marketing budgets will be marketing analytics at 9.2 percent. This is only further evidence that marketers are going to need to show value before they can expect another budget increase.
Of course, you can increase the likelihood of having a larger budget if you are deliberate in your planning and reporting. Fanatics Media CEO Mark Fidelman discussed this on his YouTube show.
“It’s critical that you understand what the [organization’s] goals are and that you align the marketing campaign that you want done to those goals. Because the vice president of marketing or the CMO — all they are concerned about is making sure that they reach their goals so that they get their bonus or they get kudos within the organization. Their jobs are on the line. The average work expectancy of a CMO is like 26 months. So make sure you understand what their goals are.”
For somebody to explain artificial intelligence opportunities
Any marketer who is paying attention has certainly heard of the artificial intelligence opportunities that await us, but very few understand where to start with utilizing AI opportunities right now. Perhaps part of the reason why AI seems like such a difficult feature to corral is because there are so many ways to utilize it.
For example, with AI, you can enhance your pay-per click advertising, make your website more personalized, automatically create content from spreadsheets, provide customer service with chatbots, deliver personalized emails, and much more.
Salesforce Chief Scientist Richard Socher explains brands’ gravitation toward AI in this way:
“I think we’re actually seeing that shift from just simple statistical models and grouping people into trying to do predictive journeys where we understand [for example] people who have gone through these steps; their next step is maybe to unsubscribe from your newsletter,” Socher said. “You can understand [people] better, and hence market better to them.”
To be able to keep up with customers on every channel
Consumers are spending more time on digital media, but they are also fragmenting that time in more ways than ever before. This means that users are visiting more sites, using more apps, and frequenting more channels during their digital media sessions — leaving marketers scrambling for ways to stay with their audiences.
Any marketer would love to be able to follow individuals from channel to channel, but being able to do this well would require channel, app, and site owners to work with one another and share large amounts of data — and that doesn’t appear to be anywhere on the horizon.
“Consumers now expect their favorite brands to be anywhere they are,” Levitt said. “There’s a lot of fragmentation in the way people are consuming video. And I think as a marketer, you can see that either as a challenge or as a huge opportunity.”
So, wish for the ability to follow your audience from channel to channel if you want, but this is one wish that doesn’t look like it will come true any time soon.