How tech will influence marketing in the next year
Three Canadian marketing leaders dive into what skills will be required for marketers with the rise of tools like generative AI and digital analytics.
Author: Darian Kovacs is the Indigenous founder of B-Corp certified Jelly Digital Marketing & PR and digital marketing institution Jelly Academy.
The landscape of marketing is ever-evolving, which means that staying ahead of the curve is crucial for businesses that wish to captivate their audiences. As we navigate the rapidly advancing world of technology, the possibilities for innovation within the marketing industry can seem limitless — and for good reason.
From artificial intelligence (AI) to improved analytics and blockchain, evolving technologies are actively transforming the ways brands can engage with consumers.
Considering this, I was left wondering how tech might influence marketing in the next year. Here’s what three Canadian marketing leaders had to say.
Stefanie Gajdecki, fractional CMO at Hemera Growth Group, predicts that the continued growth of tech in the marketing space will force marketers to expand their understanding of the numbers.
“Tech will influence the marketing space by putting pressure on marketing teams to deepen their knowledge of digital marketing analytics, not just digital marketing,” she said. “Teams need to upskill, and fast. And this upskilling is not just for the digital marketing team members; it’s for the entire marketing team.
“In my work with clients and marketing teams as a fractional CMO, and in my role as an instructor in the top marketing schools in BC, my observations of students entering the field — as well as industry professionals currently in marketing roles — reveal a consistent need to think more critically when it comes to data analysis and feel more comfort and support in challenging the status quo. Companies that hire for “fit” and haven’t built a culture open to candid conversations around marketing priorities incorporating data to inform decisions will risk becoming less competitive and losing access to top talent.
“Critical thinking skills become useful around decision-making in day-to-day reporting and data-based decisions, but they also come into play when we look at ChatGPT and AI tools for marketing use. These are great tools but also require a review of output and editing to meet the best practices of SEO, accuracy, and content tailored for your specific target audience nuances. Putting these tools in the hands of new grads to create social media posts is not the way to go (yes, I’ve seen this multiple times)! Knowing how the digital channels work, how customers engage with brands, and how to leverage tech tools for efficient workflow requires mentorship and knowledge from internal team members.
“There are tremendous upsides to our work in marketing over the next 12 months. Regardless of how long you’ve been working in marketing, my recommendation to all marketers is to upskill in digital marketing analytics now so you can feel secure in your knowledge and, ultimately, lead better as you progress in your career.”
Brent Chaters, managing director of marketing transformation for Canada at Accenture, also recognizes the need for continuous learning. Brent predicts that the growing assimilation of tech in marketing will provoke radical changes that we must keep up with.
“We’ve really hit the point of no return in that tech is embedded in our lives both at work and home, which puts us at an interesting point in history where things will radically change,” he said. “There are huge opportunities with the emergence of generative AI and platforms like ChatGPT. This will force our industry to rethink how we work, how this won’t take jobs but rather enhance or augment jobs, and how we can use this to our advantage, accelerating modernization. The macro trend has really been the adoption of instability as the new norm, which also means technology likely continues to change even more rapidly as we culturally change as well.
“If you’re not self-learning, staying ahead is going to be hard. Develop a plan to build micro-credentials, such as doing short courses, or soaking up as much knowledge as possible relevant to today’s trends, to get quick hits of knowledge and understand emerging capabilities. There are topical chapters in our recent Tech Vision report that look at generative AI and the power consumers will have over data soon — these are essential areas for marketers to be well-versed in. Then, develop ways to test, or play with them at work or home. At Accenture we call this our ‘forever frontier’: the idea that the feedback loop between science and technology is getting faster and organizations need to embrace ways to allow employees to innovate.”
For Manoj Jasra, senior vice president of global marketing and strategy at Accolite Digital, hiring candidates who have made the effort to obtain a wide range of in-demand tech skills is a constant priority. I think I’m seeing a pattern here!
“To say that the landscape of marketing is ‘rapidly evolving’ is an understatement,” she says. “There is a fundamental evolution occurring with data, security, technology, AI, and content. To thrive (perhaps, even survive), marketers must develop a broad range of skills and new working models. For example, a recent McKinsey article highlights the importance of six multidisciplinary competencies to enable marketers to drive the future of their sector: customer-centricity, agile operating model, full-funnel marketing, measurement, multi-channel excellence, and customer data. Therefore, as I evaluate potential hires for our team, I consistently prioritize candidates with strong hybrid skills and adaptability over vertical specialists.”
The integration of tech into marketing practices has the ability to reshape the industry right before our eyes. When it comes to staying ahead, each marketing leader emphasized the importance of learning. Whether it be digital marketing analytics, generative AI and platforms like ChatGPT, or multidisciplinary competencies like full-funnel marketing and customer data, “staying ahead” appears to be synonymous with learning to these individuals.
It is vital that marketers keep a finger on the pulse of emerging tech in order to unveil new opportunities for growth and success within the industry. Learning from other marketing leaders is a great place to start.
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