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During the Pandemic, Marketers Can’t Hunker Down Mentally

Don’t forget to join us at the AI for Enterprise Marketing virtual event on October 15th. It’s currently at $295 for non-Conference Board members. For $100 off – use code BIZ100. Learn more here: https://conference-board.org/events/AI-for-marketing.

My oldest child (now 28) has Down Syndrome. Dave doesn’t always follow everything that’s going on, but he observes patterns and draws his conclusions. When Dave was little, he liked watching movies on TV but he also liked watching the Weather Channel, which at times back then was just a screen of rolling information of temperatures and other data for various cities. It looked like the credits at the end of a movie. And so when Dave put on the Weather Channel he would say “It’s over.” And then he’d say it again. And again. And he would keep saying it. He just thought the credits were really long.

You can be excused for feeling that way in this current crisis. Every day seems the same and you’d like to just keep chanting “It’s over.” Over and over. Because maybe wishing hard enough can make it come true. But it’s not enough to wish for it to be over. We’ve all been forced to hunker down — literally — to protect our personal health and that of the entire planet. But we can’t hunker down mentally.

In most countries, we are over six months into social distancing and we need to accept that it’s not going away anytime soon. Marketers can’t just ride this out. We need to focus on positive strategies to cope. If you can’t do in-person events anymore, what can you do? If your salespeople can’t visit customers because your customers aren’t even in the office, what can you do?

The answer is digital. Your digital marketing needs to step up. It can’t just be a website redesign. Marketers need to focus on what we’re missing in our customer experience. If you’re getting more web traffic, but not more leads, that’s a clue. Maybe ask yourself what you’re missing. Maybe you aren’t attracting the right people, so you might need better SEO. Maybe those people can’t find what they are looking for, so you need better site search and personalized content recommendation (like Amazon).

How do you do those things? We’ll tell you on October 15th at The Conference Board’s AI for Enterprise Marketing conference. Maybe you are a bit fearful of Artificial Intelligence. That’s OK. My opinion is that marketers are not going to lose their jobs to AI. But marketers who don’t use AI are going to lose their jobs to marketers who do.

I know that it’s hard to get past this “who moved my cheese” moment to move productively forward, but that’s what we all need to do. This conference is not full of technical mumbo jumbo, nor is it packed with aspirational ideas where the rubber meets the sky. Instead, it’s loaded with practical advice from marketers just like you who have started to do the real work of AI. Join us virtually on October 15 to get started. Sign up now. Really. I will wait right here for you.

Someday, we will all be able to collectively say, “It’s over” just like my son David, and it will be true. But when that happens, you won’t regret making these changes now. You’ll never say, “Why did I waste all that time with AI now that in-person events are back?” You know these are the right moves to make, and you know that now is the time. Move forward now to infuse your digital experience with AI. It will still be a good idea when the pandemic really is over.

The conference is only $295 for non-members and free for Conference Board members. If you miss it, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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