Who: Tony Wells 4x CMO, and Corporate Board Member, most recently with Verizon
When: May 30th at 8:30AM
Topic: How content creation for large brands is changing in 2023.
What do you consider the biggest challenges for a CMO these days?
The top challenge is how dynamic the marketing environment is currently. With new technology (AI, ML, MarTech, AdTech), pressure for accountability and attribution, fragmented audiences, the war for talent and we have the economy pressuring the function to over rotate towards performance marketing. It’s never been more challenging to be a CMO in my opinion.
What would you say are the three biggest factors in determining where a brand should be creating?
For me the top challenge is to identify the best platform the targeted consumer is using. Second, creating compelling content that breaks through and differentiates. Finally, how do you amplify and activate it all to reach that targeted consumer. I think brands are often creating content for content’s sake, and not spending enough time determining the right platform and what features are best on that platform.
How have you evaluated and recommended new content sources as new platforms become relevant?
Today there continues to be more and more platforms for brands to explore. I think teams must continue to monitor the ecosystem as they come online. Then look for them to develop critical mass and scale with brand safety in mind. From there test and learn by placing small bets to see how they deliver. This should all be a part of the brand’s approach to innovation and always displaying curiosity as a marketer.
How common is it for large brands to trial run new platforms before deciding how much investment to allocate?
I think it’s critical for brands to have a framework and approach to innovation. We must be curious as marketers to keep exploring and never be satisfied with the status quo. Using 70/20/10 in allocation of budget to BAU, developing ideas & never tried before can be helpful.
Does the approval process hinder more than it protects, or vice versa from your experience?
Well for brand safety having tight approvals is a necessity. With the concerns about data and privacy having tight agreements is important. I’ve found new platforms can be time consuming to implement, so you have to get it right the first time.
What role do you find Public Relations(PR) with digital content creations, being the voice of reason?
I think the PR function plays an important role regarding creation of content. Earned media is a great way to amplify the message, editorial input, brand reputation and development of the content can all benefit from their involvement too. Integration is tough!
With the volume of content that most major brands ideally need to create, how do you think AI/ChatGPT will factor in in the second half of this year?
I think AI is going to REDEFINE the marketing function. From content, VO, research, video, search… you will be hard pressed to find an area not impacted in the next year. Marketers better get ready! Also new jobs like “prompt engineer” will emerge to better utilize AI and scale utilization. Testing of these areas is critical now for brands.
If you could give any advice to companies looking to transition their content marketing to more modern post-pandemic, what comes to mind?
Put in the time, infrastructure & resources to do the job well. Then start to determine how much content you want to build, buy or borrow. All three approaches can work determined on what your resources are. Have internal alignment about editorial control. Finally, make sure you’re really looking at what platform your target uses to ensure the message resonates
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