Posted on October 10th, 2023
That was the message to 2,500 marketers at the Content Marketing World convention recently in Washington, D.C. Experts attending one of the world’s largest marketing conferences had a clear message for those telling stories for clients.
You must change.
In 2023, a full year past the worst of the pandemic, many of us thought the opening of the world and its markets would present amazing opportunities. Our clients—and we, as their marketers—would sell more, grow more and succeed wildly. All we had to do was share our messages.
It didn’t work out that way. This past year has been more of a slog than many expected, in part because all the marketing noise made it harder for messages to reach and resonate with audiences.
So what do we do now?
The answer, according to the world’s marketing experts, is to evolve—both in our work for clients but also in our approaches within our agencies. But what exactly does that mean?
Here are three imperatives I heard consistently at Content Marketing World:
- Focus on value. What sets you apart from competitors? What is the essence of your unique selling proposition? Focus more than ever on what matters and how you’re different. That cuts through the marketing noise.
- Show, don’t tell. At a time when the world is more skeptical—and even dismissive or derisive—of nearly every kind of message, we must show value, not just talk about it. That means opening processes and decision-making to customers and the public. It means using testimonials and use-case examples. It means CEOs explaining what—and why—their companies do what they do. Openly. Clearly. Honestly.
- Don’t forget the human touch. With artificial intelligence proliferating and infiltrating every corner, don’t use it as a substitute for real storytelling. AI is a tool that helps with storytelling, especially storytelling speed-to-market. But humans already have become good at identifying pure AI. Use AI to propel your work. But ensure that a human drives—start to finish—with all the empathy, understanding and nuance that humans still best convey to other humans.
These imperatives hold true for agencies as much as for our clients. If we’re not practicing them, we can’t help clients practice them and achieve all the value they offer.
At AIMCLEAR, we’re committed to evolving so we can help our clients evolve, too. We’ve made changes to become a fully integrated agency and to add talent across our practice groups.
We have more evolving to do and always will—another lesson from the conference. Doing so ensures that we’ll help our clients keep evolving so they stand out and succeed.