Posted on Leave a comment

Launching a business in a recession – 2 of 4 – Branding

This is a post in a series of four detailing how you can start a business during a recession (find them all eventually under the startup innovation tag). I think it is a commonly held view that we are about to enter into or are already in a recession. For whatever reason you are thinking about starting a business at this time, I am helping a startup on a similar path and thought I would share what I am thinking about to help them (more on my mentoring here). The focus in this series is the really early stages prior to launch and the emphasis is on how to do things on the cheap ;)

Branding is not highest on the priority list when starting a business, but it is when launching and if you intend to have any kind of presence, even if it is minimal as you will see in later posts, you will need to look semi-decent. In other words, you can create branding that is not final but at least it looks good enough for initial activities. For this, these services that I cover in this post will more than do, and do not have to cost the earth, if anything.

Canva


Canva is such an amazing tool for designing just about anything and you don’t have to be a designer to use it.

It comes with many templates, including for logo design which is probably where you will start with your branding efforts, this plus fonts and colours.

You can even build a brand kit from what you have designed using the templates. Much is available for free, but I pay for that little more flexibility – check pricing here.

Fiverr


Fiverr is a marketplace for design resources where you have a whole world of freelance talent at your fingertips.

From Graphics & Design, Digital Marketing, Video & Animation to much more, you can find someone to do the work for you at a price point that works.

I generally start with basic designs in Canva and then take them to a pro designer on Fiverr to tweak and get professional artwork as required.

Bonus Tool/Service

Behance is the world’s largest creative network for showcasing and discovering creative work. It has now been acquired by Adobe but it remains free and open source and you can use it for a great many things, even to find designers or freelances. But I use it for inspiration.

You can filter your search by many different options and as you can see in the screenshot below, Logo Design is one of them. Here you get a vast array of inspiring designs from some of the world’s best creatives.

A good idea is to have an idea of what your logo should look like or represent and then do a word search for the term that best represents that. You can also just use Google if you want to broaden things further.

Posted on Leave a comment

SenseMaking from the Web

This post is an aggregation of recent articles that I have collected over at Flipboard on my magazine there. It captures great sense making from others, in other words, great articles from other sites I thought worth capturing and sharing. Curating good articles is a discerning process and I’ve automated the delivery of it in WordPress using a Power Automate Flow to achieve this – more on that here.

Building a Minimum Viable Product is Like Serving Burnt Pizza — Build Lovable Products Instead

Posted on August 12. Jiaona Zhang is currently the VP of Product at Webflow. If love is in the little things, then Jiaona “JZ” Zhang has a keen eye for the details that …

CIOs Examine the Inevitable Marriage of Customer and Employee Experience

Posted on August 9. August 9, 2022 Making employees’ jobs easier makes customer experience better, by almost all accounts. Where do CIOs come in on this business …

Gartner identifies 25 emerging technologies in its 2022 hype cycle

Posted on August 9. Catch up on the latest smart cities tech and the coolest tech innovations, which includes innovations in IoT, 5G, security, smart cities, AI, …

Outputs To Outcomes: Why It’s Time To Stop Measuring Productivity

Posted on August 8. Two hundred and fifty years after the beginning of industrialization, a new revolution is on : the digital one. If the automation of almost all …

AI Can’t Replace Human Creativity. But It Can Enhance It | AdExchanger

Posted on August 8. Graham WilkinsonChief Innovation Officer Kinesso and Matterkind Global “Data-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and …

Posted on Leave a comment

Launching a business in a recession – 1 of 4 – Business Planning

This is a post in a series of four detailing how you can start a business during a recession (find them all eventually under the startup innovation tag). I think it is a commonly held view that we are about to enter into or are already in a recession. For whatever reason you are thinking about starting a business at this time, I am helping a startup on a similar path and thought I would share what I am thinking about to help them (more on my mentoring here). The focus in this series is the really early stages prior to launch and the emphasis is on how to do things on the cheap ;)

First off just to say that the topic of this post, business planning, is not necessarily something you can do on the cheap. Nor should you. If there is any one activity that you should spend money on, it should be this one. That’s because this is probably the most important one. It sets the tone for all your other activities and is the one that sets you up for success or failure. Having said that, you can get away with some free tools which I will cover. But the real trick in this area, is the framework, method and thinking you use – not so much tools as with the other topics, as you will see.

Business Model Canvas


A simple framework for defining your business, no need for lengthy business plans no one reads and besides, brevity forces focus.

Useful to also visualize and communicate a simple story of your business model to founders, employees and investors alike.

Use the canvas to explore new business models whether you are a start-up or an existing business. Some elements/tools require payments.

Jobs to be Done


JTBD is a framework to guide your perspective and innovate through a different lens. Especially if you need to transform and disrupt (product, company, industry – select as needed), this is for you. It requires you to replace a solution lens with a problem lens. It contrasts seeing the world of innovation through the lens of what the company is doing (a product perspective). It advocates seeing the world of innovation through the lens of what the customer is trying to get done (a problem perspective).

Lean Startup


Lean startup is a methodology for developing businesses and products that aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning. Lean startup emphasizes customer feedback over intuition and flexibility over planning. This methodology enables recovery from failures more often than traditional ways of product development.

Bonus Tool

Microsoft’s Whiteboard is a digital application that functions like a traditional whiteboard, but is hosted virtually. Digital whiteboards can integrate with other video conferencing and screen sharing platforms to allow for collaboration even when you are not physically in the same room – crucial for remote teams. It has many templates to choose from and allows whiteboards to be saved in shareable files for easy access in the future. It is these templates that provide an easy way to guide your thinking but of course you can bring in any methodology you want to the tool. It’s free for students and educators or you get it as part of your M365 license (work or personal).

Posted on Leave a comment

SenseMaking from the Web

This post is an aggregation of recent articles that I have collected over at Flipboard on my magazine there. It captures great sense making from others, in other words, great articles from other sites I thought worth capturing and sharing. Curating good articles is a discerning process and I’ve automated the delivery of it in WordPress using a Power Automate Flow to achieve this – more on that here.

The future of employee engagement is in the metaverse

Posted on August 4. As the metaverse expands and sits more prominently within a brand’s marketing strategy, Damian Ferrar, senior vice-president, innovation director and …

Why your meetings are a waste of time

Posted on July 30. Not everyone got it, at first: as the management professor Vijay Pereira spoke to companies about trialling meeting-free days, managers at one …

Person Reveals Why Popular Brands Are Changing Their Logos To Look Similar, Goes Viral On Twitter

Posted on July 30. Some brands have such a huge reputation that we instantly recognize not only the logo but also the font they use. Meanwhile, some logos are …

The Business of Creativity: Seeking Value in the Digital Content Ecosystem

Posted on July 30. The internet has had a significant impact on the media, entertainment and information industry. Constantly evolving technologies and the accelerating …

The rise of micro-subscriptions

Posted on July 24. Welcome to 2022. That’ll be $2.99 a month. If it feels like you’re suddenly being charged for everything in your life, it’s because you are. And more …

The future of creativity, brought to you by artificial intelligence

Posted on July 23. The world has been wowed by the newest displays of text-to-image technology by DALL-E 2 from OpenAI and Imagen from Google. Beautiful, amazingly creative compilations all generated by artificial intelligence (AI) systems. This is possible because AI has learned natural language understanding by …

How Software Is Stifling Competition And Slowing Innovation – Forbes India

Posted on July 23. More than a decade ago, Marc Andreessen, an internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist, famously declared, “Software is eating the world.” The …

Posted on Leave a comment

A jobs to be done primer to transform your innovation thinking

Tony Ulwick, Founder of Strategyn and leading proponent of Jobs to be Done (JTBD) theory and innovation thinker extraordinaire, ran a webinar the other day. I could not attend due to the time it was being held but I did watch the recording that was sent out to registrants. Fascinating stuff and here are my notes.

Straw poll results

He ran a straw poll to start with and the answers were interesting and also set up the rest of the talk and focus points. Results in bold at the end of each question.

  1. Is there agreement on your product team as how to best define the markets you serve? Roughly 50/50
  2. Is there agreement on your product team as how to best segment the markets you serve? Roughly two thirds no.
  3. Is there agreement on your product team as to what a customer “need” is? Roughly two thirds no.

Intro

JTBD theory in relation to innovation is mostly about having a new perspective and seeing innovation through a different lens. Especially if you need to transform and disrupt your (product, company, industry – select as needed), this is for you. It requires you to replace a solution lens with a problem lens. It contrasts seeing the world of innovation through the lens of what the company is doing (a product perspective). It advocates seeing the world of innovation through the lens of what the customer is trying to get done (a problem perspective).

The famous analogy from JTBD theory is that rather than see the world through the eyes of a drill maker (company and product), see it through that of the hole maker (customer and problem).

People buy products and services to get a job done.

  • Accomplish tasks
  • Achieve goals or objectives
  • Resolve and avoid problems
  • Make progress in their lives

Some more contrasts between JTBD and a company lens

Market definition:

JTBD LENS: A market is a group of people and the job they are trying to get done.

COMPANY LENS: Markets are defined around products, verticals, demographics, etc.

Needs definition:

JTBD LENS: Needs are the measurable outcomes that people want to achieve when getting a job done. Example, when cooking a meal, minimise the time it takes to prepare a meal.

COMPANY LENS: Needs are solutions, benefits, requirements, gains, exciters, specs, latent, etc.

Unmet needs:

DEFINED AS The important, measurable outcomes that people struggle to achieve

Segment definition:

JTBD LENS: Segments are subsets of people in a market, each with a different set of unmet needs.

COMPANY LENS: Segments are personas, use cases, people with different attitudes, demographics, etc.

Innovation Definition:

The process of devising a solution that gets a job done better / more cheaply.

In summary, you have a process (see below) that will allow you to conceptualize products you know—with certainty—will win in the marketplace BEFORE development begins.

The rest of the webinar is mostly about success Strategyn have had with customers (great examples given) and how to implement the ODI process.

I love this framework for so many reasons. I’ve written about if before as part of the research I did for my As a Service trend report in this post: As a Service trend research – customer solutions. As I said in the post about the JTBD framework: A framework for understanding customer needs, if ever there was an approach intended to help find solutions to customer problems or needs, this is it. So moving towards customer solutions, as opposed to having a product or company lens, that is crucial for all kinds of success going forward, least of all for innovation.

And also in that article and indeed the JTBD framework, is the business outcomes focus which I am also enamoured of and write about a lot.

Posted on Leave a comment

The rental mindset and path to freedom

Nothing is ours, not even our bodies. We always rent never own. This is liberating. I have written about this before in the context of products and commerce: The end of ownership and the rise of usership. But I am referring in this post to a mindset, a way of seeing things that can lead to a more fulfilling life.

Liberation from attachment

Liberation comes when you realise that nothing you have gained in this life can be taken with you, nothing materially a least. And that most of our concepts of ownership come from an attachment to things.

We think that the more we own of something, the more it makes of us and also the more control we have.

Ownership is like a proxy for control. We feel if we own it, we can control it and have more rights than when we are just a custodian, a mere borrower. Okay this does not apply to everyone (think of those that trash an Airbnb property) but at least to everyone with a moral compass.

Yes some things can be passed on, like a house that falls to your dependents. But you cannot take your house with you. And while you can enjoy it, we sometimes invest far too much of ourselves into our homes than is warranted. It ends up owning us in some cases – think of overly burdensome mortgages.

The ephemeral truth that sets you free

I don’t know why we long so for permanence, why the fleeting nature of things so disturbs. In every nook and cranny, nature screams at the top of her lungs that nothing lasts, that it is all passing away.

When, as nature does, you accept that all is ephemeral, transient and passing away, then you can let go control and be truly free.

Then you can ride the wave and enjoy the thing and the moment. You have no commitment to anything.

It doesn’t mean you don’t have any obligations, as mentioned you do. You have a duty to look after and be responsible in your use and not just to enjoy.

When you can see things as just a renter, not an owner, and do this beyond just material things, then you are free.

Be free.

Posted on Leave a comment

SenseMaking from the Web

This post is an aggregation of recent articles that I have collected over at Flipboard on my magazine there. It captures great sense making from others, in other words, great articles from other sites I thought worth capturing and sharing. Curating good articles is a discerning process and I’ve automated the delivery of it in WordPress using a Power Automate Flow to achieve this – more on that here.

We need a global reskilling revolution – here’s why

Posted on July 22. License and Republishing World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons …

Beware the rise of corporate rituals designed to manipulate employees

Posted on July 21. ONE of Apple TV’s latest shows, WeCrashed, is a drama series based on the founding and subsequent travails of WeWork, the workspace-providing company …

Rewired: Protecting Your Brain in the Digital Age

Posted on July 20. Dr. Carl Marci is a board-certified psychiatrist and Harvard neuroscientist. He spends time as a health technology entrepreneur and executive through …

Employee experience joins CX for total enterprise view

Posted on July 19. One of the many impacts of the Covid pandemic was to accelerate a nascent trend among progressive organisations towards adopting the discipline of …

Customer and employee experience: The new normal

Posted on July 19. In fact, Pew Research found that a full 86% of respondents to a survey about post-pandemic life expect the pandemic to have lasting effects on …

AI Art Is Challenging the Boundaries of Curation

Posted on July 17. Artists working with programs like DALL-E do more than push a button—selecting outputs and engineering prompts are acts of aesthetic expression. In …

Employee experience automation: Human-AI care for your workforce

Posted on July 17. The global workforce has, today, readily embraced the new normal of hybrid workplace models. Keeping up with expectations of flexibility at work, businesses are evolving rapidly with an eye toward post-pandemic life. The challenges and benefits of remote work coupled with the Great …

Why Microsoft Measures Employee Thriving, Not Engagement

Posted on July 16. As the pandemic continues and many people work hybrid schedules, people analytics researchers at Microsoft realized they needed to move from measuring employee engagement to measuring employee thriving. Defined as “to be energized and empowered to do meaningful work,” the authors explain how their …

9 Life-Changing Stoic Exercises Explained In Simple Drawings

Posted on July 16. It’s often said that if you can’t explain something in simple terms, then you don’t understand it well enough. With this in mind, I decided to put …

Posted on Leave a comment

Infinite experience at the intersection of employee and customer

As I am writing a new trend report on the subject (Employee Customer Experience Connection), I’m always on the lookout for new indicators that the trend is catching on through the writing or research of others. I’ve found two such pieces just today which are definitely good indicators, especially of the “connection” part.

The first is an article on Computer weekly that references Forrester Research, Qualtrics and others. It also includes case studies and some useful onward links – articles including the onward links below:

The other article is from the MIT Technology Review: Customer and employee experience: The new normal.

It is based on a survey of 277 business leaders and decision-makers globally – around 79% of whom are C-level executives or at director level and includes a full report you can download.

I won’t share a PDF version of the report I have for fear of transgressing copyright, I’ll just share pertinent points below but first I’ll make an important distinction.

Infinite or total experience is the key

Something both the articles above and the report from MIT refer to is the total experience. The total experience is when you look at EX and CX in combination. It’s the first time I have noticed this reference since I started writing about this combination, or connection as I refer to it. From the linked articles in the landing page for the trend report I am writing; you will see it has been at least 18 months I have been pushing this combination/connection as a key element of the trend. So, it’s really good to see it being validated.

In terms of terminology, I prefer a reference to infinite rather than total because of the use of the graphic and the way this shows the interconnectivity of EX and CX. Regardless of the term used, it is this connection and how this is managed that is the interesting thing – experience optimisation as I have called it.

You can read the articles I linked to and below are some interesting facts from the MIT report. You will see there is not too much emphasis on this so still something to be worked on.

Highlights of the research on employee and customer experience connecting

1 The pandemic accelerated already existing trends toward digitization of customer experiences (CX) and employee experiences (EX), as well as the adoption of more tech centric business models. This shift is happening in both expected industries (digitally native organizations) and legacy enterprises (traditional finance and public services organizations).

2 CX and EX are just two facets of a more holistic “total experience” that enterprises must seek to deliver over the coming months and years. On top of service-oriented digital offerings that transcend transactional use cases, enterprises are also developing hybrid experiences that blend both digital and real-world elements.

3 Disintermediation—engaging, serving, and delivering directly to the end user—will be a critical component of success for enterprises as they build effective “total experience” ecosystems. Another key component will be establishing and sustaining digital trust among users.

An interesting stat from the survey responses

And I love this quote from a customer case study:

“We aren’t just focusing on digital transformation from an IT perspective. We’re thinking, ‘What is it that we need to work with our communities? With our residents and businesses? Who are the people who have interactions with us? And how do we enrich their experience?’”

Rehana Ramesh, Head of Digital Transformation, Brent Council

It resonates with me because it illustrates so well, like the 3 reasons retailers are leading at the intersection of employee and customer experience that I captured, how public services can be a key driver of this connection.

Posted on Leave a comment

Power Automate your content curation for WordPress

I started work a while back on trying to curate articles from a platform I use (Flipboard) and bringing them into WordPress. I started with a plugin called Feedzy, an RSS aggregator, but that had limitations. I documented those here in the first of a series of posts called SenseMaking from the web. This post is about an alternative which I am much happier with, using Power Automate from Microsoft. And a big shout out to a colleague who helped me achieve this: Amit Chug.

First, what is the purpose of curating content and who is this for?

Although I could always point people to Flipboard to the collection of articles I save in my magazine there, I wanted to be a little more intentional and bring them into this site and blog in separate posts, each taking a snapshot of recent articles I collected.

  1. Curating good articles and content from other sites around the web is a discerning process and takes time, effort and requires insights into what is good versus what isn’t. Automating the process is also very helpful.
  2. Curated content adds value to originally created content and recognises the wealth of other information and talent that exists out there on the web.
  3. It’s good for staying fresh with new content, which in return helps improve content marketing, boosts your SEO, increases audience engagement, and if that’s what you are in it for, it probably earns you more money.
  4. You become good by association if the articles you share are good.
  5. Who this is for: Anyone publishing their own content on a blog like this one or for people in companies responsible for content marketing or managing their company’s blog/s and want to achieve some of the aims above.

How to use Power Automate to do this

The above is the flow in brief, without each of the sections expanded or explained in detail aside from below:

  1. The first step is to create a recurring trigger that schedules the task weekly.
  2. The second step focuses on the feed source and details necessary to fetch articles.
  3. The filter array in the third step and the fourth step specifies further the tasks related to time period and items being fetched.
  4. The final step with multiple steps in it in the left branch, set up the formatting of the output and form it should take, namely a WordPress post containing all feed items from the last seven days should be created in draft form.
  5. Once the draft is created, I can perform some simple checks in WordPress before publishing. I have also automated the use of a featured image using another plugin called Quick Featured Images which creates a featured image based on the tag I assigned in the final step.

At this stage, I have just managed to get the automation to work but I have more work to do trying to improve the formatting of the output. If you compare the output of the Feedzy posts captured here versus the first version I achieved here using Power Automate, there is a gap I need to fill.

As I progress, I will update this post with more detail of how I improve things and how the automation works will become clearer.

In the meantime, if you are interested, I can share an exported version of the current automation if you contact me.

Posted on Leave a comment

SenseMaking from the Web

This post is an aggregation of recent articles that I have collected over at Flipboard on my magazine there. It captures great sense making from others, in other words, great articles from other sites I thought worth capturing and sharing. Curating good articles is a discerning process and I’ve automated the delivery of it in WordPress using a Power Automate Flow to achieve this – more on that here.

How to Create an Employee Handbook

Posted on July 15. Learn the benefits of having an employee handbook, what information to include for employees, and find easy-to-use templates. An employee handbook is …

The future of cars is a subscription nightmare

Posted on July 15. As cars get more expensive to make and profit margins dwindle, automakers are coming up with new and loathsome ways to squeeze more money out of their customers. Subscription-based access to vehicle features, like heated seats or remote-start key fobs, are the latest attempt to charge people for …

Forget long screen recordings. These tools automate your company’s how-tos.

Posted on July 15. Scribe and Tango take screen recordings and automatically turn them into step-by-step lists. The leading metaverse theorist shares his thoughts on the …

Do these 5 things first starting a business

Posted on July 15. Not sure where to begin? Read on. When it comes to starting your own business, it can be hard to know where to start. After all, there are so many things to do. From coming up with the idea for the business itself, to creating a plan, to actually launching and getting things off the ground, the …

Agility Is No Longer Optional in Business

Posted on July 15. Agility is no longer an option, and agile marketing and CX organizations and businesses are best set up to weather whatever storms may be on the …

Top Five Reasons Customers Don’t Return

Posted on July 15. GUEST POST from Shep Hyken Whatever you sell, be it a product or service, your customers expect that it will do what it’s supposed to do. If you sell …

Strategic Planning as Leadership Challenge

Posted on July 15. Company strategies often fail and this is frequently ascribed to unpredictable changes in the context. But most failures are the result of fairly predictable challenges, including one factor that is constantly overlooked: the role and impact of loss. New strategic priorities inevitably generate …

Drive Profitable Growth And Deliver Value Through Digital

Posted on July 15. As the next era of digital unfolds, consumer expectations will continue to evolve, creating more demand than ever for high-quality, seamless digital …

Delivering product innovation in a customer-first, disruptive world

Posted on July 14. Would it be surprising to learn that decreasing company lifespans correlate directly with increasing rates of technological innovation? Over half of the Fortune 500 companies from 2000 no longer exist. Furthermore, it is predicted that 90% of today’s Fortune 500 companies will be acquired, merged, …

Gen Z Wants Video And Personalization, But Is Less Interested In Email

Posted on July 13. Email is the preferred communication channel of consumers: 52% choose it, versus a distant 17% for text and 14% for online accounts. But young people …

Posted on Leave a comment

At the intersection of inner and outer worlds – the individual and company

The inner and outer worlds are indivisible and if you are to make a sucess of yourself as an individual, you need to think of both. When it comes to work, companies also have to think about these worlds, in relation to employees and customers. We have to think about how we, as individuals, bring our best to how we live and work every day. Leaders of companies need to think of how to enable this, so the most important stakeholder of a business is satisfied: the customer.

Click to enlarge

How to optimise a strategy for personal and company success

1. Start with yourself first and look inside

We are often tempted to focus on externals. Material things, how we look, how we attain wealth, etc. Thats because these may appear more tangible and easier to quantify and handle.

But it would all be for nothing if we are not happy and healthy, and this work starts first on the inside.

Start with your thoughts and take care of them. As Buddha once said, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”

Thoughts give rise to emotions so you are best placed to start with thoughts, but emotions are also highly spontaneous and can be leveraged or managed for successful living.

All these thoughts and emotions go to creating an inner set of beliefs and values over time and help mould your purpose.

2. Monitor your lived experience

No man is an island, as John Donne famously penned in a poem and no plan survives first encounter with the enemy as German field marshal Moltke the Elder once said.

Unless you want to become a hermit or are debilitatingly introverted, you have to interact with people.

The way you come across is a reflection of how you see and value yourself.

Being acutely aware of your interactions and the impact your personality and identity have on others when you are interacting with them is fundamental for success.

The behaviours you display and elicit are a reflection of you and ultimately effects the experience others have with you. And this needs to be understood and evolved as you do, and change based on the feedback you get.

3. People power

Few companies and leaders understand the importance of their most important asset – people. A lot of lip service is given to employee well-being, but still not enough is done.

With the advent of technologies like AI, automation and robots, there is also a danger that people are overlooked for these sexier alternatives.

But that is changing. Many are now realising the importance of the employee experience and the impact this has on the bottom line and ultimately, the company’s success.

Employee experience is the culmination of efforts a company takes to ensure the well-being of employees while optimising their capabilities around a company’s strategy and execution.

The outcomes, if managed well, are higher levels of productivity and therefore business performance and a positive company culture which has material impacts on the same.

In essence: The Key to Happy Customers? Happy Employees.

4. Customer Success

Customer success is when your customer reaches their desired outcomes while using your product or service.

Assuming this happens, you will have satisfied customers and satisfied customers tend to want to stick around and continue using your company’s products and services.

Now there will be many more factors at play than just the people generally responsible for ensuring the customer is successful with your product or service. Things like systems, processes, methodologies and technologies.

But it is when the people efforts (all people and all efforts, not just of those with customer success in their titles), all come together and connect to make exceptional customer experiences, that you have magic.

This connection, the middle bit of the diagram above, is something I am writing a trend report about and you can find out more about it by clicking on the link below.

Posted on Leave a comment

How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Marketing Forever

Today, marketers need to be agile, intuitive and strategic to thrive. In future, they’ll need intelligence, of the artificial kind. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing how we market forever. AI is the ability for computers to process data and make decisions based on that information. It can solve complex problems, identify patterns in data and learn from new information. AI uses Machine Learning algorithms so that computer programs can learn as new information becomes available. Marketing programs are using AI in everything from audience segmentation and targeting, to content creation and social media optimization. Let’s explore how businesses are using AI in marketing today.

NOTE: This article was written with the support of Writesonic. In fact it should take credit for about 60% of the content you read in this post. I wanted to make a case in point and test out the options. I read about the options from this article: 31+ Best AI Writer: Free AI Writing Assistant [July 2022]. That article was pointed out to me by a friend on LinkedIn. If you read that thread on LinkedIn you will see that that start of it is a similar case in point – I was trying to automate some content publishing functions. As you can see this topic is very much top of mind and that’s because a lot is happening in this space. In this article, I took the copy that was produced by Writesonic and tweaked it, exactly as my friend suggested and I was left feeling inspired and not that I was cheating. You be the judge on how it worked.

Why Is AI in Marketing Important?

For decades, marketers have been using data to inform their strategies, but manual, human-led processes are limiting. Manual processes aren’t scalable, and it’s difficult to get the level of precision that an AI solution can offer. AI offers marketers a chance to automate and increase the effectiveness of their strategies by creating the right technology to meet their unique needs. There’s evidence to suggest that AI adoption in marketing will increase significantly over the next few years. Past reports from a CMO Survey indicated that 41% of marketers were planning to increase their AI spending in 2018. The same report predicted that AI adoption in marketing will grow globally by 5X, with $37 billion being spent on AI in 2020. Considering it is now 2022, you’d expect that to be borne out and a quick search finds many studies corroborating that, like this one: AI Marketing Adoption: A 5-Step Guide | Emarsys.

Audience Segmentation and Targeting

One of the best uses for AI in marketing is audience segmentation and targeting. AI helps marketers create more personalized marketing campaigns by segmenting their audience and targeting specific groups. For example, AI can help marketers identify which customers are more likely to buy their products. Some marketing software can automatically collect data about customers, campaigns or website visitors. That data can then be used to build customer profiles. Other marketing software can use your existing customer data to create audience segments. AI can also be used to explore your existing customer data to find patterns that can be used to create audience segments.

Content Creation

With AI, marketers can use technology to help with this task, as I have. This could significantly reduce the time and cost of creating content. A few ways that AI can be used to create content include:

  1. Sentiment analysis – AI can help analyse the sentiment of your current content to provide insights that can be used to create more effective content.
  2. Automated journalism – AI can be used to create articles based on what’s happening in the world, or on topics you want to cover. This technology can be used to create weekly or daily content without the need for human intervention.
  3. Automated content curation – AI can be used to collect, organise and publish content from various sources. It can be used to maintain your social media channels and from the video at the end, you can see how the tool can be used to arrive at SEO optimised material that is useful for attractive and relevant post titles.

What I fear is that authenticity and originality is lost. And what about the nuanced perspective that you get from deeply personal insights in a specialist topic in which you have deep experience – can AI ever replace that?

I think that as long as you use it to support your writing and not in place of, this could be a winning combination. One I am willing to try and evolve with.

Summing up

Artificial Intelligence has been around for a long time and has always been used to automate repetitive tasks, but only recently has it been used to replace the most creative tasks in marketing such as content creation. With AI playing a significant role in marketing, there is no doubt that it will change the industry forever and it will be difficult for marketers to ignore this technology. Check out a video demo below of the very same function I used to create the basis for this article.

Posted on Leave a comment

Upgrade your mental operating system

I’d love to tell you I have a simple solution for what’s promised in the title but all I have to offer is a t-shirt 😬I do at least have the solution but simple it is not. Meditation is what I’m talking about. That’s clearly what this new design is intended to convey. This is an extension of my DanelDoodle‘s where I’ve selected some for printing on T-Shirts and you can find others in the shop.

While I’m not going to talk about how to meditate in this post, since it is focused on the new design, I can point you to an eBook I created on the subject some time ago: Mindful over Mind Full.

Having said that, I do want to say a little about why meditation is the route to a new kind of operating system.

It is well documented from scientific based research, that meditation does change your brain in some pretty amazing ways.

But apart from any evidence you might need to justify why you should meditate or at least try to, you have to experience the difference.

Long term impact is not going to be felt overnight but even just with one meditation session, you should feel a little calmer, clearer of mind, more focused.

Over time, it really does change the way you operate. I have been meditating for over 10 years on and off and I every time I meditate consistently, I feel like I’ve been through an upgrade.

A newer, better version of myself and with each version upgrade, I do get a better set of features.

So give it a try and then buy the T-Shirt so you can say you’ve been there 😉