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Three Things Marketers Need to Hear

Salesforce SVP, Market Strategy, Marketing Cloud, Martin Kihn is a blue-flame thinker and dynamic presenter. In his annual trends presentation at Dreamforce, “What’s the ‘Big Idea’? Key Trends in Marketing”, three of Martin’s quips stuck with me and are worthy of any Marketers contemplation.

“Robots are learning to write at the precise moment when humans no longer want to read."

Consumption of videos >1 min grew 135% year-on-year, with overall consumption of short-form video exceeding consumption of longer-form video on YouTube.  According to the Connected Shoppers Report, 72% of consumers prefer video to text for marketing messages. 

As I type, I realize how paradoxical it is to write on this topic! 

Nonetheless, Martin’s point is that brands that internalize this trend and consider communication methodologies that rely less on text will be well-positioned to win in the future. “SEO is becoming robots talking to robots” is another way Martin starkly framed this topic.

“Consumers are addicted to personalization but don’t know it.”

80% of consumers say they feel “little or no control” over how companies are using their data online while a similar number (73%) expect brands to anticipate their needs and build personalized experiences. 

Consumers want personalization but lack understanding for how personalization is achieved – coupled with a distinct lack of Trust in the data ecosystem – has perpetuated a “Paradox of Privacy.” For Marketers, this means that subtle and privacy-centric personalization is a winning strategy and building Trust (which is conveniently correlated to popularity) is paramount.

“We have to be better at Qs than A’s.”

Conversational interfaces to generative AI require promoting (questions). As such, the Marketer skill must shift from being able to compose the best possible headline (the answer) to catalyzing an AI-powered toolset to ideate and optimize headline iterations over time to reflect past and live performance feedback against KPIs. Remember the scientific method from research class in undergrad? It’s back! Engineering your questions is now becoming more important than ‘knowing’ the answer.

The job of Prompt Engineer did not exist 12 months ago, but it is rising in popularity as professionals throughout the marketing ecosystem learn how to generate maximum value from this quickly evolving toolset.

Martin’s engaging presentations are a must-see in my book and always produce quips worth pondering. These three stuck in my mind, along with a few more for good measure:

  • “Every business is a show business … even B2B where short-form video matters” 
  • “Every brand should be as versatile as Taylor Swift”
  • “Eventually the robots will take over and all that will be left are cats.”

I encourage you to consume all 20 of the Big Idea trends presented. Martin has kindly curated each in a series of daily LinkedIn posts