How to prepare for a job that doesn’t exist

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

If I had a dollar for every time I was asked this as a child, I wouldn’t need to plan my future at all.

I’m certain my response as a 5 year old would have been nothing remotely similar to- “I’m still torn between an SEO Analyst or UX Designer”.

Just a few of the many marketing jobs that did not exist 10 years ago.

In a short space of time, an explosion of digital marketing jobs has been created in response to the technological revolution.

Did you know that around 65% of the jobs that today’s learners will be doing in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet? How do we prepare for a future role that might not currently exist?

  1. Master Flexibility

The digital marketers of tomorrow will require an agile mindset and an ability to adapt to switching consumer dynamics. Self-learning is increasingly important in this rapidly evolving ecosystem.

Self-learning techniques to increase flexibility.

2. Gain Experience

I recently read a book that highlights that the more job roles a person has had, the greater experience and perspectives they bring. In a digital marketing future, it will be the breadth and depth of skills, and how transferable those skills are, that’s important.

3. Fill the relevant gaps

We’ve all got knowledge gaps. This isn’t always a bad thing. I’ll probably never need to fill my knowledge gap when it comes to physics. But if you’re an aspiring digital marketer who’s not quite sure how to turn a computer on, it’s probably best to work on that.

Click here to see ’21 jobs of the future in marketing’ proposed by Cognizant.

Can you see yourself filling any of these roles?

Digital Guide: SEO for Voice Search

With half of all online searches being done without lifting a finger, the landscape for digital marketers is changing. Clearly, searching has become more convenient than ever. For digital marketers, Siri, Alexa, and Google Home are shaping how we approach SEO.

If you’re trying to optimise for voice search using the same strategies as regular SEO, then you’ll want to stick around.

According to SEO Tribunal

3 SEO Strategies for Voice Search

  1. Be Concise

When someone asks a home assistant questions, they’re looking for a brief answer, and brief answers have higher chances of ranking for a voice search.

“Hey Alexa, what is SEO?”

Featured Google snippet when searching “what is SEO?”

For marketers, including a concise answer at the beginning of your content makes it easier for home assistants to find, read and rank.

2. Focus on local

It’s no secret that consumers use “near me” searches, but voice search users are increasingly searching for local results. Within the past year, 58% of consumers have found local businesses using voice search.

If you have a local store, you should optimise your content for local voice searches, use Google My Business and make sure you make answers easy to access online.

Source: Youtube

3. Natural language and long-tail key words

Consumers using voice search are using conversational language, and these queries are longer than regular text-based searches.

A few language features used in voice search.

So, for voice search optimisation, you too should focus on natural and conversational tone in your content. Try and put yourself in the consumer’s shoes, if you were looking for a certain answer, how would you phrase the question? This can help elevate your content in rankings.

Will voice search queries overtake text based? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

AI: at the heart of the modern customer’s journey

Could the answer to understanding the complexity of a consumer’s mind be Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Look, I get it. Humans are complex. But is a machine without a mind of its own really the best way to gain insights on the mind of others?

Well… it really could be. And it’s already happening. AI can provide personalisation across the customer journey and can use predictive modelling to achieve better outcomes at touch-points.

The Journey

The customer journey consists of three stages: pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase. So, how could AI fit with each stage?

How AI can integrate into the different stages of a customer journey

During pre-purchase, AI targeting and personalisation through email and ads can be hugely influential. 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product if the marketing is personalised. Customer profiling enhances personalisation and also create product recommendations. SEO and voice search optimisation can also be used to impact the SERP positioning of the company.

The purchase stage is also useful for profiling, demand forecasting and profit optimisation. Lead generation can be calculated and such data is key in improving a marketers decision making, and for increasing CRO (conversion rate optimisation).

Post-purchase touchpoint like reviews have an endless capability to produce huge amounts of data. Chat bots at this stage can enhance customer service and collect useful data. Sentiment analysis can be used to give data driven insights too to really understand the consumer.

Source: Youtube
What is a chat bot and how are they used?

Clearly, AI has a well-deserved place in the customer journey. But as both a marketer and a consumer, I’m torn between emotions of excitement and apprehension about how much this technology can do. How about you?

When refusal to innovate is fatal

Tales of misfortunate companies that have met their demise through the rise of predatory rivals are now a dime a dozen. As technology advances, a sheer refusal to innovate has seen much-loved companies and industries struggle to stay afloat. Where did it go wrong?

  1. Netflix didn’t sink Blockbuster. Unfavourable late fees did. This was the scourge of Blockbuster: return a movie, go to rent another, and find out that you owe $20 in late fees. This was how it made most of its revenue. Blockbuster’s business model required a conflict of interest with customers- so customers switched to Netflix as soon as it became available, without remorse.
Source: Thought Works
  1. Uber didn’t kill your local taxi firm– unreliability did. Riders are now able to hail a ride online instantly, with live tracking and accurate time frames. Convenience and time-saving aspects have streamlined ride services with the desires of customers at heart.
Uber App GIF by Product Hunt
Source: Giphy
  1. Airbnb isn’t taking over the hospitality industry– new customer experiences and pricing options are. Customers are demanding authentic lodging experiences- in locals real homes- at affordable prices.

“Airbnb Experiences immerse travellers in local communities, offering one-of-a-kind, handcrafted activities, led by local experts.”

By Airbnb
Source: Youtube

If these examples teach marketers anything, it’s that not being customer-centric or lacking innovation of experience can be fatal. Marketers need to invest and evolve alongside technology as demand-based power rises. In short: optimise your customer experience, before competitors get there first.

Can you think of any other examples where refusal to innovate has been fatal?

Step aside influencers- UGC is back and booming

The power of social media influencers has capsized the world of digital marketing, with perfectly edited posts of avocado on toast that are almost enough to make it look tasty. But, with brands striving for consumers trust, there is great irony in relying on the same platform that brought Fyre Festival to do so.

Source: PHD Media

As consumers demand authenticity, companies are running into the arms of their familiar companion UGC (user generated content).

UCG is content created by unpaid contributors- from images, videos, hashtags, challenges and so on. UCG is 9.8x more likely to influence a purchase decision than influencer marketing.

Stop me if you think you‘ve heard this one before.

The year is 2014. The sun is shining. Your timeline is filled with videos of people throwing buckets of ice over themselves. #alsicebucketchallenge has taken over. 8 weeks and AUD$115M in donations later, the power of UGC had never been so apparent.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Source: Youtube

UGC is nothing new. So why are we seeing a boom now?

Consumers are growing frustrated with the inability to find honest-to-goodness information online. Glorified bribes in the form of influencer posts are so mass-produced that consumers are shutting off from them.

What does this mean for marketers?

In the age of inauthentic marketing, UGC emerges as the light at the end of the tunnel. Providing trustworthy information to help purchase decisions is more aligned with the desires of consumers today and often cheaper than paying rent to an influencer.

Do you see a future where influencer marketing has no influence?