Get up to speed on AI. Artificial intelligence may be the latest buzzword, but with AI-related global mergers and acquisitions up 26x the 2015 level (according to a recent article in The Economist), marketers can expect a shake-up sooner rather than later. With Google and Netflix and other tech behemoths snapping up AI talent, it’s hard for us marketers to find talent for our own needs in this space. You’ll need to find key vendors to align with so you can apply their AI expertise to your email marketing efforts. Start learning now, because AI has a high potential to be a game-changer, and it does seem to be barreling towards us rather quickly.
Invest in quality data. You don’t have to be an AI expert to guess that data will be critical in 2018. All our testing and future AI needs rely on having the best data possible in our systems. We’ve all grumbled about missing key data points, or having less-than-stellar data quality in certain systems in the past.
With AI such a strong buzzword, we can build a better case for urgency and investment now than at any time in the past few years. That will help, since it's time to invest in data cleansing and new systems to support better access to data.
Create a content marketing strategy. It’s time to go beyond a plan and invest in creating a full-blown strategy for content development and marketing. Having a lot of content will be critical if you want to take advantage of AI. While white papers and case studies may still be appropriate, consider approaching content from a different perspective: modular chunks.
As email marketers, we all know that chunking content is critical to strong results. Going forward, a strong content marketing strategy will take advantage of modular chunks of content to build marketing stories for individuals at scale. Think about a strategy that fulfills goals by using these tiny building blocks. You’ll get more value for your investment, and set yourself up for testing in the channel.
Build a test plan. Speaking of testing, you’ll need many test results to make a case for all the investment in AI, data and content required in the next few years. It’s time to stop focusing on testing for small improvements. Instead, start from the perspective of what you want to invest in and build a test plan to generate results that can drive business rationale for these investments.
The most exciting thing about being an email marketer in 2018? Our channel is the most efficient testing channel to prove theories and create business cases based on real results. 2018 is shaping up to be an amazing year, if we just keep our email marketing resolutions.