Posts tagged digital marketing
How to not lose your mind when everyone’s a copy writer

I’ve been in this scenario many times as a marketer—you’re close to finalizing a marketing asset and the creative spotlight turns to the copy. Out of nowhere people far removed from the creative development begin to weigh in and want to change the wording.

Marketing copy is like design—everyone has an opinion. Copy is an easy target because it’s easier to change compared to swapping out images, overhauling design or adjusting targeting or strategy.

There’s a fundamental reason people comment on copy. Copy is important! It matters! It’s an easy way for people to offer up opinions and suggestions for improvement on your marketing asset. People care about your creative enough to study it and offer an opinion.

Quickly this scenario can descend into a stalemate. Too many cooks in the kitchen scenario. The higher the stakes and the higher the budget, the more opinions (and more senior opinions) you’re likely to get.

How do you mitigate all of the opinions and come up with marketing copy and a creative that everyone can live with?

I’ve seen marketers and copywriters handle this situation in various ways and with varying degrees of success. The best way to get your marketing asset out the door involves combinations of these tactics:

  • Acknowledge the opinions you get. I mean really acknowledge them. Don’t just offer lip service and a thanks very much. At the end of the day people want to be heard and acknowledged.

  • Consolidate opinions. Do people feel strongly about certain words or subsections? If you’re getting the same comments on the same words or sections, it’s time to make copy changes.

  • Encourage verbal debate. It’s easy for people to offer up their opinions on copy via email. In my experience opening up the copy debate and taking it away from email will get you clearer opinions, better opinions and more robust copy discussion. Only those commenters who really care about your copy will volunteer the time to talk it out face to face.

  • Know who the decision maker is. Or if there isn’t one, asign one. At the end of the day someone has to make the decision. That might be you. Know who this person or persons is and empower them to make it.

  • Be prepared to defend your copy. Any good copywriter will do this well. Have sound and logical arguments for why your copy is the way it is. Tie it back to your original strategy, brand voice and the customer. Be prepared to argue for why you feel strongly for its inclusion or exclusion.

The conversation is just starting—morality in A.I.

I went to an amazing presentation earlier this week. 

Harry Glaser of Periscope Data gave a speech on the moral responsibility data professionals have to safeguard the proper use of AI. According to Harry, "AI unchallenged runs a strong risk of delivering immoral outcomes."


He's right. What happened at Cambridge Analytica shows how powerful the use and misuse of AI technology can be.

Thought leaders like Harry are starting to talk about the role data and other professionals play in being moral custodians of AI technology.

Artificial intelligence needs human intelligence behind it—moral guardrails to guide it. Early adopters of AI have the responsibility to set the tone for its professional and moral use.

A recent op-ed in the New York Times takes this idea further—digital marketers are excited about the economic and commercial potential of AI but we have all but ignored its potential to be used with ill intent.

Despite these myriad risks, industry professionals seem to have turned a blind eye to the oncoming specter of A.I., likely because they are optimistic about its commercial potential. ~New York Times, 26 March 2018

From where I sit, I see many marketers grappling with the 'how' of AI. They're getting their heads around what technology is, what it can do and how it might impact the scope, scale and delivery of their marketing treatments.

Some marketers are more experienced with AI and have already integrated it into their routine use. The more seasoned AI marketers are the ones who need to be leading the conversation about its moral use.

There are no easy answers here, except to say the conversation about the moral use of AI technology is only just starting. We need to put aside our excitement about what AI can do in a commercial sense and start debating what moral use of AI technology in marketing looks like, how we should uphold it, and what should happen to those who don't.