Good morning, Marketers, and are you getting out and about?

A few days ago I attended an outdoor musical performance. As far as I can remember, this was the first musical performance — and probably the first live performance of any kind — I’ve attended in a couple of years. After all, I wasn’t blessed with the foresight in January 2020 to tell myself to pack a few shows in before the world closes down.

Interestingly, the organizers divided the audience into vaccinated and non-vaccinated sections. You needed to show proof of vaccination, of course. And it did strike me that one thing we missed the boat on was some hard-to-forge proof of status. Personally, I wouldn’t suggest people be mandated to carry proof of vaccination around with them — the incentive would simply be that it gets you in places.

Anyway, as some reflections on vaccines below indicate, one way or another we need a greater sense of security if we’re to be able to plan and strategize for the future. And get out more.

Kim Davis
Editorial Director


New job? Here are the skills you need to succeed today

In his latest contribution, fractional CMO Ryan Phelan lays out winning strategies for taking up a new leadership role. “Are you managing people or marketing channels the same way you did 18 months ago? If so, my friend, you are painfully behind the times,” he writes. 

“A lot of people have found new paths — new job, new career, new industry. But what do you do next after you finish your HR orientation and figure out where the bathroom is? What should be your first step as a new leader, and how can you avoid repeating the mistakes of the people who had the job before you?”

With people switching jobs at an unusual rate as we emerge tentatively from the pandemic, Ryan lists three action points for someone starting at a new company and leading a new team:

  1. Redefine your management and motivational styles;
  2. Block out calendar time for strategic thinking; and
  3. Understand that you don’t have to know everything right away.

Read more here.


Shutterstock.AI joins AWS Data Exchange

Shutterstock.AI, a new subsidiary of the widely used creative content platform Shutterstock, has announced the availability of its data on AWS Data Exchange, a service that aims at enabling companies to find and use third-party data in a privacy-compliant way. (That said, Amazon was just hit with a record-high data privacy fine by the EU.)

Other data companies, like Infutor, have also joined the AWS Data Exchange, which was launched in 2019.

The Shutterstock.AI subsidiary was announced earlier this week. It acquired three AI platforms: Pattern89, Datasine and Shotzr. With these AI platforms in place, Shutterstock can commercialize its content library, which includes over 400 million images, videos, 3D models and music files.

Combining these assets with AI allows clients to find and use them intelligently using data, but it also paves the way for advanced visual discovery. A recent comment by Shutterstock CEO Stan Pavlovsky points to the use of this data to “help new customer segments accelerate the development of artificial intelligence, by unlocking the power of data associated with our vast content library.” He mentions autonomous vehicles and content moderation as applications down the road.

Read more here.


New! MarTech Guide to Account-Based Marketing Tools

The B2B sales process is notorious for its length and the “hiccups” that can occur when it’s time for prospective customers to get internal buy-in. ABM solves this problem by putting the right messages in front of key decision-makers at target accounts. MarTech’s “Account-Based Marketing Tools: A Marketer’s Guide” examines the market for these tools and the considerations involved in implementation. This 46-page report looks at why B2B companies use ABM software and describes the key elements of successful ABM strategies and the capabilities ABM tools provide. It also compares 13 top vendors.

Learn more »


From carrot to stick: The dam has broken on COVID vaccine mandates

“It took mandates to eradicate smallpox and eliminate polio,” Nicole Wetsman wrote for The Verge, “We control measles, diphtheria, and other infectious diseases by requiring kids get their shots before going to school. When vaccines aren’t required, uptake tends to stay low — it’s one reason rates of HPV vaccination aren’t as high as health experts would like, even though the shots can prevent cancer.”

Much of the marketing data that’s been published for Q1 and Q2 2021 show increased consumer demand (compared to last year) across verticals. These positive signs were made possible by the COVID vaccine, but the future isn’t looking so promising now that new cases have spiked, giving way to the “fourth wave.”

As a society, we’ve stalled out on administering the vaccine. Incentive programs, ranging from free beer to baseball tickets and now, possibly even a $100 payment to newly vaccinated Americans, have only succeeded in nudging people who were on the fence. It seems that businesses and governing bodies are recognizing that mandates may be necessary to curb the threat of the Delta variant.

Last week, the Department of Veterans Affairs, which runs one of the country’s biggest health systems, became the first federal agency to introduce a mandate. Then, President Biden announced that all federal employees would have to get vaccinated or undergo regular COVID testing and other protocols. The private sector is moving in the same direction: Google, Facebook and Lyft have announced that only vaccinated employees may return to the office.

People need to stay employed to continue providing for their families and businesses need to stay operational to pay their staff. Nobody wants to give their employees ultimatums, but every government entity and business that does so sets a precedent, making it easier for smaller organizations to follow suit. “Mandates won’t fix [the COVID] problem on their own, but they’re one more strategy that could help,” Wetsman wrote, “At this point, we need all the help we can get.”

Why we care. Our mantra since early spring has been that we simply don’t yet know what normal will look like, whether we’re discussing consumers, B2B buyers, go-to-market strategies, events, the economy as a whole and so on. One certainty is that we won’t begin to find out until there’s a much greater sense of safety and security than exists now.

Returning to strict social distancing and mask mandates is something nobody welcomes, but until the situation is more under control than it is right now, how do we get on with living our lives?


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Quote of the day

“The question no longer is ‘Why do people want to work for this company?’ It’s ‘Why does my team want to work for me?’” Ryan Phelan, co-founder