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The five marketing stories you need to read this month

We don’t know about you, but for us, the last couple of months have flown by! Is it really already almost March?? With 2017 decidedly underway, we’ve been finding some excellent industry reading of late that we couldn’t wait to share. We’re seeing a lot of fresh takes on the growing pressure to deliver ROI, advances in utilizing tech in marketing, major shifts in roles and expectations — our TMI has it all. Dive in to the latest top reads below!

Forrester: Marketing and Sales Lead Nearly 50% of AI Initiatives
Improving customer experience and support was named as the biggest benefit of AI by 57% of respondents, as organizations plan to use it to predict customer needs in near real-time. So it should come as little surprise that while AI spend today is comparatively low, marketing and sales is leading the charge, with product management and customer support not far behind.

6 Steps to Get Your Whole Company Involved in Content Marketing
Apparently 61% of the most effective marketers are meeting with their content teams regularly. But imagine if other teams in the company were involved in content? How could that increase effectiveness? Content Marketing Institute has the key ways to get started.

CMO Role Expands With Rising Marketing Budgets
According to Gartner research, CMOs are taking on expanded responsibility for digital commerce, customer experience, innovation, sales—even IT. The 2016-2017 CMO Spend Survey suggests that CMOs are now spending nearly as much on technology as their CIO counterparts. The average marketing expense budget is now equivalent to 12% of company revenue and 27% of that is allocated to marketing tech, only slightly higher than what CMOs allocate to paid media and slightly lower than what they spend on headcount. Read for more on their broadening role.

CEOs Will No Longer Accept Marketing That Doesn’t Deliver ROI
Gabe Leydon, CEO of Machine Zone, one of the world’s largest gaming companies, recently shared some shocking views on marketing in a video interview. But Michael Brennan, CEO of Marketing Insider Group, argues he has a point. Will brand advertising disappear? How can marketing actually drive business results? Explore further in this fascinating read.

The 7 Worst Reasons for a Content Marketing Campaign
On average, 76% of buyers feel closer and more positive about a company after reading custom content. Unfortunately, there’s a misconception about content marketing being cheap and easy, but in reality, it’s a big investment and it isn’t for everybody. Don’t do it for the wrong reasons!

A bonus read: How Content Marketing Could Change In A Wearable Technology Era
Over the last several years, content marketing has slipped into a steady status quo. But now, as we begin a new year and the emergence or solidification of multiple futuristic technologies, it seems that content marketing as we know it may be transformed. Even though in many cases wearables are just smaller, more compact versions of mobile devices, there are some critical differences that have the power to reshape how we think about content marketing.
What marketing stories are catching your eye as 2017 gets underway? Let us know in the comments or connect via Twitter @OutlookMktgLinkedIn or Facebook – we’d love to hear from you! You can also catch up on all of the latest key developments in B2B marketing and content here.

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