Transformation of content marketing is akin to evolution of species

By Katherine Scarrow

The Globe and Mail

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


In stable conditions, there’s no reason for a species to change,” said Bennie Johnson, CEO of the American Marketing Association (AMA), in a keynote at the 2023 Content Marketing World conference in Washington. He drew a compelling analogy between the transformation of marketing and the evolution of species.

Checking off to-do lists and formalising processes can be comforting activities, but they can lull us into false senses of security. In times of lightning-fast technological advances, content marketers stand at a crossroads: We have no choice but to rethink what we’ve done in the past.

Content marketing, like all aspects of the media industry, is on a journey of constant change and adaptation.
Content marketing, like all aspects of the media industry, is on a journey of constant change and adaptation.

Embodiment of adaptation

Canada’s Globe and Mail, founded in 1844 as a newspaper, is a testament to the spirit of adaptation.

Entrepreneurial endeavours such as its Lab351 accelerator, and the adoption of digital-first platforms such as the Arc XP CMS, as well as the commercialisation (and eventual sale) of its AI-powered analytics platform Sophi, reflect a proactive approach to a fast-changing market.

The establishment and ascent of our content marketing department, Globe Content Studio, is indicative of the company’s commitment to an evolving industry. Content-based marketing has transcended its status as a mere puzzle piece. It’s become a powerful engine helping propel the organisation into new territory.

Pathways for progress

Recognising the incredible transformative potential of generative AI tools, Globe Content Studio is actively road-testing and integrating them across the content experience — from planning and production, to promotion and performance. We’re keen on finding efficiencies and being more effective in our roles, but we’re also determined to question whether what we’re doing today makes sense for tomorrow.

As we move into this next chapter, it will be critical for all companies to start rethinking, clarifying, and communicating career pathways. Regardless of the role, talented people will face limited options: move to traditional roles, seek lateral positions elsewhere, or venture into solo practices.

The evolution of content marketing, along with The Globe’s strategic adjustments to changing landscapes, mirrors the broader narrative of evolution. As we step into the era of AI-driven personalisation, the key lies in adaptation.

About Katherine Scarrow

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