#2 – Embracing chaos after startup redundancy

by | Jan 15, 2024 | Newsletter Editions | 0 comments

I’m starting the year (2024) in the most cliche fashion, by looking for a new job or freelance consulting gig. Not by choice… I was made redundant.

While I won’t go into the details simply out of respect for the team, I’ll give you a clue. 

A VC-backed startup’s ongoing business operations are at the mercy of two things:

If the startup continues to get funded by said VC (or VCs) or investors.

If the startup’s cash reserves are enough to last the winters of getting delayed funding (unfortunately for me, my job only lasted 10 months due to both)

To be fair, 2023 was challenging in general:

Startup (especially tech-based ones, excluding AI startups) funding was drier than usual (Source: Techcrunch)

The gig economy and project-based gigs lessened (Source: Website Planet)

Demand for freelancers, especially marketers, was drastically down. At least in comparison to 2022 (when I was heavily into freelancing)

I saw a lot of my freelance network go back into FT jobs for being concerned about income loss.

But don’t worry, this is not a pity party, I’m optimistic about 2024. I’m even starting to get 2nd-to-late-stage interviews for FT and freelance gigs. Plus, with inflation rates slightly more controlled (at least in the UK), many companies are posting more roles compared to Q2 of 2023, and companies are more bullish with the support of AI.

All in all, I’m still a big advocate that one must have multiple gigs and projects to build a strong foundation for wealth and income (if you get my drift). Job security doesn’t exist and everything is a risk either way. 

Just look at the recent layoff at Pitch… with ⅔ of its employees getting slashed off the payroll just like that, I can sympathise (Source: Sifted). It’s just the nature of economics. What is up must come down, and vice versa. So keep calm and carry on.

More Marketing Jobs, Opportunities and Productivity, thanks to AI and Capitalism

There’s a consensus that AI will deliver a massive expansion in the economy. AI will massively help support the creation of new products and services for businesses that yield to it. It has personally increased my rate of learning, productivity, and output. Businesses will echo this in their output of things to sell, in which we marketers have to help them market. Thank you Capitalism! (Source: CNBC). 

Hopefully more marketing jobs right? 

On another note, if you’re a marketer not utilising tools like chatGPT, I urge you to. My personal use case for it is endless, including marketing planning and strategies, ideations of all sorts, learning with analogies, and researching for consulting purposes, to name but a few. 

Even academics and professionals are using it to boost productivity, from creative writing to coding and management consulting (Source: Business Insider). If you can increase your output as a marketer, the possibilities are endless. In theory, you should never get stuck on an idea in 2024. 

Just to keep it neutral and practical, I still recommend upskilling as a marketer as much as possible. AI will reveal the true winners of tomorrow whether you like it or not. Apart from Futurist Marketers, I’d take a peek at platforms such as CXL, Growth Tribe and Reforge for further education in marketing and the digital landscape. I’ve interacted with their resources and I highly recommend them.

Want to learn to research as a marketer to better understand your business vertical? Let me show you how to in 8 practical ways. Watch my latest video on the topic below.

Compare CPI and IPM (Q4 Report)

Singular just released its 2023 quarterly report (Q4) on all things app marketing and user acquisition. Topline stats:

There are over 8.58 billion mobile phone subscriptions

300 million used smartphones will be sold in 2023 (used phones aren’t all that bad)

People spent $135 billion in annual in-app purchases (people do like to spend eh?)

Music and app games have higher ATT opt-in rates across different categories

Brands and advertisers spent $446 billion in annual spending (thank God I specialised in Performance Marketing)

Android: Games Global CPI: ($0.61) | Non-gaming Global CPI: ($0.50)

iOS: Games Global CPI: ($2.23) | Non-gaming Global CPI: ($0.70)

Download the report HERE

Bonus: Did you know you can get a summary of what the top trending questions and topics people are searching for across the globe daily? Sign up for the Google Trends daily newsletter HERE.

Omnichannel Marketing to Multiple Devices

Google recently announced more casting capabilities to come to more apps and devices at CES 2024 (Source: Google). You can now push TikTok content and ‘cast’ it to your Chromecast built-in devices. 

We marketers now have to partake in knowing our content efforts in all regards may be engaged with, on an entirely new device and format than originally intended. I’m still waiting for the day when middle to upper-class families all wear VR headsets for entertainment or when watching movies in a streaming format.

On Building a Marketing Career

Closing off the topic of my recent redundancy and work, I know that people losing jobs happens a lot more than we’d like to admit. I was initially hesitant to admit it to the wider world, but… I want to create a more transparent relationship with you

Admittedly, I’ve been made redundant or fired 4-5 times throughout my working career, including my customer service days. It’s all part of the game, I welcome it. 

I’m incredibly lucky to have funnelled into marketing (see what I did there) as a career, after coming from a music background. While I’m still figuring out my trajectory and my full becoming in this area of my life, here are principles that have worked for me so far in building my career at an upward trajectory (increasing income, upskilling rapidly and building social-proof):

Take on jobs or gigs that will challenge you, it’s easy to get comfortable with a role that you can confidently work in, but your growth will stale.

Think 7-steps ahead and be a futurist. To be honest, I don’t know if 80% of the marketing roles right now as of 2024 will exist in 10 years, so I’m building multiple skills and projects while I can. I’d advise you to do the same.

If you’re working a FT job, start freelancing. If you’re freelancing get a FT job. De-risk your career and increase or safeguard your income (but keep your plans under wraps).

Learn, learn and learn some more. There are lots of resources for you to upskill, we are in the information age after all, so take it while you can. This newsletter is a part of that process, so subscribe to it if you haven’t dear friend.

Network. Yes, the word network still does make me cringe, but a lot of my opportunities are gained cause of my ability to make connections with people. You know your value, project it. Remember: it’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you.

If you are a marketer who needs a chat or guidance on career next steps, I’m happy to jump on a call and help you in a personalised way. Let’s connect (if we haven’t yet).

Is the World of Tech Moving Too Fast?

I consider myself a techie, a controlled gamer and someone who enjoys media entertainment from streaming shows to movies. After having seen the best highlights at CES 2024, I feel the speed of advances in tech and how it affects the way we do things is increasing (Source: Mashable).

From transparent TVs, to hybrid-phone/AI-assistant devices (Rabbit R1) and AI Agents doing multiple jobs for us (on standby). I’m considering its effects at a grander scale. 

What is the future? 

Who can truly predict, what we truly don’t understand? Here are my ideas on how I think it will affect us marketers:

A lot of tedious marketing tasks not requiring brainpower will be automated. Think data consolidation, reporting and campaign planning.

The urge to learn more skills as a marketer. I’m an advocate of being a generalist marketer (also known as T-shaped), but specialising in a few newer areas will come in handy: product analytics, app marketing and leadership. Remember the principle of supply and demand (go upskill where a lot of other professionals aren’t).

Influence and garnering attention are your best currency as a marketer. I’m not talking about deploying these for your job, but more so for your personal brand. CVs will eventually be outdated and your digital footprint will be the new advocate of your experience and professional career. Why do you think I launched Futurist Marketers 😅

Worthy Mentions and Reads

Victoria’s Secret and Google’s collaboration for a more personalised and inclusive shopping experience (Source: Google)

Endless meetings throughout the week greatly reduce team productivity. Research has found that large organisations waste $100 million a year on unnecessary gatherings (Source: Bloomberg)

Fospha and TikTok have officially partnered for all your cross-channel and incrementality issues (Source: TikTok). I’ve briefly used Fospha before and it is a game-changer for all your TOFU activities. Your brand awareness campaigns might be bringing in more value than you think!

Brainlab’s 2024 mini-series on top digital marketing trends (Source: Brainlabs)

10 companies that embraced AI in their product offerings (Source: Unbounce)

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