Podcast with Lauren Haworth

We had our very first podcast recording with the incredibly talented Lauren Haworth

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Lauren Haworth is a business professional who actively invests and works with NFT projects – but her experience is that most NFT projects out there don’t have any real, tangible impact in the world (and many are scams or pyramid schemes). We sat down with Lauren to unpack some of her hands-on experience with NFT investing, and to figure out why and how businesses should incorporate NFTs into their day-to-day operations. Lauren also shares her experience with Green Tokens, some practical insights into an NFT project she’s currently involved in that’s bringing education to underprivileged children, and how she makes sure she invests in credible, profitable NFT projects.

Resources mentioned in this episode: Investopedia

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From self-driving cars to the rise of chatbots, we’re seeing a rapid acceleration in artificial intelligence and machine learning — and it’s changing the marketing world.

From self-driving cars to the rise of chatbots, we’re seeing a rapid acceleration in artificial intelligence and machine learning — and it’s changing the marketing world. 

Tech research firm, Gartner, predicts that by 2020, AI will be a $3.9 trillion business. Businesses need to prepare for this inevitability by taking action and capitalising on the opportunities artificial intelligence can bring to their business.

Preparing for the future

When it comes to the future of marketing, opinions are divided. Some experts believe that AI will change the way we live for the better and boost our economy. Others see it as a potential threat to humankind and we can understand why, at a cursory glance. 

Artificial intelligence is getting smarter. It’s approaching the same level of intelligence as human beings, and there’s no question that it will continue to become more relevant as we find new use cases for it in a digital world. 

As it does so, it will continue to have an impact on many aspects of our lives, including on the way we market our businesses and how we interact with brands as consumers. But in a best case scenario, this intelligence will be used to heighten human potential rather than cannibalise it. 

Why is it taking so long?

AI has been a hot topic for years, but it’s only recently become widely accessible and affordable enough to be utilised in business applications as a standard. What’s more, advancements in machine learning technologies and the rise of big data have fueled interest and sparked new research into AI’s potential for democratising access to opportunities and unifying the world with technology. Let’s get down to what it is at its core and why it’s so relevant to us as modern marketers. 

1. What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines. In computer science, an ideal "intelligent" machine is a flexible rational agent that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximise its chance of success at some goal.

We’re already seeing a number of applications for this in the marketing and comms world - particularly in the social listening and monitoring space. This is, in part, why marketing has changed so much over the last 5 years. 

2. Why it’s crucial to your new marketing strategy

Marketing comprises a range of activities that are typically focused around understanding consumers and their interests in a modern context. By simulating or supplementing human intelligence, we have a range of benefits available to us on both sides of the messaging fence. 

  • Streamline resources. Internally, AI can support businesses in their process goals. Think of a SlackBot for example that provides useful tidbits of information or reminders to the team. Similarly, word prompts and email suggestions can take some of the mental work out of completing tasks.

  • Target content to specific audiences. AI allows you to get information about individual customers and prospects so that you can then tailor marketing campaigns to them. This is a lot more effective than generic marketing campaigns. So, for example, if you want to know what your consumers are saying online or how they behave, AI can help scan trillions of data points to collate a profile for you - making quick work of building personas or targeting specific demographics.

  • Interact with less manpower. Artificial intelligence can communicate with your consumers on your behalf. And, with the help of machine learning, it can change its behaviour to accommodate their interests and needs. Automated responses can be a useful tool when customers message you on social media platforms. Improved interactive voice systems also hold some efficacy when it comes to supplementing manpower.

  • Delight and engage automatically. While AI technology is still relatively new to consumers, it still has the power to delight them, even in simple applications. Acknowledging their DM with an automated message, can be a powerful way to increase your response time and offer them useful resources for what to do next.

  • Prepare for future advancements in technology. As technology advances, the possibilities for marketing automation become endless. Artificial intelligence can help take a lot of the manual work out of marketing and allow you to focus on the creative aspects of your work. However, there’s another important aspect at play. Brands that want to succeed beyond web 4.0 need to have the infrastructure, skill and understanding to operate in a hybrid world of virtual, artificial and physical environments. 

3.. How to use it effectively in your business

  • Use it to intimately know your audiences through media monitoring and social listening
  • Integrate AI into new brand activations and media campaigns
  • Automate engagement through chatbots and profile growers
  • Activate your brand with creative concepts that incorporate new technologies. 

All told, AI is no longer a far-off concept that may or may not impact our realities in the near future. It’s very much here in familiar interfaces and chat applications that people encounter on a daily basis. Even companies like Google have incorporated it into their document creation, suggesting words and helpful tools when users start to write. However, as the capability and access grows, so does the scope of opportunity to use this technology in more exciting and novel ways. 

Don’t get left behind

Speak to us about your next AI project or how you can incorporate it into your existing marketing campaigns. 


Digital transformation has become one of the most talked about topics in the last few years. But what does it really mean?

Digital transformation has become one of the most talked about topics in the last few years. But what does it really mean? What are the key areas where digital transformation is happening? How can you be sure that your business is ready for the changes ahead?

Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to fast track their IT strategies which is evidenced by an increase in global spending. It was reported that IT spending is set to reach 4.1 trillion in 2021, up 8.4% in 2020.

It is something that every business needs to consider or you’ll get left behind and suffer the consequences. But should anyone really be spending so much on their IT? Let’s find out.

1. Why digital transformation is necessary

Digital transformation is the process of taking your traditional business and using digital technology to modernize it and make it more efficient. It’s a trend that’s happening in every industry, from media to healthcare. 

Many businesses no longer prefer the traditional business model and want to adopt technology that will help them sell more, move faster, and solve customer problems in an easier way. Some of them are using Big Data and AI to shape how they do their business and what tools they use.

Research found that 23% of surveyed companies had little to no dependence on digital technologies in some shape or form. The rest are either fully digital or use a hybrid approach. The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to digital transformation’s necessity. 

But how can businesses adapt and meet the expectations of their clients? Here’s what you need to think about. 

Digital technology entails many changes to how your business works. It will require a lot of resources, like manpower, software and hardware, as well as the different infrastructure needed to operate these tools. 

As many businesses use multiple IT systems, it will be crucial for them to have the right infrastructure to meet the changes and make the digital transformation work efficiently.

2. Data and analytics is everything

Companies that are facing digital transformation should aim to make data-driven decisions that improve their business performance. When it comes to data analytics, it can play a major role in taking your business to the next level.

As an example, Netflix digitizes its audiovisual data in order to make it accessible all over the world. In addition, it’s using Big Data to analyze everything that its subscribers watch, using those insights to inform its business strategy.

The same can be said about creating value in every part of your company. Analytics can help you identify how to improve customer service, better adapt your marketing campaigns, and create better customer experiences. 

The analytics side of business includes data from A/B testing, customer insights, and social listening. It’s evident that data is at the core of influencing business decisions today. 

In order to make data-driven decisions, it’s worth studying your customers’ behaviors across different channels. Track down where they are seeing the most friction or unhappiness around your digital marketing efforts and put processes in place to address it.

3. How businesses can prepare for digital transformation

One study found that almost 90% of respondents were expecting a digital disruption of some sort. However, less than half could actually say they were ready for this change.

Whether you like it or not, digital transformation is going to impact your business somehow. So how can you prepare for this? 

It’s appropriate to start thinking about transformation with collaborative brands, such as Spotify. Here’s why. Sure, Spotify is a music streaming platform, but it also helps you create podcasts, listen to music, watch videos and play games.

Brands, such as Netflix, pride themselves in what they stand for. The company has pulled off a successful digital transformation through collaborative marketing and digital tools.

Collaborative marketing is good business because everyone wins. The biggest win though is that Netflix gained insight into where its users were spending their money and why, so it created its own place.

That insight is priceless, and this is why cultural brands are being actively guarded and developed. Perhaps you remember the first cultural brand you started to work for or one that you realized you could use your creativity to promote? In each and every case, you are helping others realize their career goals. 

Companies know that collaborating with other cultural brands is a good investment. From that point on, the collaborations get bigger and better. 

4. How you can embrace technology to succeed in a transformed market

It’s important to embrace technology so that you can continue to succeed in your business. If you own a real estate brokerage, for example, you’ll need to use the Internet to market your business, to communicate with your clients, stay competitive, and to find new listings. 

The Zillow Group bookmarked certain areas of the Internet where they’re creating new opportunities for the real estate industry. Besides, such sites’ popularity continues to grow, and they can help up-and-coming real estate businesses jump start their digital strategies sooner than is normally possible.

Finding actionable opportunities

The new technology trends worth your attention include smarter searches, intelligent personal assistants, user-aided home automation, and new forms of cloud-based interactivity. Want to be a part of this movement? Then start doing on-page SEO to make sure that people are finding your business when they need it. 

Big-box stores, for example, have started increasing the use of self-checkouts, zero-contact security, screenless entrances, and high-speed internet to serve patrons through the COVID-19 outbreak. In sum, the grocery industry has added high-tech ways to serve its customers in times of high demand.

Since such trends are expected to continue, many real estate transactions might take place online if market participants play their cards right. 

Intelligent personal assistants can do much more than help computers with repetitive tasks. They can take the user’s orders and turn them into reality. 

For example, smart refrigerators can be programmed to return milk late in the day so it doesn’t go to waste. Digital transformations are happening at a rapid pace, and you need to be sure that your business is ready to take advantage of the changes ahead.

Today, we live in a digital world where the Internet and social media have changed the way we live and work. Digital transformations are happening at a rapid pace, and you need to be sure that your business is ready to take advantage of the changes ahead. 

Following these steps will help you see the benefits of these digital transformations. And the most important responsibility is to be ready to make these changes for your business. 

Other things to consider

Digital transformation cannot be achieved in a vacuum. It also requires the constant changing of business models and having a strong team in place to help you run the entirety of the race. Here are a few things to consider for if and when you decide to embark on your digital transformation journey.

  • Diversify. Diversification helps you preserve capital, protect your company from swings in the market, and minimize your risk. Diversity gives you an opportunity to find new routes to grow your business and protect your investment. Leave old routes for dead!

Be prepared. In times of crisis, consumers rush to buy the products and services that retain their loyalty and high price. Make sure that what you sell is of high quality, has a perfect fit for your consumer, and solves a problem.

  • Incorporate technology. Technology is everywhere. Digital transformation is bringing the latest apps, platforms, technology, and systems into your business, making it easy for your workforce to work and making your business successful. If you have a modern and comfortable work environment where everyone can access information and communication technologies easily, you are ready for digital transformation.
  • Network and engage your team. The LinkedIn and Facebook groups are top-of-mind when companies plan for new opportunities and reach out to professionals that they are interested in. Facebook groups are super-easy to create, join, and manage.

Digital transformation is an inevitable part of any business or organisation’s operational strategy in the 21st century. It’s been established that this is a necessary endeavour that requires preparation and embracing of technology as you focus on the four aspects.

Digital Grind knows all about your digital transformation journey and is well endowed with the necessary expertise that can take you through this journey. Speak to us to learn about some of the digital solutions your organisation can put in your arsenal.

When it comes to brand visibility, you can’t go wrong with a solid search strategy in place. After all, it involves small tweaks that will help users find you if and w...

When it comes to brand visibility, you can’t go wrong with a solid search strategy in place. After all, it involves small tweaks that will help users find you if and when they need to. Of course, there are other elements at play, like your marketing strategy and specific business objectives, but a universal goal is growth and awareness, and that you’ll find on the search engine results pages - if you know-how. 

Search engine optimization is split up into two main categories in terms of the logistics. The first is on the backend, where the structure of your site and aspects of your code help determine visibility and give Google the lay of the land. Typically SEO specialists need to interact with this backend to ensure that pages are structured and categorized correctly, that duplicate content is marked as “invisible” to crawlers and that the site loads quickly enough for it to be convenient to users.

These are just a few basic and oversimplified examples for context. However, you don’t need to be a fully-fledged tech expert to make a significant difference to a site’s ranking - as there’s a whole nother element to gaining search cred. 


What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO relates to activities you can do on the front-end to improve your site’s ranking, support link-building strategies and make content more inclusive and easily indexable. It’s also a good place to create mechanisms for users to engage with what you’re publishing and be able to process it all quickly and easily.

Why is this so important? Because it helps search engines like Google and Firefox determine how relevant your content is to a specific search query, which means the people who are looking for your products and services are more likely to find you. In fact, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. (BrightEdge)

In order to start improving your presence online and making the necessary changes to become more visible, it’s important to master the basics. Here’s how: 

  • Use keywords thoughtfully: Conducting basic keyword research using a keyword planner, can give you a good indication of what users in your segment are searching for, in relation to your brand. You can use the search volumes to determine a list of keywords by priority - primary, secondary and tertiary or thematic keywords.

    These keywords go into the metadata but also have special placements in the copy, on-page. You can show topic hierarchy by using the primary keyword in the title, and first and last 100 words of the page, the secondary keyword in the first subheading, and thematic keywords sprinkled throughout.

  • Get meta: Creating metadata for your pages and posts is a good way to optimise what users see when they search for your brand pages or related keywords. In the CRM you can write custom titles and descriptions for your page, using your primary keyword which is the keyword most searched for by your audience. Descriptions are usually truncated at 155 characters, so keep them short and engaging.

    This way users are more likely to read the whole thing and click through to your site. Plus, it has the added benefit of showing Google and other search engines what the page is about, as their technology indexes keywords. If you don’t create a custom one, it will automatically showcase the first few lines of text on the page. Pro tip: keep your primary and most important keyword close to the beginning of your title and description.

  • Create scannable content for users: Search engines allocate a  readability score to content that determines how easy it is for users to consume. This is based on factors like scannability of content, sentence length, and language use.

    Optimising your pages for better readability
    means formatting your pages with subheadings and bullet points, for example, considering language use and ensuring clean, well-written copy that takes punctuation, grammar and spelling into account.

  • Be inclusive: When uploading images onto your site, you can include alt tags and captions that describe images and give them context. This serves two functions. First, it makes the images more inclusive for the visually impaired interacting with the site, as these tags and captions are read via audio channels. Secondly, it allows search engines to index the images more thoroughly and gives them a thematic context in the same ways as keywords do. From here, they can determine relevance to search queries.

  • Make it meaningful: The quality of your content is what’s going to ultimately keep readers on your page, which means fluff won’t cut it. Similarly, by linking to reputable sources you can up the credibility of your work. The key to great SEO is simply creating genuinely good content that serves a purpose and fits a theme. So allocate the necessary resources to create something that meets needs and offers the reader more than what they expected.

  • Share it: The more traffic that goes to your site, the more likely it is to rank higher in the SERPs (MTU Edu). A good way to drive traffic is through sharing your content on social channels. By adding social icons, you can also encourage users to share with their audiences, helping you generate a larger readership on your site.

All told, basic on-page search knowledge is a must-have for any marketer or creative working particularly in the digital copywriting space - but it’s also an important part of your content strategy.

Without at least some consideration for search queries, you won’t get the most value from your site, which means wasted resources, missed leads and simply taking up space online. We can help you formulate better on-page strategies and drive new business to your digital doors. Speak to us for more information.