I have always been fascinated with pictures, which is odd in some ways because I’m a writer, not a photographer. But I do believe that a picture tells a thousand words, and I’ve long desired to be able to put in words what a picture tells me.

That fascination has grown to include video, and I dream of creating some kind of documentary—maybe a series—that examines the work of marketing teams as they struggle to find their place in business. No other team has faced the greatest number of obstacles to being considered relevant and important to the business.

Yes, we need sales teams. Yes, we need support teams. But marketing? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe?

Look at the declining budgets and the teams being told to do more with less. Not to mention the layoffs. Look at everyone trying to redefine marketing strategies and tactics, the new terms (that sometimes are just a subtle twist on an old approach), and the non-marketing people who seem to know what marketing teams are doing wrong.

But I digress. This is not about the marketing struggle.

It’s about telling stories with video and pictures. I am getting pretty excited about the possibilities that AI offers those of us who want to create these stories but don’t have the big budgets or resources to do it.

Yesterday, I had a great conversation with Chris Savage, the CEO of Wistia, about video and AI. We were talking about the technological advances in transcription, clip creation, video development, and even AI avatars. (BTW – if you haven’t watched Wistia’s Fix My Setup, do it now. I have learned so much about how to improve my office setup for video).

Not everything you can do with video today comes care of AI advancements, but watching how fast things are evolving…I can’t lie, I get more excited about video than I ever did about writing an article.

But I have a slight issue. I struggle with being in front of a camera. If you scrolled through all the pictures and videos of my family, you would see me about 5% of the time. I am always behind the lens, and if you get me in front, it’s probably because I didn’t know. I have always been like that—it’s not something I’ve grown into. Which is funny because growing up, I wanted to be a singer and actress.

For the record, I can’t sing very well, and I probably can’t act either.

Moving on…

I interviewed Tyler Lessard (OutsideIn Marketing, Sales Feed) on the Content Matters podcast, and we talked about getting comfortable in front of the camera. He shared some great advice, including just do it. The more you do it, the more you’ll get comfortable with it. Plus, if you go in thinking and acting like a peer who wants to share and learn and not like an expert who already knows it all (no one does), then you will find that you feel less like you have to put on this perfect demeanor.

Jay Acunzo calls it being an explorer. That’s what I want to be. An explorer.

There is another way I could possibly overcome my fear of being in front of the camera: create an AI avatar. I watched Reid Hoffman’s experiment, and I was impressed.

I think, though, I will work on my authentic self on camera—at least for now. But all those other AI video capabilities? I’m so here for them and crazy excited about what I can create.

I’ve had this marketing documentary idea for a couple of years now. Maybe it’s time to put pen to paper and face to camera and get started.

What do you think? Do you want to go on this marketing journey with me? Subscribe to my email newsletter. That’s where I will work through this project.


What I’ve Been Writing About

  • HubSpot has a new Content Marketing hub with several new AI-powered features that marketers will love. It’s about time HubSpot worked on the marketing side of its platform. Check it out.
  • Contentful conducted a study to understand what employees thought of using generative AI in content and code development. They found a huge gap between early adopters and those who don’t fully understand its uses and benefits. You can read more about the study results.
  • 6sense has a new Chief Product Officer, Jerome Levadoux. I interviewed him about his new role in the company and about the role of a CPO in general. Read that piece here.

Oh, and that conversation with Chris Savage? I’ll share that in my next newsletter. So stay tuned.