Beth Comstock

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.

Influencer marketing was big for brands in 2017, and will most likely continue to grow in 2018. But how about the brands with marketing influencers? They exist, and they’re impacting marketing every day. Some influenced marketers so much in 2017, we made a list.

"To be good at the digital and physical is what the future's about. ... Get used to living in the in-between." That was something Beth Comstock, vice chair of GE, said during her keynote at &THEN16. And it really got me thinking: Marketers are living in a whole lot of in-betweens. It's not just the in-between of physical and digital. We're also on the cusp of an AI revolution.

Logically, women could be the hiring managers for the highest executive position in the country. Considering women compose the majority of the population, chances are these voters won’t make Hillary Clinton go searching in the men’s restroom for the position’s description — as Lara Shackelford, CMO of Altify, had to do for one of her first marketing leadership positions.

Last night, I was watching TV with my oldest daughter. And after shaking our heads at a really bad commercial, she asked me the question we’ve all asked many times: "How did that commercial ever get made?" She continued by asking me a number of questions, which all boil down to: "Why does most marketing stink?" The statistics don't paint a pretty picture: Consumers are bombarded with more than 5,000 marketing messages a day, up from around 2,000 just a few years ago; two-thirds of us are on the “Do Not Call List” to avoid telemarketing: 86 percent of us

There's no need for fluff and buzzword BS when there's rock-hard data to draw upon. Look around the business world, and you'll see marketers who are enhancing their products with data-informed decisions. When you consider the vastness of data sets like Google searches, commercial transactions, social networks, GPS and the connected fitness trend, it's not hard to believe that as a society, we log about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. ... The magnitude and specificity of this information has given rise to the term Big Data

This CES story was less about revolution than evolution and the behavioral shift enabled by devices that let consumers communicate on a massive scale. "I'm a marketer, and that makes me a behavioralist," said General Electric Chief Marketing Officer Beth Comstock during a CMO panel, explaining her presence at CES. "How is tech changing the behavior?" Sometimes not as dramatically as many expected. While there was hardly a desktop in sight and the exhibition floor was full of smartphones, the TV continued to reign.

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