The best blog posts of 2023

best blog posts of 2023

This continues a tradition of highlighting my top posts of the year, as determined by the number of your page views. Essentially, this is the “greatest hits” list of the best blog posts of 2023 as determined by you!

This represented Year 14 of the {grow} blog, and I think it was one of the strongest years ever. I had a little more breathing room this year to relax and think things through. Appropriately, the big themes of the year were AI and Gen Z, and that was reflected in the top posts. I hope you find a few new posts to read or re-read if you’ve been a friend of the blog for some time!

best blog posts of 2023

How to deal with the existential threat of AI

The theme of {grow} has always been the intersection of marketing, strategy, and humanity. Looking at that intersection has never been more important — AI is nipping at the heels of our skill sets, careers, and business models. This blunt and honest post from January kicked off a major theme of my work in 2023.

non-obvious uses of chatgot

Beyond the Basics: 20 Non-Obvious Uses of ChatGPT for Marketing

This was among the most popular posts in the history of my business. The depth and variety of the post was enabled through a collaboration with the marketing experts in my RISE community. It’s a fun romp through the possibilities of AI!

best blog posts of 2023 - community

Six new ideas on community-based marketing

Early in 2023, I published a book that LinkedIn described as “the foundational work on brand-based marketing:” Belonging to the Brand. I believe this is a key part of the future of marketing, and I continue to be inspired by how this idea is moving forward! Some wonderful new ideas in this post!

AI marketing strategy

How to design an AI marketing strategy

An in-depth and thorough piece that approached the topic from a new angle.

This post went viral, somewhat to my surprise, because it was a pretty advanced topic. I have not used AI to actually write blog posts yet (and probably never will), but it has been a big aid in research, especially for this post.

threads and gen z

Why Threads won’t work without Gen Z

In my Personal Branding Master Class, I teach about the singular value of spiky content. This is content based on an opinion that is based in fact, yet debatable. This is a perfect example. I connected the dots between Threads and the Google Plus failure and predicted that Threads wouldn’t work for the same reasons.

Am I right? Time will tell, but this post sparked a wild debate.

best blog posts of 2023

The surprising impact of word-of-mouth marketing in a digital age

I think word-of-mouth marketing is a vastly overlooked part of marketing. It’s also so misunderstood. I’m so happy this post took off. We need to be thinking more about WOMM going forward.

This post featured Ed Keller, the father of word-of-mouth marketing. Another key research piece from Ed — estimating the size of the creator economy — was featured here.

best blog posts of 2023

When do you and ChatGPT cross the Milli Vanilli Line?

This was one of my favorite posts of the year. It was such a fun and important idea. How much can you use AI before you become a cheat? I think this is a moving target and a topic of ongoing debate, especially in academic circles.

I never thought I would use the term Milli Vanilli in a blog post headline!

protecting your content from AI

Protecting Your Content From AI: A Contrarian View

I dove right into the hornet’s nest on this one. In this moment, the biggest debate in the tech world was privacy concerns. I made the point that I was actually getting business from ChatGPT, but how would it know about me if I didn’t expose my content. If we don’t protect our content from Google, why would we protect our content from ChatGPT?

I’m not dismissing the concerns, just providing a different business point of view.

social media addiction

Who’s responsible for social media addiction? Me and you.

I’ve written more than 3,000 blog posts in my life, and this one touched a nerve like very few before it. I am sickened by the swell-documented social media manipulation of our children. It is making our society sick. But if you follow the money, it leads right back to the marketing profession. One person responded to this post: “I just can’t do this any more.” Let’s hope it started a conversation.

Another post from the year that had a deep emotional reaction was my view on the impossible task of “keeping up.” We are in a time-space compression.


Why you need to ditch LinkedIn as your content platform

One of my more recent posts, which explained some basic content marketing truths.

A lesson for me is that it I need to occasionally re-visit some basic marketing truths. Despite the rock-solid common sense of the post, it pissed some people off — the people selling LinkedIn services, of course. This didn’t bother me a bit. Almost everyone saw the truth in this post. Somebody needs to be telling the truth.

The best podcast episodes

Before I conclude this summary post, I also wanted to put in a plug for The Marketing Companion podcast. We crossed the line of a decade on the air and I am immensely proud of this work. The newest iteration of the show features six rotating co-hosts spinning up lively and timely topics. Here are the five most popular episodes of the year:

  1. Diving into the bizarre and secret world of luxury brand marketing
  2. Whatever happened to Web3?
  3. Gen Z exposed
  4. Master the art of business narrative
  5. The hierarchy of AI-generated content: Where humans thrive

Thanks for being here and encouraging me on this journey. The marketing world is endlessly fascinating and we’ve just started exploring it.

Need a keynote speaker? Mark Schaefer is the most trusted voice in marketing. Your conference guests will buzz about his insights long after your event! Mark is the author of some of the world’s bestselling marketing books, a college educator, and an advisor to many of the world’s largest brands. Contact Mark to have him bring a fun, meaningful, and memorable presentation to your company event or conference.

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