Welcome to What We’re Reading, a weekly rundown of news stories, marketing columns, and specific b2b industry news that caught our eye.

Surfing the social media spending wave

Social media budgets are expected to skyrocket over the next five years, according to a survey of CMOs. The survey predicts an 89 per cent upsurge in social media spending by 2022. To put that in perspective, the average social media spend currently sits at around 9.8 per cent of the total budget, and CMOs are foreseeing a rise to 18.5 per cent.

In spite of those big numbers, most of the surveyed CMOs admit they can’t quantitatively prove the effect of social media on business, even if they have a strong qualitative sense of the impact.

We like to think it speaks for itself. After all, social media isn’t all dog memes and political bickering — just like the holidays aren’t all about food and gifts. What’s it really about? Staying on-relationship with your targets, so they turn to you when it’s time to buy.

I, for one, welcome our new AI overlords

One year after debuting its new Einstein AI technology, Salesforce recently announced several updates to the platform. Among the changes, you can expect a new service that lets you build, train, and deploy your own customized service bots, as well as a way to create custom AI models for more accurate prediction and personalized responses to your customers’ behaviour.

We work with plenty of clients who use Salesforce tools like Einstein, so the AI update sounds good to us in theory — but will people actually use it? We’ll have to wait to find out, but in the meantime, we're hoping it doesn’t go full Skynet.

A developer's quick guide to accessibility

Alternative formats for audio and video, compatibility with assistive technologies, avoidance of design traits known to cause seizures — there are plenty of ways for web developers to create more accessible websites for users with different requirements. Want to know them all? The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), updated earlier this year, outlines several methods targeted at web content developers, designers, and writers. You can find a condensed version of the guidelines here for a list of easy-to-read quick tips.

Kelly Ann McNamara, a web developer here at Motum, thinks these guidelines are important for developers across the board.

“The government is moving to make laws about the web being more accessible, and it is honestly just good practice,” says Kelly. “Lots of websites could get poor ranking for not following some of these in the future.”

For a stroke of inspiration, find your boring place

Tax returns, full games of Monopoly, grandma’s stories about the Old Country… if these things bore you to tears, you can probably thank them for your next stroke of inspiration. According to a recent experiment, boredom can boost your creativity — whether you achieve it by performing a dull task or by changing your digital habits. Fast Company lists a few practical methods you can use to stay bored (and spark your creative flow).

The next time you need to solve a tough budget issue, resolve an office conflict, or develop a product offering that will blow your competitors out of the water, try watching someone else play Solitaire for a few hours. It’s basically forced shower thoughts with none of the warmth or hygiene.