Every time that we are at the beginning of a revolution, we fear for our job security. What will happen when AI replaces my job as a marketer? Will I have a job?
However, I wonder, is AI a bad thing if it replaces parts of what I’m currently doing or is it an opportunity? Because maybe it is the best thing that can happen to marketers.
Let’s take a look at past examples of what happened with automation.
In particular, I like the example of ATM machines and bank tellers.
In the last 45 years since the introduction of ATM machines, the number of bank tellers has roughly doubled, from a quarter of a million in 1972 to half a million in 2016. So what happened? Why has automation not eliminated their jobs?
I believe that it is because of human genius, creativity and the notion that we never have enough. As long as automation decreased bank tellers by a third, banks realized it was cheaper to open branches, so they opened more branches and the job of the bank teller was redefined. Now, with more time free from routine tasks, they have more time to forge relationships with customers and introduce new services, their job became more valuable than counting bills.
In other words, automation increased the value of their problem-solving skills and their relationship with customers.
So what is happening to marketers today?
With the exponential growth of digital marketing and social marketing platforms, marketers today are increasingly relying on technology to automate routine tasks. Automation is helping but only up to a certain extent.
While we can automate publishing media posts from a content calendar, somebody still needs to write the posts. With the emphasis of hitting the customer with the right message at the right time, according to their life stage, it forces marketers to find multiple ways to say the same thing with small permutations to the assets, which can turn into a real mind-numbing task after some time.
Optimizing posts, content or ads, is a whole other challenge. Gathering data to drive content improvement, many times ends up being very manual tasks of pulling data from multiple tools and multiple dashboards to put everything in Excel and look for insights.
However, if we can use automation for repetitive tasks and AI for tedious work, marketers will have more times to think and produce new ideas! Real creative stuff!
Marketing needs to be data-driven, that is absolutely correct, however, it cannot be only. It needs inspiration, the creativity and the imagination machines lack. So think about that little robot inside the computer as your potential new best friend. It will pull all the data for you, it will tell you what content is resonating, it can even create permutations of your genius insights to understand what is getting your customer’s attention.
And what do you need to do for it?
Not that much. Help it to learn by feeding it the right kind of data, keep the data it counts on clean, and more than anything stay human and creative!