If there’s anything that the history of the Industrial Revolution has taught us, it’s that machines replace humans. Now, the question that arises is, what happens to these humans? Do they lose their jobs and stay unemployed?
In order to understand this better, let's take a look at the present day scenario.
As marketers, our job is to convince as many people as possible to buy our products. But, we also rely heavily on marketing automation tools to do so. Does that mean automation is slowly encroaching our area of expertise?
Will Marketing Automation Take Away Jobs?
I admit that it is a strong fear and rightfully so. But, I can also assure you, that as long as you and I are ready to work hard and embrace change, we too shall survive. You may ask how? Let me tell you how.
Let’s take a look at a brilliant TedxCambridge talk by David Autor. He says, that the number of bank tellers in the US has doubled in the past 45 years. So, despite having automated teller machines, there are still human tellers, and their numbers have kept increasing over the years!
Strange, right? This is the age of ATMs and virtual banking, then how come there’s still a huge number of human bank tellers? So what is the logic behind this? As ATMs were introduced, the number of bank tellers fell. But the banks saw that it had become cheaper to open new branches. More human tellers were needed for these branches. The job role had evolved, but they were still employed.
Now, back to the original question. Did you know that we have been automating our tasks for years? All the repetitive, mundane and multi-channel actions that take up our time has been automated for a long time. In fact, automation is really good for repetitive tasks leaving the creative activities to us. But we know that already, right?
Our primary fear is that technology is evolving at a fast pace. Marketing automation and AI powered bots are improving and becoming more efficient every day. Lower operational costs for automated machines would translate to greater profits for most companies.
Take a look around you. You are using smart-home devices, relying on wearables, and using more automated products than you can ever think of. Automation is not coming, it is here already.
What’s the Future Like?
Simply put, marketing automation will not take away jobs. In fact it will create more marketing jobs. Marketing automation might or will replace some jobs, but marketing will always require the human touch.
It will know whom to send an email to, based on their preferences, but it will not know which segment would like what type of content, although that's changing fast too. For that, it will require assistance. To be more precise, it will require human assistance.
Marketing automation at its best will be a robot with artificial intelligence. It will be able to do practically any marketing task but it will always lack judgement and emotion.
Your organization will need someone to take care of and understand basic human emotions. But you need to evolve and become a data-driven marketer in the first place because automation relies on data. In fact, any type of software or automated process relies on nothing but data. And, if you can understand data, then you will be able to understand the machine itself.
Make Yourself Indispensable
No one will tell you this. But whatever the circumstances might be, make yourself indispensable. Your organisation should never be able to let you go. Brush up your skills and make them better. Learn how the technology around you work and take advantage of it to improve efficiency. Make yourself useful amidst AI powered machines and you will remain an indispensable asset.
Mediums and skill set change with times and professionals who do not change perish. However cruel, it may sound, thats the rule of nature. If you aspire to be a cab driver then do remember, self driven smart cars aren't far away. Be prepared to upskill and benefit from new technologies.
Create your own niche and there will be no one to take your job away from you.
Will marketing automation take away jobs or not isn't clear now but for sure change is a reality and organizations need to embrace change faster than ever before.