Marketing Automation

Learning to Love and Work with the Machines

Published on .

Machines have come to marketing. And humans need to figure out how to interact and work with them.

As Brian Fetherstonhaugh notes in an Ad Age column, "Programmatic media is growing at 50% per year. Marketing automation systems like Unica, Eloqua and Campaign Manager are now mainstream among leading clients. Intelligent agents such as Watson, Siri and Alexa are rapidly gaining traction, and "programmatic creative" is under active discussion by blue-chip clients everywhere."

Mr Fetherstonhaugh notes that all activities in the workplace can be categorized as tasks that are "repeatable" and tasks that are "creative." Repeatable includes tasks for mass production, performing calculations, and other mechanical tasks where machines dominate. They are faster, more accurate, more reliable, and more efficient. For creative tasks, humans still dominate. Humans are good at inventing new ideas, dealing with ambiguity, and building human trust. The marketers who will still be employed going forward are those that possess a skill set that emphasizes the ability to invent, judge and build human trust.

How humans interact with the work of machines is crucial to harnessing the power of the machines. Machines that perform repeatable tasks need to be taught, the output needs to be inspected to ensure it is correct and humans can test new hypotheses by deploying machine tasks.

"Composers use software to write down the notes and transpose keys -- so that the artist can focus on the invention part rather than the laborious mechanics. The oncologist can deploy IBM Watson to help digest millions of data points to help her narrow down the possible treatment options in a complex cancer diagnosis. The humans still apply their creativity and judgment, but the machines help make it happen better and faster," writes Mr. Fetherstonhaugh.

If you are looking for partners who can help your human employees get the most out of machines, turn to LookBook.

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