Was the same question that occurred to me this morning when I had just gotten up and asked my phone to start my morning routine by saying, “Hey Google, Good Morning”.
My virtual assistant quickly wished me back, took my phone off silent, started narrating my calendar, updated me about the weather and traffic conditions from my home to my office, and at the end of it played my morning playlist.
Not just that, the realization hit me hard when my virtual website chatbot was successful at capturing a significant chunk of leads by chatting with my website visitors while I was fast asleep in my bed.
Honestly, it is intimidating to see how technology has incorporated itself into our lives. However, will marketing automation really affect our jobs or to be specific Digital Marketing Jobs?
Well, Yes, and No.
No, I am not going to leave you more confused than you are right now. By the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of whether your job will be taken over by a soulless machine or not.
Unless you live in a rabbit hole you probably are aware that a major chunk of digital marketing is already automated.
If you are like “Wait, when did that happen?”, let me walk you through it:
In the early 2000s, we had to check keyword rankings manually. Someone had to actually sit down and type a keyword on Google and find a clients’ website in the top 100 results. No big deal? Well, we had to do this for 50 keywords and for 11 clients four times a month.
Fast-forward to newer innovations and we now have a tool which automated this process for us. Every Monday I get detailed keyword ranking reports for all my clients reducing almost 32 man hours a month.
Another paradigm of automation in Digital Marketing is Online Reputation Management (It’s a similar case when it comes to Online Reputation Management or ORM).
There were times when someone had to manually sit and find out brands mentioned absolutely anywhere on the web. To check if any brand had received any positive or negative reviews anywhere on the internet was and is a daunting task and was required to be done every 24 hours. Yes, that was the effort/cost one paid to maintain good Consumer Experience.
Also read: Online Reputation Management with Case Study
Fast-forward, we now have tools like Meltwater or Google alerts which help you in finding tens of thousands of mentions online every single day and almost instantly as they happen, allowing you to step up and control things before they can damage your reputation.
Also, let’s not forget the time when someone had to actually sit and schedule social media posts on different platforms manually. Imagine scheduling 20 posts a month on 4 different platforms for a single client. This is pure hard labor.
Fast-forward to now, and you see almost everyone using a scheduler like Hootsuite or SocialPilot which allows them to schedule and monitor posts on all platforms in a more convenient manner.
Did you notice a pattern in the type of jobs that are being automated in digital marketing?
Kudos if you did, you can skip the next paragraph. If you didn’t, go ahead keep reading.
The jobs which were repetitive and labor intensive are being automated. This is what happened in the blue-collar job industry back in the 90s. Automation did, and always will, threaten blue-collar jobs in every industry.
What the hell is Automation exactly?
Automation is basically using non-human(soulless) workforce to get a repetitive process done more swiftly and accurately.
Is it good?
You bet it is. It is allowing us more time to do meaningful work that requires more creativity and intellectual stimulation.
Will my career be affected by this automation scene?
Yes, if you are a ‘blue collar employee’ of the digital space. Meaning if your job is labor intensive and not intellect-intensive.
No, if you are a white-collar employee.
Well, do I classify as a white-collar employee?
Yes, if your job requires creativity. If your job requires you to think and act upon data, you are a white-collar employee.
Essentially, if your job involves taking decisions based on your gut feeling, emotions or understanding, then you are not at risk. In fact, you are lucky that a significant amount of your job that you hated will be managed by machines now.
Having said that, I will be misleading you if I don’t mention Artificial Intelligence(AI) in this article.
Yes, not automation but AI could be a threat to Digital Marketing.
What the hell is AI now?
Artificial Intelligence, basically, is the ability to think and make decisions without a human mind backing it. AI will allow a robot to be more like a human and can acquire all the qualities that classify you as a white collar resource.
AI, if developed well, can take over all the white collar jobs in this world. Honestly, I don’t believe that will happen, simply because the economy would collapse and the loop of buying and selling that the economy survives on will hit a deadlock. To oversimplify it: people won’t earn, and as a result, they would not spend.
AI development and its impact is an abstract topic which will never end, a better discussion can happen over a couple of beers.
In conclusion, if you are reading this article in 2019 and are between the ages of 20-35, you, my friend, should not be worried about your Digital Marketing profile becoming obsolete, only because of automation in digital marketing. By the time AI will be developed and taking over the world, we will be in our 50s ready to retire.
Also Read: What is the Future of Digital Marketing?