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Marketing Automation Still Requires A Human Touch

The explosive convergence of content and channel automation is a dream to any marketer. It's truly amazing to think how far we've come even in the last five years. Looking back, a decade in online time seems like a hundred years ago. It's hard to believe Facebook (Meta) has been around for twenty.

Today's tools for automation and rapid content deployment hold tremendous promise for new efficiency, finer targeting, and extremely accurate, real time (or near real time) reporting. When you really start to integrate new methods and tools for team collaboration and project development everything takes less time and gets better. Communication gets tightened up, ideas are shared faster, and time gets shredded from non-revenue activities. Apps themselves have enabled this greatly. It's extremely interesting to see what's been developing for mobile and how so much can be done in 5 minutes with two thumbs and a phone. I'd rather work on my phone, and do, somewhere in the sun if possible. And while I haven't coded a website in over 16 years, I did create a website this weekend on my phone just for fun. And it probably took me under an hour. I also created a business plan for a client in probably half the time using some AI tools that helped me write at about three to four times speed. It wasn't perfect. But it shaved hours off of data input. This is a good thing for businesses everywhere. And you don't have to go with the giants either. There are niche players everywhere.

This kind of thing might fill web developers and business strategists with fear since the billable hour is under attack. I personally see these developments as amazing marketing tools that takes the focus off of product development and tactics and puts the focus on better processes, content quality, and the innovative ideas that drive our decisions. The wonderful thing about these kinds of developments is that they should really reduce some kinds of heavy production costs and let us put more emphasis on meaningful things like strategy, unique content development, customer servicing, and brand-building creativity.

The caveat I would offer in an age of automation and duplication of information, through re-tweets, re-posts, and multiple channel posts of the same information, is that it's easy to be lazy about what you say when procurement of content and distribution becomes simple. It's easy to lose the unique human touch your outreach campaigns need to stay differentiated and highly competitive. Making things easier is a good thing, but with all of the 'helper' tools there are it can be much easier to look, feel, and sound like everyone else. Using software that enables you to get to market faster, respond to customers more quickly, and report on campaign effectiveness are important to today's speed of business. Just don't forget to use the super computer in your head to make your campaigns and brands personal, creative and human. Spend the time and budget you've freed up 'doing things' and spend more time thinking about how to touch your customers in your unique brand voice with amazing customer experiences. Use all of the new toys we have. And have fun.

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