This is one of those posts that you snicker at… and then go get a shot of bourbon to forget. At first glance, this seems like a ridiculous question. How in the world could you replace a marketing manager? That would require the ability to study consumer behavior thoroughly, analyze complex data and trends objectively, and think creatively to come up with solutions that work.
The question requires us to discuss what tasks we actually perform as marketers on a daily basis versus what marketers should be doing on a daily basis. Most marketers are moving data from system to system, developing and analyzing reports to provide evidence that their experiments were valid, invalid, or could be optimized, and then utilizing their creativity to drive business results.
Driving business results with creativity seems to be the foundation of every marketer, although many marketers simply don't get enough time to actually do that. Systems are outdated, systems don't communicate, markets shift, and we require agile methodologies even just to keep up. As a result, most of our effort is spent outside of our real value – creativity. And creativity may be the most difficult barrier to being replaced by a robot. That said… the tasks we spend most of our time on may be replaced sooner than you think.
Advancements in technology are exciting for marketers because they will remove mundane, repetitive, and analytical tasks and enable us to focus more of our efforts where our talent truly is – creativity.
- Machine Learning – with more and more integrated data points feeding market data, competitive data, and consumer data, the promise of machine learning is that systems can suggest, execute, and even optimize varying tests. Think about how much time you'll get back when you don't have to massage and query data over and over.
- Artificial Intelligence – while the singularity may be a few more decades, artificial intelligence is an intriguing advancement in the marketing realm. AI still requires infinite amount of data to reach the creative levels of a human being today, so it's doubtful the manager will be replaced any time soon.
That doesn't mean that AI will never replicate creativity, though. Imagine a system that analyzes click-through data on ads – then analyzes competitive ads. Perhaps AI could learn how to create logical variations in your headlines and visuals to optimize click-throughs and conversions. We're not years away from that – these systems are here.
Human creativity is easily mimicked, but it's going to be difficult to replicate. I don't have a lot of confidence that I'll see a robot develop as creative a campaign as Leisurejobs did with this infographic any time soon. But I'm sure in a few years that it will be able to learn from it and copy it!
47% of the human workforce will be replaced by robots by 2035, what's the likelihood that you'll be replaced?