PPC Hero: The Rise Of The Bots in Marketing

We recently attended the fantastic PPC Hero conference in London, and there were some fantastic insights to take away, and one of our own, head of Paid Search, Andrew Morgan gave a fantastic talk. This is the first in a series of posts on the main talking points.

Using Automation In Marketing

We all know how important data is within the realms of digital marketing. Never have we had so much to look at in terms of where to optimise, who to target, when to target, and through what channel. We can tell you what products sell, at what time of day. We even have tools for smart bidding, taking the human element out of bidding, because we know that computers can do this work better than we can. Algorithms are becoming better all the time at finding targeting options, within the next few years there will be no manual bids in place.

Digital Marketers of the Future

However if computers and algorithms are taking over the mechanics of the digital age where do humans fit into the equation? Is there a risk that humans will become obsolete within marketing? The answer is unquestionably no, humans will always be required when it comes to things that are currently out of reach of even the most powerful computers, sentiment, emotions and creativity are something that a cold piece of computing cannot quite do as well as a human. There is so much more to digital marketing than simple numbers in, numbers out. Besides if the quality of the data that is being input is not extremely strong, then the output will only reflect that.

Human Role In a Digital World

Jobs will not become obsolete, they will simply change, we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in how humans work. As with the industrial revolution work will shift it’s focus and become more efficient. Strategy & tactics will become all important when trying to find a competitive edge. If everyone is using smart bidding then who is able to get ahead? It will be the people who find the most appealing way to advertise to potential customers. So far robots are unable to take sentiment into account.

However technology firms are working on improvements, with varying degrees of success. Microsofts AI chatbot became outright racist within 24 hours of Twitter. As an experiment in conversational understanding it certainly shows an interesting slant to how people behave online. Recent work has given more success, with bots designed to write novels and music, progressing on these intrinsically human traits. 

Industry evolves as it always does, and with every new challenge comes new jobs, and new ways to work. Things will change, but there will be big rewards for those who embrace it.

(Image courtesy of KamiPhuc Flickr)

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