Automation is revolutionizing the way commerce happens in every sector of the economy. In the fast food industry, self-serve kiosks are replacing order takers. Manufacturing facilities around the world are outfitted with robotics that deliver precision and efficiency.
The automation revolution is also impacting marketing in a big way. Adopters of automation are surging to the front of their competitive industries because it allows them to acquire customers at a lower cost, retain them more effectively and increase customer lifetime value.
On the other hand, companies that resist or are unaware of marketing automation are falling behind and, in many cases, dropping out of the race altogether. Interestingly, the same scenario plays out for marketing professionals:
- Embrace the automation trend
- Start thinking about how to use the free time you’re about to have when the repetitive aspect of your job gets automated
That’s the choice we want to explore.
Your choice: obsolescence or opportunity
The results of work automation are mixed across all industries:
- Many repetitive, unskilled jobs are lost
- A relatively few skilled jobs are replaced by robotics, automated processes and IT/software
- Many skilled jobs are created or enhanced in industries such as the production of marketing automation software, IT and Big Data analytics
- Productivity and efficiency rising at a slow and steady pace
What does automation mean for your marketing career?
More specifically, how will you as marketing professional succeed in a world that’s undergoing the sea change stirred by automation?
First, give yourself a motivational talk based on dread or dream.
In the dread scenarios, the pessimist is afraid that marketing automation will lead to obsolescence, is paralyzed by the fear, and the fear proves self-fulfilling. If that’s a possibility you dread, then let it motivate you to be proactive about upgrading skills and training in areas related to marketing automation.
For the dreamer, see automation as the opportunity it really is – your chance to become a sought-after expert in a field that’s growing rapidly. Nurture a dream that will motivate you to gain a mastery of automated marketing related fields such as customer relationship management (CRM), and visualize the fruits of success that will come your way.
How to take advantage of the automation shift
Automation is part of the landscape, and that’s not going to change except to become more prominent. These tips will assist you in building a marketing career that can’t be automated out of existence!
1. Don’t panic; do plan
A recent BusinessZone blog gives great advice on this subject:
Rather than become terrorized by the thought of being obsolete as an employee, try to visualize how to fit into future employment opportunities. There will always be a need for creative, cerebral thinkers who provide innovative ideas.
What pieces of your current marketing job could be automated? How could this be done? While this sounds like you’re going to look for ways to automate your own job away, keep in mind that someone is probably already thinking about that subject. You might as well find the solution before they do.
If you’re the one who comes up with the marketing automation strategy that grows the bottom line, a new, better-paying job managing the change and the new reality will probably be created for you. Alternatively, go create your own successful career as a marketing automation expert who delivers results. Others will pay handsomely for what you bring to the table as a consultant with a proven track record.
2. Be willing to learn
Tiger Tyagarajan, CEO of business process management company Genpact, says, “Make learning the only constant,” as you seek to upgrade your value. Reskilling through ongoing learning will keep you in demand!
While it might be true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, you’re not a dog, and marketing automation isn’t a trick. Grow your skills:
- Take courses with an emphasis on marketing automation
- Acquire and master the best automated marketing products available
- Volunteer to work at low-cost/no-cost for a few clients to sharpen your marketing automation skills – and then ask those very happy clients to put you in touch with their business-owning buddies
3. Increase your value by mastering marketing automation software
Companies that you help to cut costs and boost sales through marketing automation will be highly interested in other ways to grow their profit.
For example, consider getting trained and certified in the world’s top software for automating CRM, Salesforce. It’s used by an impressive array of companies of all sizes in the financial services, healthcare, science, retail, communications & media, manufacturing and government sectors.
Big Data analytics dovetails with marketing very effectively. Get familiar with top Big Data marketing platforms such as those from IBM or Domo.
Mastering these types of related software will make you an attractive hire as an employee or the go-to choice as a consultant.
4. Stay connected and be visible
In order to keep your options open as a marketing automation specialist, stay connected and stay visible. You can do this through:
- Brainstorming to make a list of all the people in your field, similar fields and dissimilar fields you’d like to explore. These are your potential contacts, and the list is probably much larger than you think it is before getting started.
- Getting or staying in touch with the people on your list through calls, networking, community events and social media including LinkedIn.
- Putting the word out to a confidential list of influential people that you’re looking to upgrade your career with the new skills you’ve acquired.
- If your job becomes obsolete or you decide you definitely want a change, then reach out to your broader network to ask for opportunity leads.
Mastering marketing automation will give you the expertise to avoid what you dread and achieve what you dream. Be motivated, take charge and gain the skills to build your career or even brand way beyond its current potential.
Back to you
What do you think about the future of marketing automation? I’d love to hear from you. Please use the comment section below to share your thoughts and views.