Or a death wish to human digital marketers
What is automation?
Automation in digital marketing is the removal or reduction of human action from processes and changes. There are different levels of automation from scheduling software that aids in the distribution of social media posts to scripts which make changes to entire accounts. The simpler automation may involve some human input but automation can be implemented so that once it is set up no human interaction is required at all.
The premise of automation sounds really promising and of course it has its benefits, but it is worth taking on board the disadvantages of using automation.
The obvious benefit of automation is that is frees up a lot of time. This is time that can be invested elsewhere, on growing and developing different aspects of your business. The automation of simple yet time consuming tasks is such an incentive to get a taste of what automation offers. Even better, the automation of complicated and time-consuming tasks takes a lot of stress and pressure off, as well as time.
Automation also allows us digital marketers to begin or alter processes at times when we are not available. This is an absolute life saver if you need actions to happen when you are unavailable – imagine having to get up in the middle of the night to change bids in order to optimise for foreign markets.
Despite the above benefits, automation does come with its downsides. For one, it is not always reliable. Sometimes automation has its off-moments and does not work, this then requires human input anyway to amend the mistakes. Furthermore, without full reliability, most marketers still regularly check that the required action has taken place, which kind of goes against the promise of ease that is attached to automation.
On top of this, automation can often contradict, one script or software may be trying to result in one output and another may be doing the opposite or reverse the effects of the first. With lots of automation running it can become difficult to track which script is doing what and whether they will all work together. Again, this can lead to human intervention to fix and control.
Automation is becoming more and more popular with digital marketers because it does help, a lot. As more processes become automated and there will be less need for human digital marketers. If automation continues to improve, it may begin to put digital marketers out of a job and this may happen sooner than we would like.