The Vernaculars of Man and Machine in Marketing

Posted by Kate Jurras on Tue, Oct 16, 2012

describe the imageGuest post by Justin Hastings of HB Agency. Justin specializes in using web-based strategies to solve clients' digital marketing challenges. Justin prides himself on developing campaigns that use simple, clear messaging to accomplish measurable returns for HB Agency clients. He utilizes content strategy and responsive design to develop robust digital experiences across desktops and mobile devices. Outside of work, Justin can be found on a golf course or playing cribbage. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in graphic arts from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and claims to bleed orange. You can learn more about him at jrhcreative.com and follow him on Twitter at @jrh_creative.

Look out! The machines, robots, and automators won a few marketing battles over the lowly humans. These tools have even taken away income from marketers and agencies.
So how can mankind overcome? Or, more realistically, join forces for the ultimate marketing solution? For starters, it helps to speak the language.

New business development: conversation vs conversion

Nothing feels better than earning a “win” for the agency. And for us humans, it all starts with a simple chat. We get a sense from an interested prospect that there may be a strong fit. Excellent!

Robots often see these interactions as conversions. An interested party visits a web site, does some research, and fills out a form with similar information from the human encounter. The robots have converted someone into data. Huzzah!

User experience: collaboration vs user testing

Designing and developing a web site ain’t easy. It takes deep learning and discussion to determine the best answer to questions like, “where should this button go?” and “what should be the names of these pages?” In the web design (and marketing) world, it’s a team of individuals who can work together to determine the best solution.

The robots see things differently. They offer incredibly detailed insight through user testing. Products and strategies like eye-trackers and heat sensors yield robust data. Robots compile the findings and the intent is to do exactly as they say.

Content development: creative writing vs quality score

Writers are schooled to develop creative content by professors, instructors, and our own drive and intuition. This creativity helps guide the big picture in marketing campaigns – often a hook, tagline, or theme. It’s the key stepping stone in content development – a great idea.
Robots often see creativity through a quality score. Does this particular page of a web site gather lots of traffic – and more importantly, traffic that stays on the page? Well, it must have been creative, unique content.

Fight or unite?

So now what? The robots have taken some of our money, clients, and maybe a bit of our dignity. Which language should we speak? Do humans fight back or give up?
The honest truth: human marketers should employ robots, not fight them. It takes a great idea to start a campaign and great execution to let it shine. Simply put, only humans can come up with great ideas… but robots offer an amazing partnership when it comes to execution, guidance, and feedback.

Try not to look at the robots as impending doom. Rather, they’re the new breed of marketing sidekick. And that’s great news for us humans.

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