When people in a group are talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI), there is always a situation where everyone is paranoid about how AI is automating the task and how people are losing their jobs.
The AI system is a threat to the “Digital Marketing” profession as well. I am in this profession from 6 years, and I have been a part of many webinars, discussions, consulting, and these questions always pop up from the audience:
- How AI is going to disrupt the field of digital marketing;
- Will I lose my job due to AI?
Well, frankly, no one can predict what is going to happen in the future, and even if someone is claiming to predict the impact on jobs, they are just guessing.
It might be an educated guess based on the previous data and how things are folding up because technology is moving so fast that predicting accurate results is almost impossible.
But one thing is for sure that Artificial Intelligence will mark its impact on digital marketing, and on the jobs in this field as well.
How AI is impacting the digital marketing field?
The automation in the field of digital marketing has started with all time-intensive data-driven manual tasks so that the marketers can contribute more time on being strategic, and creative.
All the publicly traded companies, whether it is Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, etc. are racing ahead in the field of AI to mark their supremacy in the technology.
We talk about how AI is enriching our lives, and how it is helping people in their careers. But the harsh reality is that if things are intelligently automated that previously required human intervention, the companies will not think twice before destroying a job profile and automating their tasks. It will be like a golden opportunity for them, and if they don’t take advantage of this opportunity then it will slip in the hands of their competitor.
So, if I see ten years down the line, a lot of jobs are going to be automated in the digital marketing field, and the human intervention required in those jobs will be almost negligible.
In 2014, the University of Oxford researched the computerization of 702 jobs. They were trying to predict how likely a job was to be completely automated.
So if you go through the list, there are a lot of job profiles in there. Some of them include –
- Sales managers
- Marketing managers
- Writers and authors
- Advertising and promotion managers
Now the irony is that if I talk about telemarketers, they are currently training the algorithms that will replace them ten years forthcoming, and we can see some form of it right now.
The project is live now in all the major US states, and it helps people make restaurant reservations or haircut appointments over the call.
However, instead of the user speaking directly to the restaurant employee, Google Duplex, with the help of Google Assistant, speaks for the user.
If you are interested in more details, here is an interesting video by MKBHD –
Here’s one more interesting example.
For years, the Associated Press journalist spent hours writing financial reports. So during the time of a quarter, they could only produce around three hundred reports.
So they introduced Natural Language Generation, where they structured the data into rows and columns and trained it. Now their capacity increased 15-fold over the manual efforts.
Now, many people will argue that Natural Language Generation is not even AI, but an automation process does not have to be a full autonomy to disrupt a field.
So a complete job profile does not exist anymore as they don’t have to allocate resources to write financial reports as it can be done in seconds now without any human intervention.
Digital marketing profiles impacted by AI
As per my thinking, no job profile is going to exist for A/B testers in the upcoming future. The reason being there are a lot of tools available in the market that do A/B testing and give out the analytics as to which campaign is performing the best and all this process will be automated shortly.
At present, these tools require some sort of human intervention, but in the nearing future this need will completely vanish, and the AI will be able to judge on its own as to which campaigns perform the best.
The next profile that will vanish soon is media buying. Let’s go back in time when Google was one year old, and the iPhone did not even exist. During that time, it was easy to figure out where to advertise, and which medium required what budget. But in today’s era, advertisement and budget allocation is quite a task.
Let’s say I have a million-dollar advertising budget, which I need to allocate to the right channels. But it is almost impossible for me to do it alone due to the number of platforms available in the market such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Spotify, Google Play Store, Apple App Store, etc. And we also have blogging, social media, influence marketing, email marketing, and mobile app marketing.
The next field that will hit is Analytics. So if we take the example of Google Analytics, there is so much data that needs to be analyzed and it is sad to say that most of the marketers are not an analyst and don’t even know how to use spreadsheets and run pivot tables.
There are a hundred things that we can extract from one week of Analytics data, but to do it, I need one person giving seven to ten hours monthly to extract that data, which can be useful to the clients. So if I have 15 clients, it is 150 hours of monthly work.
Now imagine a system where the AI takes in the data, and we train it with the top conversion points, and it spits out the reports. Now I can prepare reports of 15 clients with the push of a button, and it is saving me 150 hours of manual labour, and somehow that task gets eliminated from the system.
So just like that, I can list out 20 job profiles that will not even exist in the next 10 or 15 years. AI is going to make a severe impact on the digital marketing industry, and it is time for all digital marketers to skill up.
During my career, I have taken interviews of many people working around the region of Tricity (Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula) and have worked with many organizations in this region.
For them, Digital marketing is all about SEO. So this is how a typical structure of a marketing agency goes around this region.
There is a BDE team whose task is to sit on Upwork and do the bidding and bring in the projects.
After the project gets awarded, they hand it over to the project manager, who will assign a team member on the auditing report.
After the audit is complete, the report is shared with the client, and the project manager will share an excel sheet of directory submission websites, social bookmarking, profile creation sites, blog commenting sites, business listing sites, etc. with a team member.
Now that team member’s whole job is to open these sites and create listings and fill up the excel sheet. That is the job that these guys are doing.
I have personally taken the interviews of around 80+ professionals working in the field of digital marketing in the experience ranging from freshers to 10+ years experienced, and less than 10 had the experience of working with tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, Screaming Frog, etc.
Very few knew how to properly write a meta-tag, and their whole experience is based on WordPress and Yoast SEO.
They don’t know anything about strategy, what are rich cards, how to use Google Tag Manager, and more.
So, it is my appeal to every digital marketer out there to please stop buying the courses of these marketing gurus who are selling out their courses in less than $10.
Focus on what is being introduced in the field, study it from the tons of resources available on Google, and not to focus on one person, and implement everything that you are studying. If you don’t implement it, you will not be able to survive in the coming future.