LSA17: Automation, AI & Back Office Integration

What are the trends and technology developments that will shape the next phase of small business digital marketing? How will automation, AI and back office integration affect advertiser acquisition and retention?

A panel at LSA17 discussed how emerging technologies are going to continue to shape the digital marketing landscape. The panel featured a couple of industry veterans working in the space:

  • Eric Owen – CEO North America at Mono Solutions
  • Andrea Kayal – VP of marketing at Signpost
  • Thomas Lang – CMO and co-founder at TIMIFY
  • Jay Bean – Founder CEO of Freshlime

While there has been constant buzz around advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automation disrupting industries, the panel argued that computing was not quite ready to completely displace marketers working with small businesses in the immediate future. As companies continue to focus on leveraging these emerging technologies, it’s natural for marketers to fear automation and AI. However, despite the fact that some marketers can perceive automation as being a bad thing, it offers solution providers tools that can make them more efficient while simultaneously offering better services to their customers.

Automation is only as good as the data.

As Eric Owen pointed out, automation and AI can only be as good as your data – “garbage in, garbage out”.  Without quality and correct data, all of this technology becomes a waste. Companies need to first think about how they will efficiently gather and maintain data before they can think about automating their workflows. You need to get the data right before you move towards automation.

Automation needs human intervention.

The panel seemed to agree with Andrea Kayal as she passionately argued that automation does not solve everything and smart marketers are still needed to execute campaigns. While automation and AI is exciting, human intervention is still necessary for quality campaigns and marketing activities – AI can help but full automation is still years away. When thinking about go to market strategies, automation can help companies make better decisions and make their work easier, but a human touch is still required for quality services.

AI and Automation out of reach?

While marketing automation is still slightly out of reach and in some ways, necessary for the majority of SMBs, AI, machine learning and auto are going to increasingly influence the digital marketing landscape.

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