As we enter the Age of Assistance, marketers cannot ignore how consumers are changing their search behavior. We have reached a point where a person can get their needs fulfilled by speaking into the microphone of their smartphone and numerous other devices.
Google Assistant went from being on 500 million devices in May 2018 to 1 billion devices by the end of January 2019. This is just one way technology has impacted the lines of communication between audiences and brands.
In addition to the hype, technology bridges or connects communicators with audiences, but human talent is required. In the case of automated data analysis, for example, the marketer must know the questions to ask and how to interpret the answers.Technology and the Social Aspect of Communication
We also must remember that human beings need to communicate with others. In Laurie Sullivan’s recent commentary, “What Consumers Do Not Trust About Technology,” she explains: “Consumers have not bought into interaction with brands through digital-only systems. Many still value human support, especially after leaving an online ad.”
The social aspect of sales and marketing is still very important. For example, technology can help us identify potential clients, but it cannot take that potential client to play golf where face-to-face communication may lead to closing the deal.
The ability to bring out emotions in people is vital in persuading consumers to buy. Content that creates entertainment, joy, empathy, etc. can make the difference. After all, it is a known fact that the part of our brain that is associated with emotional processes is always active during our decision making.
No bot can understand or bring out our emotions better than another human being can.
Laurie Sullivan sums this up perfectly in the article I mentioned above: “… marketers may need to rethink the use of bots and services that send consumers through an automated loop where they eventually end up talking to a bot built on artificial intelligence. The strategy creates a disconnect and fails to emotionally connect the person with the brand.”Marketers as Interlocutors Between Technology and Their Audiences
Technology is best suited to take over tasks it can perform faster and more effectively than humans can. This frees up more time for marketers and salespeople to do what they do best.
Marketers should not let technology and the automation of tasks lead to complacency. For a marketer to be successful, she must be able to identify the areas in which she needs to improve her skills. That way she can use the available technology for communicating her brand’s message with the most impact.
A marketer needs to understand their position as an interlocutor between technology and the audience they are targeting, and must have the ability to turn the information that technology gives them an effective content strategy.
One of the most common ways to use this information for creating better content and more effective messages comes from artificial intelligence. AI highlights relationships between variables. It also comes from marketers who use new insights to deliver relevant content during the entire customer journey.Summary
Man against machine is a common theme around the office these days. But the determining factor that will keep humans in control is our audiences’ common need for the social aspect of our communication. This applies to all marketers, but even more important to those who create content.
We must harness our human ability to empathize and bring out emotions in others.
As interlocutors between technology and our audience, we need to humanize our marketing/content strategies by understanding what persuades our audience. We can then use technology to discover insights, communicate at scale, and report results.