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Algorithms and the Future of Digital Marketing

It’s important to stay on top of the latest Marketing Technology (MarTech) trends!

We’ve just wrapped up a webinar on ‘Algorithms and the Future of Digital Marketing’,  hosted by Miguel Bernas. Click on the video below to view a recording of this webinar.

 

Some of us may recall a time when Artificial Intelligence (AI), data-driven marketing and the use of Natural Language Processing (NLP) in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) were regarded as ambitious concepts bordering on the ridiculous. Today, these innovative digital marketing trends are some of the most talked about and implemented practices in companies looking to stay ahead of the competition.

We only need to look at how much things have changed in the last one year to realise the importance of staying on top of the latest Marketing Technology (MarTech) trends. One such trend that we would like to highlight is the use of algorithms and marketing automation, which have in recent times been a boon to Marketers as consumers transitioned from traditional to digital media. However, how exactly this works is often not very well understood – even by seasoned industry practitioners!

During the webinar, we conducted a simple poll of the 100+ strong audience in attendance and found that only a good 14% had identified themselves as being familiar with marketing automation.

And while there are many definitions of how algorithms work in Marketing, Miguel explained that at the end of the day, it all boils down to having the right message, delivered at the right time, through the right channel to the right audience. He also said that there were 3 key things that marketers should pay attention to when dealing with marketing automation:

#1  Ad fraud
  • Between 30-60% of digital ad impressions are fraudulent, not in view or otherwise wasted
#2 The Morality Blackbox
  • Marketers have no idea which buying signals really work or why… And curiously, some marketers don’t really care.
#3 Upper Funnel Bias
  • Marketers tend to disproportionately invest in new customer acquisition vs existing customers

Our second poll in the webinar asked the audience to rate how advanced they would perceive the level of marketing automation in their company to be at. This poll revealed that only 32% had felt that their company was ‘somewhat advanced’, with the remaining 68% indicating that they were very much still in the early stages of implementing it. Worryingly, nobody felt that the level of marketing automation in their company was at an advanced stage.

A third poll also revealed that 43% of the audience haven’t adopted e-commerce / digital as an existing sales channel.

With that in mind, it’s important to highlight that when faced with multiple evolving and disruptive forces, people AND companies need to reinvent and innovate, or else risk being replaced altogether. Here’s a scary thought — up to 79% of CEOs worry about the existing skills of their workforce1 and their ability to meet dynamic workplace needs! And with automation taking over almost every facet of the digital world, it brings us to this question:

Consider This

Some of us may be consoling ourselves with the thought that creativity is a uniquely human trait that can’t be replaced. Well, here’s some food for thought. In 2016, a world-first for AI-writing occurred at the Rio Olympics2. The Washington Post covered 300 events using Heliograf, their in-house AI software. Once the data was in — whether for a weather event, a sports event or an earnings report — the AI-powered system would create an article. These robot-generated articles were published alongside other articles that had been written by humans. Interestingly enough, no-one was able to spot the difference!

As you can see, things which were once considered to be outside the scope of algorithms, automation and AI could very well already be in place! And since we’re on that point… How certain are you that this article was not written by a bot either?

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References:

1 – PwC 2019 Report: Talent Trends Survey

2 – Techcrunch 2016 article

Radzif Nasri

Posted December 4, 2020