I’ve said before that robots are the gatekeepers to your customers. And by “robots,” I really mean “software.” Consider this:
- Algorithms run Google’s search rankings, and they decide what users see on Facebook and Twitter.
- Marketing automation systems let us build engines to distribute content to millions (billions?) of readers, listeners and watchers.
- Marketers are building massive data warehouses that enable segmentation and personalization on a scale never seen before.
Software has eaten marketing, whether it’s the martech that your company uses, the ad platforms that Google runs or the worldwide, real-time content distribution system known as Facebook. The internet has created an opportunity for marketers: to reach most people on the planet, instantaneously, with a personalized and tailored message.
It’s a massive opportunity. In fact, the opportunity is so large it’s unmanageable. Technology, software and algorithms have emerged to help deal with the complexity surrounding it:
- We can outsource our targeting to ad networks, which can help us find the people most receptive to our messaging.
- We can use SEO tools to help us track our search engine performance and the factors that influence it.
- We can’t parse everything we hear on social, so we use listening and sentiment analysis tools to do that for us.
- We can’t personalize our websites for every visitor, so we set up simple rules to try to show the right content to the right people.
- And, of course, AI will take over all these things (eventually).
It’s critical for marketers to understand and work with digital marketing technology. But technology doesn’t manage all of the complexity for us, by itself. We need to develop practices that help us use digital marketing tools effectively, in order to maximize the benefit we realize from them. Here are a few ideas.
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