Marketing: the channel is dead, long live the holistic

Focusing on a channel as the saviour of your marketing will be foolish in an Artificial Intelligence world


Geoff Livingston
Geoff Livingston


Our friend Geoff Livingston has an excellent thought-piece on the future of marketing in an AI world. In it, Geoff makes the point that a focus on a single channel as a saviour of your marketing activities might be okay in 2018, but in the AI world of 2019 and beyond, will be increasingly irrelevant. 

Marketing automation AI will help marketers master the battle of inches, incremental boosts that yield more substantial single and double-digit percentage increases in customers. When we stop thinking of the channel, whether that’s marketing automation’s home turf of email or other channels and start thinking of the overall customer journey impact, marketers will have made a significant step forward from the tactical to the strategic.

Geoff Livingston, 2018

And it is in the strategic that the ongoing value of marketers lies. When more and more of the mundane number-crunching is taken away, given to algorithms that are faster and more accurate, the marketer of the fourth industrial revolution will have the space and time to consider the broader picture, the more strategic picture, the higher-value picture. 

Don’t see this coming revolution as the end of your job, see it as a tremendous opportunity to rebrand yourself as a value-added component in the chain bringing products and services into the hands of needs- and wants-based consumers.

As the founders of Lucy, a great marketing AI tool, have found, jobs haven’t disappeared with the introduction of AI—what has happened instead is that productivity has been raised significantly and more valuable work gets done. 

This reminds us of the doom-and-gloom merchants of the 1970s, who on the introduction of personal computers into the workforce, predicted the end of the working week as we knew it and the advent of four day weekends. What instead happened was businesses who DID introduce computers raised their productivity significantly, and companies who lagged behind got left behind, many going out of business because they were unable to compete in the marketplace.

A lesson there for us all—don’t be on the wrong side of history.

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