It’s true that advances in technology have made work life much easier, or at least that is the general purpose of integrating a higher level of technology. However, automation and artificial intelligence aren’t always able to fully replace many elements of work that require a “human touch”. So how can digital marketers strike a strong balance between using automation tools and technology with their own knowledge to create a dynamic workflow?

A full suite of digital services is available at marketers fingertips, ranging from simple social media scheduling tools to robust platforms offering one-stop shopping for marketing and ecommerce performance analytics. There are even some tools now in existence for writing copy, using data algorithms to determine the right combination of words for optimal conversion rates.

In order for a marketer to find the right balance for their work flow, one initial step to take is to take stock of how they do work currently, what they’d like to improve, and their familiarity level with using these various software options. Remember: not everyone is technologically savvy, and often times the learning curve of familiarization takes up more time than what some want to spend.

Let’s say that a marketing firm has a strong creative team, but the time spent pulling reports for clients each month is eating into strategy and planning time. Since the marketing manager likely understands that the team’s time is better spent on creative projects and delivering high quality assets to clients, the use of software tools that automate reporting on a set schedule might be useful. Another firm may have a team in place for analytics and reporting, but empowering them with more robust tools that can eliminate busywork is also useful.

At the end of the day, nothing can truly replace human creativity. While machine learning may replace some jobs, automation should not replace the human touch fully. Creating rich designs, writing compelling copy and content, and engaging with followers and customers are all things that are often better done by a real person.

From a customer service standpoint, automation is useful. Many brands are turning to chat bots and other messaging services to communicate with customers quicker. This is important, as the environment in which we live now dictates quicker response times and faster problem resolutions. A company that does not embrace the idea of automating at least some parts of their customer communications may miss out on making a customer happy if they delay the resolution for too long.

Automation absolutely has a place in the marketing and customer service industries, but just how much involvement comes down to the skills a marketing team has and how those skills can best be supported. Giving way to allow full automation of every process will damage the creative, authentic portion of marketing creativity. And while the benefits of machine learning will continue to be demonstrated, it’s important to set up a marketing team for success by using automation to enhance their existing skills, not replace them.


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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.