Marketing Automation Will Improve

The most common complaint about algorithms is their lack of intelligence, specifically their inability to generate results that match human interactions.

Image by anthillsocial
Image by anthillsocial

Producing off communication and awkward misses can actually hurt brands more than help them. Perhaps the most publicly algorithm gaffes have been via Facebook social ads, which over the years have served up many publicly noted gaffes. Then of course there is the confusion that automation creates about big date, which for many is just sloppy data.

So, yeah, automation has its issues, but it will improve.

Some tools — particularly lead nurturing and dashboard management solutions — are better than others, forcing human management. But if the strategic mind behind them lacks training or capability, you’ll still have gaffes.

Yet we the intelligence behind algorithms will develop with time, and in the near future, too. It’s inevitable.

In fact, you need only look at the master of algorithms — Google — to see how these improve. Google is constantly improving its algorithm to source quality content. In addition to mega updates like Penguin and Panda, Google regularly deploys small changes and tweaks every day to evolve the content it sources.

Some algorithms improve with use, like Siri’s Nuance algorithm. As it learns your preference, the algorithm sources more personalized content.

Whether through artificial or manual intelligence, algorithms continue to improve. And as technology improves and processing power increases, like all other forms of software, algorithms will benefit and evolve.

That’s why while valid, complaints about marketing automation algorithms lack of intelligence will be relatively short lived. In essence, automation failures only reflect the limitations of their makers and the technology used to create them. Both will improve over time.

What do you think about the future of marketing automation algorithms?


  • Hi Geoff! First time for me here. Good work with both site and this post. It is for sure that Marketing Automation will evolve a lot in the future as all technology, but I think that we will see some clear trends in this area:

    – Scoring models will be even more questioned as it looks like today

    – “Big Data” will increase in importance and there will be more focus on social tracking and Marketing Automation
    – Automation will move closer to personal!
    – Dynamic content, yes. But what about a more dynamic web over all? That will off course effect of the growing trend of “real-time” marketing. Is that what MA is getting to?
    – One more, are we seeing a differentiated web where you hide and make yourself visible depending on what your up to and what you want to do? I can see myself using a buyer-mode, could you?

    • I think one of the issues we face is educating ourselves and the larger marketplace on just WTF big data is. I think most marketers see it as a scary concept that has not been well explained…

      • Definitely right, there is a huge need for education within this area. One thing is for sure, Marketers need to think about building a ground that works for collecting and analyze of data from a lot of different sources. Both internal and external sources.

  • I was just having a discussion about this with a friend because I’ll be speaking at a conference they are having for their clients. One of the services they offer is some automation, and that will be the gist of the conference. The key is to understand that the human element always needs to be present. Too many businesses use automation for automation sake, and it can be dangerous. I think in this realm we will see some parallels with the world of manufacturing, from pre-Industrial Revolution, through the IR, to the present, with an interesting combo of automation and personalization, as seen in smaller, local craftsmen.

    • I liken it to a power tool. I can make a lot of wholes in the wall with a drill. So your craftsman analogy is spot on. Hope everything is going well, Ken!

  • Geoff, we discussed this topic a couple months back, and you even considered it a topic for Hecklers’ Hangout. My books show you are slated for next week for that topic!

    I admire the marketing automation efforts so far when it comes to social search. We will always find a way to complain about the fallacy of automation, but I’d rather have my sidebar be filled with Tennis Warehouse and Denver Broncos/Nuggets ads versus “find your Eastern European wife” ads, you know?

    Here is the ironic thing – I NEVER click on those sidebar ads. I will still either go directly to the source, or I will Google it and pick the first few non-sponsored listings. And user reviews always play a part in my buying decisions.

    Since we have a monitoring and sentiment analysis solution, we also get the scoffing at the sentiment analysis portion. The argument is “automated sentiment analysis does not pick up on context and sarcasm”. My response: you, Mr. Scoffer, are correct. The key is to support manual intervention to make that algorithm more accurate. If you have a brand where “that stuff is DA !@#$!# BOMB”, a good solution lets us fine-tune that “DA !@#$!# BOMB” is a good thing within the context of your brand.

    Meanwhile, the other 80% of automated sentiment analysis was accurate and gave you plenty of actionable intelligence. In my opinion, Big Data analysis requires a little automated assistance.

    Finally, I also support marketing automation when it comes to content curation. I appreciate Triberr, HootSuite scheduling, and Buffer. I value my audience, so I would rather value their time by scheduling good content over an entire business day versus a barrage of content manually shared a couple times per day.

    • I definitely feel good about the general direction of automation, and yet, totally agree that automatic push back is necessary. It’s just not there yet. I see it in my work. Big data needs help.

      At the same time, if you do put that intelligence behind the tools as you note, they can be highly valuable. And like you, I enjoy scheduling posts. Good comment, Brian!

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  • its one of the best i have ever seen.

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