Will marketers be automated out of a job?


The robots are coming for jobs, and many who believe that they’re exempt from the much ballyhooed robot job apocalypse might have reason to be far more worried.

That includes marketers.

Hello, Watson

In 2014, IBM is estimated to have spent $53m on digital display ads.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the company had been experimenting with Watson, its cognitive computing platform, to see if it could help Big Blue better manage its online ad buys.

After nearly a year of testing, it had an answer: yes, it can, and pretty darn well.

‘Cognitive bid optimization’, as IBM calls it, reduced the company’s average cost per click by 35%, and by as much as 71%.

Even fractions of dollars and cents « really matters to us, » IBM’s VP of marketing analytics, Ari Sheinkin, explained, « because of the volume and the dollars involved. »

Given the potential for savings, IBM decided to hand over all of its programmatic campaigns to Watson by the end of this year.

Einstein gets into the act

Watson is named after IBM’s first CEO, Thomas J. Watson, and CRM platform provider Salesforce named its recently announced AI platform after a pretty smart guy too, Albert Einstein.

Einstein, which Salesforce bills as « AI for Everyone, » aims to make « Salesforce the world’s smartest CRM » by « enabling any company to deliver smarter, personalized and more predictive customer experiences. »

The technology is being applied to all of Salesforce’s Clouds, including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Marketing and Analytics Cloud.

Marketing Cloud Einstein, for instance, will offer predictive scoring, predictive audiences and automated send-time optimization.

  • Predictive scoring « gauge[s] how likely it is that customers will engage with an email, unsubscribe from an email list, or make a web purchase.
  • Predictive audiences builds segments of audiences who share common predicted behaviors.
  • Automated send-time optimization delivers a message when recipients are deemed most likely to engage.


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