Was the same question that occurred to me when I realized how automation has penetrated our lives.
I start my morning with, "Hey Google, Good Morning". My virtual bot quickly wishes me back, takes my phone off silent, starts narrating my calendar, updates me about the weather and traffic conditions to office and at the end of this routine it plays my favorite morning playlist.
Not just that, the realization hit me hard when my virtual website chat bot was successful at capturing a significant chunk of leads by chatting with my website users while I was sleeping.
Honestly, it is intimidating to see how technology has incorporated itself into our lives. However, will it really affect our jobs or to be specific Digital Marketing Jobs?
Well, Yes, and No also.
No, I am not going to leave you more confused than you are right now. By the end of this read, you will have a clear head if your job will be taken over by a soulless machine or not.
Unless you live in a rabbit hole you probably are aware that a major chunk of digital marketing is already automated.
If you are like, "Wait, when did that happen?".
In the early 2000s, for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) we had to check keyword rankings manually. Someone had to actually sit down and type a keyword on Google and find a clients' rank for a particular keyword and find it in the top 100 results. No big deal? well, we had to do this for 50 keywords and for 11 clients that to on a weekly basis.
Fast-forward to innovation and we now have a tool which automated this process for us. Every Monday I get detailed keyword ranking reports for all my clients reducing almost 32 man hours a month.
Same is the case with Online Reputation Management (ORM).
There were times when someone had to manually sit and find out mentions about brands to have a clear understanding of the market sentiment or if they have received any positive or negative review anywhere on the internet.
Fast-forward we now have tools like Meltwater or Google alerts which help you in finding tens of thousands of mentions online every single day.
Let's not forget the time when someone had to actually sit and schedule social media posts on different platforms manually. Imagine scheduling 20 posts a month on 4 different platforms for a single client. That is pure hard labor.
Fast-forward to now and you see almost everyone using a scheduler like Hootsuite or SocialPilot which allows them to schedule, monitor posts on all platforms in a more convenient manner.
Did you notice a pattern in the type of jobs that are being automated?
Kudos if you did, you can skip the next paragraph.If you didn't, go ahead keep reading.
The jobs which were repetitive and labor intensive are being automated. This is what happened in the blue-collared job industry back in the 90s. Automation did and always will threaten blue-collared jobs of every industry.
What is Automation exactly?
Automation is basically using non-human(soulless) machines to get a repetitive process done swiftly and more accurately.
Is it good?
You bet it is. It is leaving us more time to do meaningful work.
Will my career be affected by this automation scene?
Yes, if you are a blue collared employee of the digital space.
No, if you are a white collared one.
Well, do I classify as a white collared employee?
Yes, if your job requires creativity, if your job requires you to think and act upon data, you are a white collared employee.
Essentially, if your job involves taking decisions basis gut, emotions or understanding than you are not at risk. In fact, you are lucky that the boring 40% of your job that you hated will be managed by machines now.
Having said that, I will be misleading if I don't mention Artificial Intelligence(AI) in this article.
Yes, not automation but AI could be a threat to Digital Marketing.
What is AI now?
Artificial Intelligence basically is the ability to think and make decisions. AI will allow a robot to be more like a human and can acquire all the qualities that classify you as a white collared resource.
AI, if developed can take over all the jobs in this world. Honestly, I don't believe it to be happening, simply because the economy would collapse and it will be a deadlock in the loop that we humans survive on.
Oversimplifying it, people won't earn, as a result, they would not spend.
AI development and its impact is an abstract topic which will never end and should be done over a couple of beers.
In conclusion, if you are reading this article in 2019 and are between the age of 20-35. You, my friend, should not be worried about your Digital Marketing profile becoming obsolete. By the time AI will be developed and taking over the world, we will be in our 50s ready to retire.
So Chill and Let Chill.
Deepak Yewle is a Computer Science bachelor from Mumbai University. He is a digital marketer, speaker. Currently, he is working at DigiChefs (a full stack digital marketing agency). He is also a visiting faculty at multiple institutes where he trains university graduates on topics like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google Analytics, Search Engine Marketing (SEM).