Are Robots the Future of Marketing Automation Technology?

by Shannon Vize on August 9, 2016
marketing automation technology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is evolving at a rapid rate, leading many to question what the future has in store for these smart robots and technologies. What industries are they best suited for? Well, it turns out, digital marketing is one of those industries. Kit, the artificially intelligent marketing robot recently acquired by Shopify, is looking to be one of the first robots to successfully plan your eCommerce digital marketing strategy. So, is this the future of marketing automation technology? In short, the answer is yes.

However, there are still numerous hurdles AI-infused technology must overcome before it starts replacing entire departments. Take Microsoft’s chat bot, Tay, that was supposed to chat with users from the perspective of a teenage girl on Kik, GroupMe, and Twitter. Less than 24 hours after it was launched, Tay began to tweet racist, genocidal, and misogynistic messages to users to the horror of Microsoft. Which proves we still have a long way to go when it comes to perfecting AI technologies or programs. But, Kit seems to be a much more successful venture so far. So let’s take a look at what Kit can really do, what this means for the future of marketing automation technology, and the challenges utilizing a robot for marketing needs poses to businesses.

Where We’re At Now:

Originally created as a customer relationship management (CRM) software, Kit now boasts additional features which include building marketing agendas and goals, distributing ad spend, setting the frequency of social posts, selecting the right content for email marketing, and more, all centered around the goal of growing a business. This is huge; Kit is capable of having foresight and establishing a marketing plan that strings tasks together, rather than doing traditional one-off marketing tasks to make one-off sales. Not only that, but business owners can communicate directly with Kit just like an employee through SMS text messages and the Facebook Messenger app.

We have now reached a point where robots, like Kit, are capable of not only managing simple automated tasks but also more complex business tasks that have previously always required a human. This is an incredible advancement for the business uses of AI. In a recent blog post, we previously covered how Persado’s AI-driven content marketing automation software is changing the landscape of content marketing. It stands to reason that Persado and Shopify’s experimentation with AI-driven marketing automation technology is only our first look at how robots will influence the digital marketing sector.

Looking Ahead:

Although the recent additions to Kit’s capabilities are impressive and should be celebrated, it’s important to note how far we are from allowing robots to run all of your digital marketing needs. The future is bright for business executives looking for AI-driven tech to increase the effectiveness of their marketing teams while minimizing costs associated with large, successful marketing campaigns and teams. However, that future is not quite here yet.

With all of the positive potential Kit and fellow AI-based technologies offer, there are also challenges that still must be dealt with. For starters, businesses interested in utilizing AI-driven technologies like Kit or other robots must put their trust in a machine. Making a mistake is human, and thus we are often more comfortable accepting and dealing with a mistake from an employee. However, technologies like Kit are expected to operate without mistakes, which is not the case. Even though you can directly communicate with Kit, there is still the potential for errors to be made. These mistakes can often be more disastrous than those a human makes considering Kit has access to your marketing budget.

In line with that, there are certain things that cannot be communicated via SMS text messages. Kit does have an effective communication format in place, but that does not mean you will be able to effectively communicate everything you need to the first time around, or ever for that matter. This can result in your Marketing Managers wasting valuable time trying to get the robot or technology to understand what could’ve easily been conveyed to a human.

Another challenge this marketing automation technology faces is the growing importance of cybersecurity. In a time when hacks and cyber attacks are rampant, businesses are looking at all the ways they can strengthen their security features. Outsourcing internal marketing needs, or any business need, to a robot is an added channel that hackers could potentially access to view and steal sensitive business data, like credit card and employee information. Until the security of these technologies can fully protect against cybersecurity threats, many businesses will be unwilling to risk their sensitive data for the benefits AI-driven tech provides.

In Conclusion:

The development of technologies like Kit are an incredible achievement and offer certain industries, like digital marketing, a better, more successful way of doing business. Yet, this marketing automation technology is far from perfect, and there is still much work to do when it comes to the field of robotics and AI. Until the challenges utilizing robots for business needs are addressed and fully resolved, this technology will be unable to replace the work humans currently produce. So while you shouldn’t clear out your digital marketing team just yet, the future may tell a different story.

If the marketing team at your business lacks the tech skills to begin utilizing this technology or consider doing so in the future, contact Mondo today. We can match you with the qualified digital marketing talent that has the tech skills you need now.


About this author (Shannon Vize)

Shannon Vize currently works as the Content Writer for Mondo. Shannon authors a majority of the content published by Mondo, in addition to helping create and adjust the content strategy for the Digital Marketing and Tech Talent Agency. She has also been published on various online platforms on subjects ranging from marketing to fashion to social issues.