Jenny Morris
16 March 2020 by Jenny Morris
Why Robots Won't Take Your Jobs Smaller

Marketing is changing. The ‘Fourth industrial revolution’ or ‘Industry 4.0’ refers to the host of technological developments changing the way we work and live. Many companies are adopting practices utilising artificial intelligence (AI), big data, smart devices and virtual/augmented reality.

All of this change can create fear and uncertainty. In a recent survey of American adults, approximately half were concerned that developments in technology, and specifically AI, might threaten their jobs. In contrast, only 10% of business leaders think such technologies could replace jobs. The prevailing view is that technology will change the nature of work, but uniquely human qualities will be more valuable, not less.

So, which qualities will be valued? Cognizant’s recent guide to the ‘21 marketing jobs of the future’ provides expert insight into how jobs might change, and the nature of the skills required.

1. Creativity

Creativity directly translates into business success: Audi cite creativity as a key component of their marketing strategy and a report by McKinsey found that more creative companies performed better on several metrics. Perhaps unsurprisingly, creativity is also one of the most commonly mentioned skills in Cognizant’s report. For example, a ‘Data ethnographer’ will need to find innovative ways to gather and use data. And the ‘Head of Bot Creative’ will need to think differently to stop automated marketing becoming vanilla and bland.

2. Ethics

Unfortunately, AI cannot integrate data with a wider understanding of societal context. This has resulted in bias. Your job as ‘Algorithm bias auditor’, where you will work to ensure AI systems are inclusive and fair, will involve application of uniquely human ethical judgement.

3. Communication

According to a recent article by Forbes, ‘Communication skills are absolutely tied to entrepreneurial and general business success’. While technology can enhance and change our communication processes (i.e. via new platforms such as slack or use of emoticons to express feelings), it is unlikely to replace the skill required to form personal relationships. As a ‘Loyalty engineer’ you will work to define the tone of communication to and build lasting bonds with customers, transforming them into invested business partners.

4. Insight

Algorithms are only as good as the data they receive. As a result, they may sometimes miss the big picture and fail to ask the important questions. As a ‘Sixth sense analyst’ you will need to use keen insight to question the integrity of emerging trends. Remember, as Picasso once said: ‘computers are useless: they can only give you answers!’

5. Empathy

Humans are emotional creatures. And marketers are well aware of this, reflected in successful campaigns such as Coca Cola’s ‘Taste the Feeling’ campaign. Technology allows customers to be reached and interacted with like never before, but empathy is key. As a Micro-interaction Marketing Specialist, empathy will be vital to discover the small marketing moments at the heart of customer perception. And as ‘Mood and Empathy Manager’, you will be responsible for engineering specific emotional responses from customers to ensure long-term brand loyalty. In addition, empathy will always be key for successful daily working activities such as maintaining positive relationships with co-workers and employees.

To summarise, despite the changing landscape of marketing, the value of human skills is not diminishing. No matter whether you end up as a tech-focused ‘Sixth Sense Analyst’ or a customer-focused ‘Mood and Empathy Manager’ it is important to remember that you, as a human, have a multitude of core skills that technology cannot replace. The robots will have to wait their turn. Instead, it is important to utilise technology to innovate, understand customers and build lasting business relationships, while remembering that the future of modern marketing is human.