Why Wait, Marketers? Now’s The Time To Realise Growth Through Automation

Why Wait, Marketers? Now’s The Time To Realise Growth Through Automation

“Marketing, as we know, is all about making meaningful connections with consumers,” said clinical associate professor of Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in a recent conversation with Mel Silva, managing director and vice president of Google AUNZ.

No arguments there. With today’s complex paths to purchase, meeting the right audience at the right time, at the right place with the right message is becoming harder than ever.

Jim Lecinski, who is also the author of The AI Marketing Canvas, says: “Machine learning has taken hold in various different aspects of the firm… but marketing has been among the slower functions in the firm to adopt the power of automation.” 

So, why is it essential to switch on machine learning in your marketing now more than ever? 

Consumer journeys are becoming increasingly digital – this, we know. There has been sustained growth in online shopping since before the pandemic, and in Australia, over 80 per cent of under 55s shop online[1].

Consumers are also becoming more curious, asking more questions, and searching across platforms. 91 per cent per cent of Australians interact with brands on at least 2 different channels before making a purchase decision[2]. They value relevance from brands, and with 15 per cent of Google Search queries every day being entirely new[3], that’s no small ask. 

So as market factors are changing, so too must marketers switch up their strategy to keep up. The only way to reach and delight thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of disparate individual customers is to automate.  Marketing automation delivers relevant creative while using less granular data to provide user privacy and, importantly, optimises performance and drives profits.

While the possibilities are nearly limitless, there are three main ways automation can help brands:

  1. Helping you show up with the right message, at the right time, and in the right place.  Machine learning algorithms are excellent at testing and learning on your behalf, then scaling the best creative combinations to where they can be most effective.
  2. Helping you connect with high value customers at scale. Automation can help paint a picture of what your high value customers look like, then go out and find more of those people from right across the web – helping to drive more revenue at lower cost, and boost profitability. 
  3. Finally, automation can help you simplify campaign management by drastically cutting the manual admin required to organise and optimise your campaign, freeing you up to spend time on finer marketing skills like strategy and messaging.  

It seems obvious, and yet despite such clear benefits, something’s holding marketers back from going gung-ho about automation. What could that be? 

According to Lecinski: “I think there’s a common misperception that the machines will just take over or somehow take all of our jobs… when in reality it’s quite the opposite.”

It’s quite an extraordinary time to be a marketer, to be able to experiment en masse and combine human and technological intelligence in this way. In very real terms, marketers are pioneering new technologies and ways of doing things that will lay the foundation for years to come.

Lecinski continued: “You’re a marketer who uses your knowledge of the customer, your human ingenuity, your insights, your creativity and, importantly, the business and marketing objectives that you set. 

That’s what the machine will then go and automate. So you retain control, as opposed to cede control. It’s the algorithm that’s in service of the marketer when you incorporate automation and not the other way around.”

Modern marketing means automation. And in a privacy-first future, an automated approach will be absolutely essential to ensuring your brand is able to continue showing up along complex paths to purchase. 

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. 

Lecinski assures us: “It’s not too late to be early, so don’t worry that you’ve missed the boat on this one.

The way to get started is to find a business problem that, by being able to predict the outcome, would unlock extreme incremental value for your business. Once you’ve identified that business problem more often than not a marketing team would be working with an existing marketing partner.”

We recommend checking out Lecinski and Silva’s full conversation here to realise why automation is essential to growth, and how to begin your journey.


[1] Google/ Kantar, Shopper Pulse Australia, April to December 2021, 18-55yrs, n=3,482

[2] Google / GfK, Continous Connection Study, Australia, Qual / Quant study of n=300 aged 18+ category shoppers (n=150 of whom were passively metered) over a month in Mar-Apr’21. Base: respondents compliant for passive & 5+ moments surveys n=97

[3] Google Internal Data

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