Back in high school in the late 1980s, I took a typing course as an elective. In that course, I found something at which I excelled: typing with speed while maintaining accuracy. At that time, personal computers had just started to enter schools (and businesses), and the internet was nothing that anyone had ever heard of. I prided myself in my typing ability, thinking, “If all else fails in life, I, at a minimum, could have a fallback career as someone’s assistant, transcribing their notes, interviews, and important meetings.” I even spent one summer in college working as a temp and had to pass a typing class to be hired. What I didn’t predict in the ‘80s was that in 35 years, we would be living our lives with handheld personal recording devices that convert sound into text in mere seconds. My typing skill, while useful in other ways, wasn’t going to offer any stable career differentiator.

But that was good news! Not being tied to a job where I was robotically transcribing someone else’s thoughts, ideas, and innovations was an opportunity I could embrace. Instead, I redirected my time to craft, develop, and evolve my own thoughts, ideas, and innovations.

Marketers: You may be in a similar position. You may feel at risk because you’re seeing the personal differentiators you’ve relied on for years be replaced by automation, artificial intelligence (AI), or analytics. While most marketing functions are implementing or expanding digital transformations, our data shows that many marketers are also afraid of losing their jobs in the next five to 10 years to technology replacements. What we must recognize is that the marketer’s world has changed: The volume of data available to marketers now is beyond human capacity and scale to manage, analyze, and act upon. Technology, AI, and automation are great at sifting through this data — tedious, repetitive tasks — and making sense of it at speed. We, as marketers, should let them do that job. This will free us up to spend our time in more valuable, creative, and innovative areas at which only humans can excel.

Yes, the world has changed. But with change comes opportunity. Technology and automation are not something to fear as a marketer; rather, they are our support resources. Technology and insights from data will invigorate the value of the marketer.

Join Renee Irion and me at B2B Summit North America, May 2–4. In our keynote session, “Unlocking Growth And Creativity: Marketing In An Insights World,” we’ll explore how advances in technology and data allow marketers to unlock creativity and growth by increasing productivity, enhancing customers’ experiences, and improving performance. We’ll talk through how the role of the marketer has changed and what you need to do differently and touch on skills you may need to consider embracing.

The future is in your hands. We look forward to seeing you there and helping turn your potential fear into opportunity and growth.

Image source: Adobe Stock