No, Robots should not run your marketing

Bart Burggraaf

“If we look at successful companies in this industry, we see there is another way. One that focuses on long term, that focuses on adding value to customers rather than taking it. Those companies have in common that they have humans involved in the process” – Bart Burggraaf, Managing Partner, MediaGroup Worldwide

By Bart Burggraaf, Managing Partner, MediaGroup Worldwide

A lot of marketing people in the brokerage industry look with envy at companies in this space that automate large parts of their marketing. And to a certain extent, optimizing advertising can be done by rules and robots. However, if you look at the business model of those companies automating a large part of advertising, onboarding and retention, you will see that they have little to no brand.

What I mean with that is, if they stop spending on advertising tomorrow, a few weeks from now their acquisition will go to zero. You will also see they spend a very large percentage of their revenue on advertising compared to brokers that do focus on building a brand.

Nothing wrong with this per se, but if you were to survey their traders, I think very few are loyal to those brokers. To a certain degree, this type of automation follows very closely the principles that brokers with large bonuses, leverage, pressure selling and so on follow. It’s short term thinking infused with the idea that this is a zero sum game. That to win, others need to lose.

But if we look at successful companies in this industry, we see there is another way. One that focuses on long term, that focuses on adding value to customers rather than taking it. Those companies have in common that they have humans involved in the process.

Their advertising speaks to potential clients like a human would. There is a voice that fits the brand, and design is done with beauty in mind.

I admit it’s sometimes hard to keep this view, but the numbers you see in your advertising reports (hopefully) represent real humans. Those real humans you are targeting with your ads have emotions and like to be spoken to like a real person, just like you would.

So think of it this way, if you are designing a landing page, what information would you as a potential trader like to see to make a decision? Then do that. Or if you are not representative of your target audience, go and speak with your potential clients and find out what they want.

What’s more, humans are visual beings. They can intellectually understand an offering is superior, but when given a choice that is close but more beautiful, they will go for the more beautiful offering.

Case in point; Apple is a successful company, while nowadays lots of other companies arguably make superior products.  They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but on the whole, I think there is such a thing as objective beauty in design. For me, beauty in design means consistency, clarity and care, but it’s very hard to describe in an article. What is clear is that good design takes time and needs to be crafted to fit an overall brand strategy.

So no, robots should not run your marketing. They can help in facilitating real interaction. They can help look through data and optimize performance. But at the end of the day, until Skynet is operational, a robot is only as good as what you tell it to be.

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