Marketing and Sales; A Blurred Line Armed with Artificial Intelligence

SOON THERE’LL BE NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MARKETER AND A SALESMAN, THANKS TO AI

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So, me and a couple of my colleagues got into an argument about the differences between sales and marketing and we argued about which was more important. We eventually agreed that they both had their place as they both are important, however, the line that separates them is gradually being blurred out as AI is helping both end of the stick achieve same results in the same time frame. Marketers and salesmen would both be able to build brands over time and also make sales immediately as they are now armed with artificial intelligence.

AI does a couple of things but here are a few;

Data acquisition: one area artificial intelligence (AI) has been able to get right over the years is collecting data. Data has always been a holy grail for both marketers and salesmen as it helps with predicting the next point of action, purchase, and effective marketing strategy to deploy.

Automate repetitive tasks: in marketing there are certain tasks that are repetitive and trust me, they can be extremely daunting to undertake every now and then. AI allows you the opportunity to be more efficient and increases your productivity by availing you the opportunity to focus on more important tasks. A report by Mckinsey further buttresses this point as they say nearly 45% of tasks can be automated to achieve the afore mentioned benefits.

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Create a great consumer experience: what do consumers want? Many times, they want to save time, time is money, they say. Consumers want a vendor that can be swift and equally efficient. The more your brand or organization spends a lot of time dealing with mundane issues the more at risk you are to lose your consumer to your competition who is more agile. AI helps your organization attain agility quicker as it will deal with “mundane” issues while your staff can focus on dealing with consumers who require a more human approach to cater for their need.

Although AI is increasingly becoming the more intelligent with every new update it still doesn’t take away certain processes from staff. To adopt the right AI solution, you or a member of staff must devote sometime to brand audit – understand your strengths and weaknesses, also know what your competition is doing. Next, decisively outline what the desired AI tool should achieve and then adopt one.

In this age where the lines between marketing and sales are getting blurred with each passing second every marketer or salesman must be armed with AI to win.

Talent management is Beyond HR

EMPHASIS ARE BEING LAID ON HOW PEOPLE TREAT OTHER PEOPLE ESPECIALLY WITHIN THE WORKPLACE AND THIS COULD TRANSLATE INTO A MAKE OR BREAK SCENARIO.

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Truth is, no one wants to be treated poorly and everyone wants some form of guarantee and security. When you begin to treat people without any level of respect or utter disrespect they tend to leave you. Employers need to understand that the motivating factor for one to come work with you isn’t always money but whatever the case may be, they are giving of themselves (knowledge and expertise) to deliver value to your organization. This therefore means that both employee and employer are working with hands intertwined to achieve each others dreams (goals). This is where talent management becomes extremely important.

Talent Managers formerly known as Human Resource (HR) has evolved from being the police of the office (tracking and punishing people defaults) to actual people management (showing concern for staff). Many organizations have a problem with turnover rate and they are currently plagued with the curse of trying to drastically reduce it.

Also, the issue of skills gaps recognised in some organisation has become even more vital as the shelf life of certain skills decreases. Identifying, monitoring, assessing and most importantly, closing skills gaps have become talent developers chief concern.

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The need to keep learning has also become imperative for talent managers to address. In a world where none of us have any time, it turns out what we really want is a self-directed learning experience. Online learning means that employees have to take responsibility for their own learning journey, they choose what they want to learn and when to learn it. According to the report, over 40% of Gen Z and Millennial learners and 33% of Gen X and Boomer learners long for opportunities to create their own goals and choose their own learning content that will help them achieve those goals - Bizcommunity. 

In a nutshell, the Talent Manager’s new age responsibility is to not only boost employee retention but also to increase value derived from employees by recognising skill gaps and recommending appropriate measures such as trainings to fill it.

Changing the Nomenclature

EVERYTHING EVOLVES, DON’T THEY? THESE EVOLUTION BRING A CHANGE OF NAME – THE NEW NOMENCLATURE.

I sat in a board meeting with a group of C-suite individuals and each one of them had fancy titles that made them eligible to sit at the meeting. Many of the titles with which they introduced themselves, I certainly had never heard before, for example, one had the title – Chief Responsibility Officer C.R.O. I was quite shook at the time as that sounded away from what I have been used to. After everyone was done introducing themselves, it occurred to me that the mental research I had been carrying out for months in many top flight organizations in Nigeria most especially was ready to become an article. At that meeting, no one introduced themselves as human resources (HR).

Why?

Organizations now have more fancy and encompassing names for the position such as talent manager, personality manager, and so on. This is in view to reflect the discipline’s broadened scope and strategic value.

The evolution is not limited to the office of the human resource alone. You must have noticed that the positions that used to be the best fit yesterday have all changed as organizations are making strategic efforts to future proof their businesses. For example software engineers used to be programmers, account managers used to be sales reps.

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What is driving this?

Like every evolution it is catalyzed by certain reactions. In humans, it may be due to genetic mutation – thanks to Marvel’s X-men we no longer see this as impossible. In environment, it may be due to climate change or something less severe. Now in business, it is driven by the human centered design trend.

Everyone is creating products and services that meet daily human needs, so also, organizations have begun to see the relevance of putting internal activities in place to foster a great working experience for employees – we are human too.

Soon organizations with little or no focus on tending to their employees will phase out as they would find it extremely difficult to attract and acquire top talents. Soon mediocrity and mundanity would creep in and then we will no longer hear of that business – sad story.

The mantra now should be “future focused, human centered”. Your employees need to know you have their best interests at heart and they’ll put in everything necessary to take that business from where it is to the place where the strategic direction points.