One of the coolest things (and probably most dangerous) about digital is that it breaks through walls all of the time. New technologies or approaches enter the picture and, at first, marketers delicately dip their toe in. A few weeks, months or years later, a marketer throws delicate in the trash to take full advantage. The copycats then ruin it.

Banners have plodded through this process, starting small and then growing annoying. Email has gone through it, starting tentative and then reaching spam level quickly. Social is protected to a degree because the platforms can control all of their own dials.

Automation is on this path. Its promises are fantastic for the future. The current reins are firm on automation to avoid customer experience issues and inhuman interactions (too much, too choppy). Why aren’t chatbots huge? Tentative marketers coupled with cost to build/program well. Some even fear it. Those elements are just a decision away from invisibility.

Tobbias Matthews wrote for Fourth Source that automation will be king over the next 10 years. The basics of campaign operations and data-action-response processes are hindered by humans and automation will improve it all. But, for it all to be realized, we need bold and smart executors of the automation. Then, the foolish will stand out by doing it terribly.

Read the rest of the issue here: