Will Automated Software Replace Human Intuition in B2B Purchasing?

 

I was recently forwarded a Techcrunch article which talked about how search engine optimization could be next in line for software-powered automation, potentially putting hundreds of thousands of ‘SEO consultants’ out of a job. The article states:

“At least that’s the scenario sketched by RankScience, whose software-as-a-service automates the process of running thousands of A/B tests in order to identify which changes will improve the Google ranking of customer webpages in organic search results.”

The article got me thinking…. Will Automated software eventually replace humans in B2B purchasing?

 

Is SEO “the be all and end all?”

At Koble we’re aiming to cut out the need for SEO, which is a continually moving battleground. Trying to keep up with Google’s algorithm changes will give any but the most resilient a headache. Many companies also don’t have the capabilities or manpower to do this, so they fall by the wayside… or in this case further down Google’s search list.

We want to put all Marketers and Buyers in touch easily. Not by automation or AI, but by simple matchmaking. By choosing the categories you sell, or looking to buy gets you matched with suitable companies on our App.

But we don’t want to make all the decisions for the user. We understand that human interaction is vital when making a purchasing decision. That’s why all we aim to do is match your needs with someone who can fulfil them. The rest is up to you.

 

Will Automation Treat Your Customers Like a Human?

I’ve worked in Marketing for nearly 2 decades and I’ve previously fallen into the trap of thinking that Automation was great, as it allowed me to work more efficiently. However, I realised that I was losing the human side of Marketing (which was what interested me in the area in the first place). Buyers don’t want to be seen as just a potential sales target, they are human… so treat them like one.

AI creators are still attempting to pass the Turing Test (a ChatBot did make a claim that it passed in 2014, but as it was scripted, it isn’t considered a full pass). There will be a time where Automated software will replace humans, but there is an element of trust that forms within conversations that will be lost if one has to think “Is this a real person I’m speaking to?”.

 

Trust Issues?

Contact by an AI also doesn’t have the same certainty that dealing with a human does. That uncertainty undermines trust. As a recent Fast Company article points out, people are reluctant to trust AI with important decisions especially when a purchase or a contract is involved.

In this post, Jon Westenberg writes: “Treating people like leads instead of humans just doesn’t work. It doesn’t sell. It doesn’t push you to any level of success. You want to suck at marketing or sales? Dehumanize your prospects. And dehumanize your interactions with them”.

On our platform we give the option of contact to the Buyer. They can easily block individuals or even entire companies’ posts on their feed if they are not happy with them. A good Marketer knows that certain messages trigger emotion. Would an AI know this? Maybe in the future, but not at this present time.

Buyers also know when they are dealing with content that is created by a human and will filter out any other noise that they are not interested in.

 

Emotion is Key.

So, whilst automated software such as bots will increase in prevalence throughout the business world, we don’t think it is ready yet to remove the human aspect of making a decision yet. In other words AI can help by providing the most appropriate content to the right person, but human interaction is vital.

Connection plays a big part when doing business and until the day comes that an AI perfects that, people will still need to connect in order to understand each other and conduct purchases. As Stephanie Meyer, the global head of Marketing Operations at GE Healthcare stats “it’s not B2B or B2C, it’s B2Human”.

Post by: Koble
02/17/2017