If you think job disruption by AI is limited to the assembly lines, think again: AI is doing a better job than humans at some aspects of sales and marketing, too.
Artificial intelligence disruption is already happening.
AI can analyse sales calls far faster than any sales manager could – in fact, it would take nine years of non-stop sales call analysis for a human being to compete, and that’s if they didn’t take vacation or sleep. And AI is already being used to develop marketers’ content strategies and email marketing playbooks – it’s only a matter of time before it plays a bigger role in the process.
The truth probably lies halfway between these camps – in many cases, AI will serve to make our jobs easier and will make us more effective and data-driven. But the fact remains that some jobs will be replaced by machines – it’s the essence of any industrial or technological revolution. The good news is; some jobs won’t be strictly replaced – they just might be adjusted to account for new technologies’ “careers”.
Based on the landmark 2013 study that inspired “Will Robots Take My Job?” we’ve rounded up some of the marketing and sales roles most likely to be replaced by robots, bots and AI in the next few years. This study analyzes the likely probability that a job will be replaced by automation and computerization – based primarily on the level of routine a job has and the specialized training and social intelligence required to complete it. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it gives you an idea of what your life could look like in a few years.
Most likely to be replaced
Likelihood: 99 per cent
Why: You probably already receive robo-calls on behalf of various products and services, and career growth in the telemarketing space is expected to decline by 3 per cent by the year 2024. This is largely in part because of the requirements to be successful: Unlike other sales roles, telemarketers don’t require a high level of social, or emotional, intelligence to be successful. Think about it — are you likely to purchase from a telemarketer? Conversion rates for direct telephone sales are typically less than 10 per cent, making this role a ripe opportunity to be automated.
2) Bookkeeping clerks
Likelihood: 98 per cent
Why: Jobs in this role are expected to decline 8 per cent by 2024, and it’s no surprise why — most bookkeeping is becoming automated, if it hasn’t been already. QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Microsoft Office already offer software that does the bookkeeping for you that’s much more affordable than a person’s salary, so it’s no surprise this job has such a high probability.
3) Compensation and benefits managers
Likelihood: 96 per cent
Why: This one is surprising because the job growth is supposed to increase 7 per cent by 2024. But just because there’s demand doesn’t make you safe from automation. As companies grow in size – especially across multinational markets – a human and paper-based system can present more hurdles, time delays, and costs. Automated benefits systems can save time and effort for providing benefits to large numbers of employees, and companies like Ultipro and Workday are already being widely adopted.
Likelihood: 96 per cent
Why: Pam predicted this back on The Office but in case you’re not a fan, automated phone and scheduling systems can replace a lot of the traditional receptionist role — especially at modern technology companies that don’t have office-wide phone systems or multinational corporations.
Likelihood: 94 per cent
Why: Couriers and delivery people are already being replaced by drones and robot, so it’s only a matter of time until this space is dominated by automation altogether. At the same time, this space is expected to grow by 5 per cent by 2024, so it might not happen as quickly as you think.
Likelihood: 84 per cent
Why: Proofreading software is everywhere, and we use it a lot here at HubSpot. From Microsoft Word’s simple spelling and grammar check to Grammarly and Hemingway App, there are a lot of technologies out there that make it easy to self-check your own writing.
7) Computer support specialists
Likelihood: 65 per cent
Why: The field is projected to grow 12 per cent by 2024, but with so much content on the internet with instructions, step-by-step guides, and hacks out there, it’s no surprise companies will rely more heavily on bots and automation to answer support questions from employees and customers in the future.
8) Market research analysts
Likelihood: 61 per cent
Why: Market research analysts play an incredibly important role in the development of messaging, content, and products, but automated AI and surveys can compile this information more and more easily. GrowthBot, for example, can conduct market research on nearby businesses and competitors with a simple Slack command.
9) Advertising salespeople
Likelihood: 54 per cent
Why: As advertising shifts away from print and TV and towards web and social media landscapes, people simply don’t need to be managing those sales for marketers who want to buy ad space. More social media platforms are making it easy for people to buy space through free application program interfaces (APIs) and self-serve ad marketplaces to remove the salesperson and make it faster and easier for users to make money – and that’s reflected in the projected 3 per cent decline in the industry.
10) Retail salespeople
Likelihood: 92 per cent
Why: If you’ve visited a mall, car dealership, or furniture store lately, you might not have been assisted by a salesperson at all from start to finish. Companies are democratizing the shopping experience with features like self-checkout, and the modern buyer is much more internet-savvy and more likely to do internet research and make a buying decision on their own.
By Sophia Bernazzani
Sophia Bernazzani is a Content Marketer and Blogger at HubSpot. She has previously been a health care journalist, and has a background in healthcare and previously worked in health marketing and advocacy. Sophia’s passionate about nutrition and sustainability and studied global public health at the George Washington University. Sophia is a former Communications Intern with the team at the Center for Global Development (CDG). She was a senior at the George Washington University, where she studied International Affairs and concentrated her studies in Global Public Health and International Economics. Prior to joining CGD, Sophia worked as a Government Affairs Intern at the American Legacy Foundation conducting research on public health and tobacco cessation legislation. She is originally from Portland, Maine.