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Artificial intelligence and machine learning have captured a lot of attention in recent years but they’re part of a much larger subset of technologies, called intelligent automation.
At their core, these technologies share the aim of automating thought – by analysing large amounts of data – but they output these insights in different ways.
In a recent podcast, Vertical Leap’s Managing Director, Chris Pitt, and Head of Services, Lee Wilson, discuss how intelligent automation can help large businesses scale their marketing efforts. Here is an except below and you can listen to the full podcast here.
“There are different subsets of intelligent automation and the first one is robotic process automation, RPA. This is about all the things that we do on a daily basis that are boring, labour-intensive or fairly technical, but consistently technical. And because of that consistency it’s stuff that we don’t do very well naturally ourselves, as humans.
“So RPA is not clever in the sense that it’s doing any thinking but what it is doing is taking away those manual repetitive processes and automating them.
“An example in search might be link analysis or data collection; or it might be looking for technical fixes on your website – lots of things that we do on a daily basis that don’t necessarily need any creativity or freeform thinking.
“Yes, it totally is – not just from a marketing perspective but across the whole business. There are tasks people do every day in businesses that could be done consistently better by technology. That doesn’t mean we should be replacing people. What it means is we free them up to do more of the tasks that the technology can’t do, such as strategy or implementation.
“I think that’s the key, for search generally, to shorten the distance to results, reduce the amount of ‘people time’ required to do the mundane things and free up more time to go a bit deeper which means we can be a bit more creative – and the technology can go deeper and wider than people can so it can identify more things for us to do. It achieves much greater scale.
“What I like is the freeing-up of highly-skilled experts to focus on more of the creative, unique and experiential actions that are fundamentally human.
“It means that we can deliver more exciting and impactful marketing campaigns, but it also means that people have more time to nurture customer relationships and truly understand the businesses that they’re working with, the people that they’re working with, and to provide increasingly tailored and valuable search marketing solutions.”
“That’s exactly right and there are a variety of examples. Take citations [a reference to a business online that includes the business name, address, and phone number] as an example. When you think about a simple task like building citations, if you’re working with a company that’s got hundreds of locations, even if you only build one citation per location (which wouldn’t really work), you’d be building loads of citations on a monthly basis.
“So you can see how quickly the amount of human involvement can build up and how much resource is wasted just by doing a very monotonous, repetitive task that may well end up with errors because humans aren’t suited for that type of activity.
“But when you automate this kind of activity using intelligent automation, you can achieve more, at scale, with more efficiency, and all whilst the actual people can be focussing on implementation, creativity and strategy.
The role of ‘UX writer’ has become increasingly sought-after as companies make user experience (UX) a focal point for their business. But what exactly does a UX writer do?
Over the past few years, there has been a dramatic uptick in awareness across the marketing and technology industries about the importance of user experience (UX).
Companies that do UX well have reaped considerable rewards, and businesses have increasingly prioritised creating a smooth, seamless user experience across their digital touchpoints.
With this rise in UX awareness has come a proliferation of specialist UX roles: UX designer, UX researcher, UX consultant, UX writer. Some of these are wholly new roles, while others are a new slant on a role that might have been around for some time.
In this article I’ll take a closer look at the role of UX writer, sometimes known as UX copywriter. What does the discipline of UX writing involve, and how does it differ from copywriting or content writing? And is it the same thing as a content designer?
For more on UX, visit Econsultancy’s user experience and usability hub or download our guide to User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web. For more on job descriptions, download our report on Modern Marketing Job Desriptions.
UX writers are responsible for crafting the text that appears throughout a website, app or other digital product interface. This includes everything from error pages (404s, 401s, 502s, etc.) confirmation messages and help pop-ups to buttons, menus, and sign-up forms. These little bits of text that appear throughout a product are often referred to as ‘microcopy’.
UX writers have a responsibility to guide a user through using the product in an intuitive manner. This means that they need to have a deep understanding of the product and its design and development process as well as of the product’s user base. UX writers are often called upon to conduct user testing and interpret data and analytics in order to understand how the product is used and how effectively the copy is performing.
However, a UX writer isn’t someone who simply comes in after a product is already designed and fills in the blanks with text. Instead, UX writers are instrumental in shaping the experience of a product. They are embedded within design teams, working hand-in-hand with UX and UI designers, UX researchers and information architects to ensure that product layout and copy work seamlessly together.
UX writers also need to make sure that the copy is achieving business objectives while keeping the user and their needs front of mind.
UX writing is sometimes confused for copywriting (particularly as the role is sometimes referred to as a ‘UX copywriter’). However, while many UX writers have a background in writing marketing copy, the difference is in the objective: copywriting is designed to market to the user. It is inherently persuasive, aimed at attracting new users, engaging them, and convincing them to upgrade, spend more, or make a purchase.
Marketing copy often sets out to nudge the user down a path they might not originally have been on, whereas UX writing is there to smoothly guide the user towards their intended goal and facilitate their experience of using the product.
Copywriters and UX writers do have one key thing in common: brand tone. Just as copywriters need to be able to craft copy that uses a brand’s distinctive tone, so too do UX writers need to be able to convey the brand’s voice across all touchpoints and in a consistent fashion.
Similarly, UX writers are not responsible for writing content marketing or editorial, though they may have an editorial background and call upon similar skills. With that said, a UX writer might be called upon to help other content creators in the organisation to understand and communicate the brand’s tone, or tasked with creating a company-wide content style guide that is referenced by content writers across the organisation.
Shana Pilewski, Director of Marketing at Dynamic Yield, details three strategies for personalization at scale across multiple customer touchpoints.
At a time when two in three consumers expect brands to recognize them as an individual, personalization and optimization have become increasingly strategic for brands. But tailoring the customer experience involves more than just adapting a brand’s website; for personalization to truly be effective, it must be omnichannel.
Customer acquisition and retention increasingly depend on a brand’s ability to deliver personalized experiences both online and offline. In the retail industry, omnichannel customers spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online compared to single-channel shoppers, according to a study featured in the Harvard Business Review.
In today’s hybrid digital/brick-and-mortar landscape, touchpoints can exist across multiple channels and channels can provide multiple touchpoints. Effectively engaging customers in this climate requires brands to perfect each interaction. Here’s a look at three strategies for doing so at scale.
Omnichannel optimization is only possible with a 360-degree view of the customer. This requires brands to measure factors like real-time on-site behavior, online and offline conversion history, geography, product affinities, cross-drive activity, and any other information relevant to understanding who the customer is, what they want, and what messages will resonate with them.
To establish a cohesive set of data that will enable a consistent customer experience across channels, brands must invest in holistic technology that integrates and consolidates data from all available sources. For example, utilizing a unified platform rather than multiple systems of engagement will prevent data fragmentation. This allows customer information to flow freely across channels, cutting down on an organization’s initial marketing spend while making for a far more sustainable, scalable solution.
What happens when new channels are added to the customer journey? Not only do brands need to provide consistent and cohesive experiences across all of them, but Product and Engineering teams must work in tandem with marketers to engage audiences in new, meaningful ways.