The bionic marketer

By Jennilyn Howell

Until I can operate my home entertainment system with fewer than three remotes, I won’t be convinced that the future has arrived. But I’m having trouble ignoring technology’s strengthening influence on daily life: Google is developing self-driving cars, wristwatches now function as life coaches, and washing machines are smarter than college graduates (trust me on this).

At the risk of sounding like my grandma, technology seems to be removing something from our personal interactions, especially when it comes to customer service. Talking to robots on the phone is common, and some restaurants have replaced attentive wait staff with tableside iPads. Business communication is even more cutthroat — we are “educated” via webinar and our most productive conversations happen in an inbox.

In a culture of screen-to-screen communication, it can be difficult to develop new business. Cold calling is discouraging. Online CRM tools are just, well, tools. They can neither find you new prospects nor support you through the marketing and sales process. Frankly, the technology has replaced the marketing service.

Wouldn’t a bionic marketing tool be more effective? The technology gives you the power to stay in contact with the prospect and gauge his electronic interest in your company, while the human touch provides relevant nurturing content and professional support for your specific marketing needs. The best part? A human answers the phone when you call.

(Now if I could only find that other remote!)

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