Why Automation Blocks Trump’s Goals, But Helps You Market Your Business
One of the characteristics of Trump's election campaign was his ability to make bold and simple statements which resonated with people who felt that the traditional political system had let them down. One which he made frequently was on the need to increase manufacturing in America, and in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity he stated:
We have to bring jobs back to our country, we have to bring manufacturing back to our country, we have to bring our money back. We have tremendous potential in this, but you know what Sean, if it's not done soon, if we go another four, or five, or six years like this, we're never gonna be able to bring it back.
The argument was that China had stolen US manufacturing jobs, and Trump promised that he would bring them back by forcing US companies to manufacture inside America. He singled out individual companies by sharing his aim that Apple would manufacture more in the US, and by threatening strong penalties to Ford:
When that [Ford] car comes back across the border into our country that now comes in free, we're gonna charge them a 35% tax. And you know what's gonna happen, they're never going to leave,
So will the threat of penalties create the growth in US manufacturing jobs which Trump demands?
Automation in Manufacturing
It's useful to begin by showing the current situation in US manufacturing. In 2016 the output was roughly 85% more than in 1987, but the number of jobs in American manufacturing has declined by five million since 2000. The reason for the simultaneous growth in manufacturing and decline in jobs is the widespread use of automation in the industry. Manufacturing remains the largest sector of US gross output, but the amount of work completed by sophisticated robots continues to grow.
Trump can certainly create severe penalties for companies who import goods into the US, but the most likely response will be for companies to invest in automated factories on US soil. I've worked with automated units in chemical research and people are still required to setup, maintain and program the robots, but the net number of jobs is significantly less than if the work was done manually. China has been investing strongly in robotics and a surge in automated factory development in the US could benefit Chinese companies despite Trump's desire to change the trade balance with them.
A more effective policy for Trump would be to drive investment in American robotics, which could be imported globally to support the growth of automated production in other countries, and to encourage the growth of niche manufacturers in the US. Although they represent a small percentage of manufacturing jobs in America they are growing because they can serve specific customer needs well, and market using affordable social media campaigns.
Automation in Marketing
While automation will block Trump's desire to create a mass of new manufacturing jobs a different form of automation is an increasingly useful tool for marketing. Software automation of tasks which were primarily manual allows companies of all sizes to simplify and save time with their campaigns, while still making them about the different needs and of specific customers. This includes:
- Creation of personalised messages which move customers from being aware of your product to ready to purchase based on what they care about
- Analysis of campaign success through tracking codes like Facebook's pixel and UTMs from Google to understand which give the best ROI
- Workflow automation to ensure the separate steps of your Customer Relationship Management process which involve different people, departments and tools, all happen smoothly
While effort is inevitably required to setup the system in the first place, once it's running it should require less effort and avoid leads falling through the cracks. I find automated onboarding emails a useful way to learn about a new topic or tool without being overwhelmed with a ton of information on day 1. While I haven't yet taken the plunge with a fully integrated system like Hubspot, I find MailChimp, Hootsuite and Capsule all great tools to save me time and help me to market what I do.
About The Author
Alasdair Graham is the founder of Apex Discovery and a coach who helps leaders and businesses grow. If you found this blog post useful then please share it.