Why you can’t automate human connection

Why you can't automate human connection

The world of AI, chat-bots and marketing automation continues to grow, with every man and their dog talking about funnels and data visualisation and machine driven learning. All of these things are useful tools when utilised effectively but and its a huge but – most people make the mistake of choosing efficiency over effectiveness.

This week I had an interesting argument with an Executive Director who shall remain nameless (of course). They called me to ask how I was getting such large numbers of people registering for the BNI Prospect and Walkerville Discovery events.

I explained that I was going out to my wider personal digital network and asking them who they knew in their field that wanted to grow their business through referrals and was at the top of their game.

Their first question was “How did you automate that?” my answer – you can’t and why would I? The reason my network is so strong is because I don’t try and short cut human connection.

Mostly because it just doesn’t work. Me spamming my network with an automatic copy and paste email is not going to strengthen my network nor does it add context to the message in a way that lets these people know that I value their opinions.

Your engagement needs to be selective and considered and manually crafting these messages means I am talking to people within the context of where the relationship is at. Taking the time to engage on a personal level is something many people avoid but they then completely miss the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and the white noise that we are all drowning in.

I understand it’s not a popular opinion in the marketing world of quick fixes and silver bullets, but a relationship based approach to your digital channels garners long term results far beyond the instant gratification of simple leads.

After more than seven years of carefully building a wide and extensive presence on multiple digital platforms my online network has now become my go to place to find the solutions to anything that I need solved. Whether it’s for my BNI franchise, my social media agency or the pub – I have only to ask and my network bends its will to solve my problems.

Likewise my network knows that should they ever need my help or support they have only to ask. That is a level of credibility that is won over time and not by spamming everyone who accepts your connection request with a capability statement.


So the next time you jump online consider the impact of the words you write and the type of digital house you want to build. Learn from the three little pigs – a house of straw may well be time efficient but will it really help you weather the storms we so often encounter in life and business.

Share article

Picture of Simone Douglas

Simone Douglas

Simone is co-founder and Senior Principal Solutions Architect of Digital Marketing AOK. Simone offers over 17 years in corporate management roles encompassing generalist HR recruitment and development of small to large teams across multiple sites, industry sectors and states. Experienced in a variety of social media platforms and their complimentary applications, social media strategy, risk management, disaster recovery and associated HR policies and processes.