Technology can be a blessing or a curse for digital marketers. The right use of technology can boost an agency’s productivity, improve their performance, and convey value to their clients. The wrong use of technology can lead to complicated processes and expensive monthly fees at its best.
We believe technology, when applied correctly, supports your business objectives. The rule of thumb is that you should only automate once you have a defined process that is working. Through working with multiple digital marketing agencies, we have identified five such well-defined and common processes that are great candidates for automation.
Most of the value digital marketers provide to clients gets communicated through recurrent client reporting (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) and therefore it is important to have confidence these reports are relevant and showcase your work.
Demonstrating value is challenging when reports are created manually because in a manual process they can not deliver the level of consistency, timeliness, or quality of automated reporting. For example, if you don’t have automated reporting most of an account team member’s time is consumed by locating, and pulling information, consolidating the information, then making it presentable. Given the repetitive nature of reporting, and that is not optional, it is typically the first process digital marketers ask us to help them execute as efficiently as possible.
For companies providing services around media products, one of the primary responsibilities is being sure a client’s budget is distributed and used as efficiently and effectively as possible. Although the level of optimization is related and limited by the size of the budgets, certain controls are recurrent, time-consuming, and apply to any budget size and thus is also a good candidate to automate. Common attributes of budget automation:
- An even pacing of the spend throughout the month
- Assuring that better performing campaigns receive most of the budget
- Being sure that all campaigns, at any point of the month, can at least buy a click
- Obtaining timely performance alerts to react to
There are a lot more sophisticated things to do in budget automation, but more and more that is being tasked by the engines themselves allowing you to concentrate on executing these tasks at scale.
As it relates to budgets, the scope of what you can do for optimization is also related to the budget levels. However, multiple tools can help in this area such as Optmyzr, ClickSweeper, PPC BidMax. Integrating these tools with your overall solution is an ideal situation. The other area to look for are ways to implement optimization changes in a scalable manner. For example, Adwords provides ways to implement rules and scripts that can run making scalable changes across all your campaigns to adopt the recommendations you get out of the optimization tools.
The way information flows through the organization is key to working efficiently. Being sure that ad changes or client requests don’t fall through the cracks is not only fundamental for client satisfaction, it is also essential to increase productivity and lower human labor costs. Trying to find out what happened by pulling multiple people into meetings just to try to make sense of where you are for a given client, is not a great use of your or your team’s time.
Documenting how information flows through your client delivery team is an essential first step. With a clear current state documented you can develop a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) where you can use software to help track issues like Trello, Jira, Basecamp in combination with SLACK to more smoothly execute your SOPs.
Tangocode helps many clients develop their workflows so that team members across departments can see and complete tasks in their inbox.
5. Campaign Placement
Automating this process makes sense when you have to create a sizeable amount of campaigns every day. This is especially relevant for search and display campaigns as there are multiple elements involved in creating these type of campaigns. Technology can help this process be done in seconds instead of hours. However, even if you automate campaign placement, it does imply it needs to be a cookie-cutter process. There are multiple ways to make ads and keywords as localized and relevant as possible. Using templates to store the structure of a campaign and then integrating services such as the Google Target Idea and Traffic Estimator, you can discover keywords and thus relevant terms to replace in ads to make keywords and ads both relevant and scalable at the same time.
Taking a look at how your team handles these five processes is a great start if you are looking to increase your margins by adding more clients or becoming a leaner organization.
This is not a one-time deal but more of a continual evolution to optimize a process, test it, push its boundaries and continue to look and optimize the rest of the four processes. Through continuous improvement, this approach will yield a productive team that is focused on innovation and optimization and in turn will result in happy clients.
Every digital marketing delivery team is different and finding the right combination of automation, and human touch is key to making you unique. Whether your business is 10, 30, or 100+ people we can help you craft a strategy aligned with both your short and long-term goals and that grows with you.
Interested in discussing the automation of these five processes further? We encourage leaving a comment below to start the conversation!