Marketing automation has become one of the more commonly discussed topics in the advertising arena, as new technologies and techniques are offering professionals and businesses methods to modernize their brand management strategies. Although plenty of new advances in advertising technology have been released in the past few years, perhaps none have been quite as transformative as automation, which is not making its way into countless aspects of the brand management discussion.
In some instances, this will be referred to as programmatic, though almost only when discussing the buying and selling process for space on websites. With programmatic advertising, marketers are increasingly leveraging platforms that will streamline the publishing process, including the relationships with publishers that they rely on, to improve visibility and placement while simultaneously decreasing the cost of getting these projects done.
Programmatic is not the only form of marketing automation, though, as firms are beginning to leverage tools that enhance the performance of other components as well, including email marketing and general reporting needs. Firms that have not yet considered the merits of automation within the advertising department should certainly begin researching the technology soon, as gains can be made in a relatively short period of time following deployment.
This is somewhat of a novel concept for many in the field, though, so understanding some of the core components is the first step toward an effective and profitable experience with these solutions is research. Automation should not be viewed as a means to replace staff members, but rather as a supportive range of solutions that can improve performances of employees and the brand itself, and a little background will help to move this idea along.
More marketing automation to come
Business 2 Community’s Jessica Johnson recently explained that the vast majority of firms have yet to embrace marketing automation in any form, while some that have are not realizing the returns they expected due to poor deployment procedures. She pointed out that only a little more than one-fifth of marketers have started to use automation tools, while the sheer novelty of the solutions involved make it difficult to easily get them into motion in the business.
This is somewhat of a common theme throughout the ad tech community, as there is so much potential contained therein, but marketers still need to have time to get comfortable with the solutions before they can possibly enjoy optimal outcomes and performance. Johnson affirmed that automation can be used in all different types of marketing processes, including campaign execution, measurement, analysis, segmentation and list building.
According to the author, automation-based performances will be reliant upon existing policies and strategic frameworks within the marketing department, which is another important concept in the larger discussion of new technology deployments. When, for example, an analytics program is implemented, existing issues with data accuracy and efficiency can prevent firms from realizing the full range of benefits that ought to accompany the deployment.
Finally, she went on to note that lead generation and management should be a priority among firms that are looking to automate more marketing procedures, and this demands plenty of research and the selection of tools that align with core objectives.
Getting it right
Entrepreneur Magazine listed some of the more common problems and errors companies will allow to occur that inherently hold a marketing automation endeavor back from achieving goals, beginning with objective creation. According to the news provider, many firms will simply not have a strong list of objectives in place, or the ones illustrated in a plan will simply lack clarity, which puts the company in a bad position to excel with these technologies.
Other challenges that are plenty common outside the realm of automation will also lead to lackluster results, as the source argued that existing performance measurement systems, poor communication and ignorance regarding customer behaviors and preferences will be magnified by the deployments. This is always going to be an important matter to remember in business, as automation is indeed best served as a support rather than replacement.
When a company tries to supplant staff members with automation software, chances are disruptions and inaccuracies will begin to sprout up, and this is especially true if strategies have not been refined in the first place. On the other hand, when a firm does not have a tight plan in place, nor does it properly measure and adjust its marketing strategies regularly, chances are it will not enjoy the full breadth of automation’s benefits.
Marketing automation can indeed help to push companies in a more efficient, productive and accurate direction by way of brand management, but must be handled properly and approached with care. In the coming years, automation will become more important, and companies that get onboard today will be better positioned to excel tomorrow.