Automation could be the missing link your organization lacks that’s holding it back from being truly strategic and creative.
Today’s marketing environment requires businesses to be nimble and responsive to changes in the market and shifting consumer demands. But many are still mired in the same day-to-day grind of demanding marketing work that’s been present for many years now. In fact, less than 10% of companies make meaningful use of marketing automation.
Marketing leaders should be looking for ways to introduce automation into nearly all of their efforts; especially the most time-consuming tasks that kill their teams’ productivity. Here are four marketing fields that can immediately benefit from increased automation:
Pulling reports has been the bane of marketers’ existence for decades. As an analytical discipline, we marketers love the data and insights that reports offer—but often dread the frequently painstaking process of wrestling with analytics software and spreadsheets, transferring the appropriate information and organizing it into some semblance of comprehensibility.
For all the investment we put into marketing analytics recruitment and technology, a lot of the potential value is lost due to ineffective or inefficient reporting. It’s a massive time sink, and one that’s prone to human error when people start pulling and processing numbers on their own.
But none of that needs to be the case. Extensive reporting automation SaaS already exists, and experienced marketing automation staffing should have no problem integrating your systems or even custom-creating your own in-house solutions. These services can continuously gather data on their own in real-time, organize and track it in the way you find most useful, display it in a meaningful and visually appealing manner, and notify you when something interesting is happening. No intern needed.
They even go as far as automatically sending completed and pre-formatted documents straight to your email address, database folder, or even your printer at a predefined time. And most automated solutions are constantly monitoring your target metrics, so reports are available on-demand as needed for quick decision making and strategy.
Email is probably the most commonly-automated channel marketers have at their disposal. Understandably so: it’s relatively cheap, offers impressive ROI, and is relatively easy to implement.
In fact, you’ve probably used email automation on a personal level, whether you’ve realized it or not. If you’ve ever set up an “Out of Office” reply or created filters that move incoming emails to various folders, that’s automation! It’s not much more difficult for businesses to establish even more advanced features, especially with the rise of a variety of user-friendly email services.
One way email marketing staffing makes use of automation is through the use of “triggered” responses: specially-tailored messages send directly to a consumer when they take a specific action. This is a great way to provide an exceptional customer experience, engage consumers at an opportune time, or reinforce a decision.
Ad and Media Buying
Programmatic purchasing is revolutionizing the world of advertising, and 90% of ad executives expect to grow their investments into automated ad buying over the next two years.
This emerging media buying strategy has boomed in recent years as a way for brands to more optimally purchase the most valuable ad space at the most valuable time. Instead of making wholesale media deals or bulk ad purchases, advertising staffing can now carefully designate the circumstances in which they want their messages to be seen, easily customize which ads are viewed, and designate the rate they’re willing to pay for viewership.
This can pull a lot of direct pressure off your media team, which probably spends a huge portion of their time negotiating buys, searching for cost-effective placements, and verifying transactions. Automation of purchases allows them to focus on the more strategic and analytical aspects of their job and improve advertising ROI.
Formerly confined largely to the digital realm, programmatic is now even making inroads with other channels like TV and will likely expand to even more emerging and traditional media as time passes. However, widespread adoption of programmatic practices will likely be slow due to the relatively low pool of potential talent: organizations are finding that programmatic advertising staffing and recruitment are surprisingly difficult. Without experienced programmatic experts on hand, business will need excellent general automation recruitment and a strong advertising executive search to stay on top of the growing trend.
Social Media Engagement
Most modern social media marketing strategies require consistent, regular activity on multiple networks. And 42% of customers expect a response to an inquiry, complaint or comment left on social channels within an hour.
A lot of effort is required to keep up with a 24/7 social media environment, and sometimes there simply aren’t any shortcuts. But automation can alleviate some of the constant pressure on your business to maintain a critical digital presence and provide the experience consumers demand. With good social media staffing, it’s possible to create an engaging content schedule with strategically-timed posts to maximize visibility.