05.03.19

In Social Advertising, Marketing Automation Tools are a Godsend

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In the modern sense, automation was coined by D.S. Harder, an engineering manager at the Ford Motor Company. Today, automation spans beyond the automotive industry and applies itself to anything deemed too costly or time consuming to do at scale, including social advertising. Just like D.S. Harder used automation to improve Ford’s production of automobiles decades ago, marketing generalists as well as social media analysts and ad buyers are applying automation to marketing to do the same: to work better, faster, and smarter.

 

For Social Ad Buyers, the Need for Marketing Automation Tools was Overdue

If there’s one element solely responsible for the rise of marketing automation, it’s the degree of complexity throughout the world of digital communication. Initially, marketing automation tools were systems for scaling email marketing efforts. No longer. Social advertising has become a key component.

When Facebook first introduced ads to its platform in 2007, managing the twists and turns of one ecosystem was within the realm of possibilities. Today, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

For any social ad campaign to succeed, media buyers must constantly pull the right strings, turn the right dials, and throttle up and down when necessary. Everything from adjusting campaign bids and budgets to swapping creative and targeting combinations, the role of the modern social media buyer is far too complex to manage without outside help. It’s impossible.

When we add the fact that most paid social initiatives span across ecosystems and platforms, each with different nuances and intricacies, one can see why social ad buyers would wave the white flag.

Thankfully, the market is responding, opening up opportunities for media buyers to offload some of the time-consuming but necessary tasks of social advertising. Today, marketing automation tools shouldn’t be seen as a sign of weakness, they should be seen as a strategic move to boost performance and efficiency.

 

The Power of Marketing Automation Tools in the Hands of Social Advertisers

The popularity of marketing automation tools continues to grow. According to Forrester, marketing automation spend will reach $25 billion by 2023, which will represent a 120% increase when compared to 2017. For any social advertising purchase decision maker, this shouldn’t be a surprise—the power and benefits of marketing automation tools are unparalleled and unmatched.

Added Time-Savings

Marketing automation tools can vary in function. What we do know is that most of them aim to take mundane, repetitive tasks off the table—and social advertising is no different. Think: bid and budget adjustments and promoting content based on performance. Because media buyers spend hours every day paying attention to the nuances of campaigns across the social ecosystem, they often find themselves jumping through flaming hoops instead of focusing on higher-return activities like strategy and creative.  

If the “necessary evils” of social ad campaign management are controlled by marketing automation tools, the result is added time back. Rather than spending time on rote calculations and maintenance, media buyers can address higher-level questions and activities, like, “How can we get users to interact with our product?” or “Are we targeting the right audience?” With more time, media buyers have the bandwidth to move the needle in ways that are more impactful.

Boosted Performance and Efficiency

No matter how much money social media buyers put into campaigns, the reality is that social ad management is the key to cost performance. The best way to avoid over-investment is by optimizing campaigns several times a day. Done manually, this can take hours and leave plenty of room for human error.

By adding marketing automation tools, social media ad buyers can slash waste and boost performance and efficiency through frequent and automatic optimizations day and night while keeping tabs on how fast their ad dollars are spent.

Decreased Learning Curve and Increased Campaign Execution

Between added features and deprecated functionality, the levers and dials media buyers have to turn are constantly changing. Take Facebook vew tags. Initially introduced as a way to measure ad impressions on desktops, their function lost luster as habits shifted to mobile. Facebook responded, and media strategies had to adjust. It was either sink or swim. These changing tides are built into most marketing automation tools and remove much of the need to stay apprised of every change in direction.

To amplify the challenge, what happens when a new platform comes to the table and a client wants to invest experimental budget? Generally, the onus is on the media planner and the media analysts and buyers to get up to speed. However, if their marketing automation tools are engineered to account for emerging adtech in a way that mirrors existing interfaces, the learning curve drops and mastering each channel takes hours, not days.

 

Bringing Marketing Automation Tools to Life with Iris by Brand Networks

At Brand Networks, we recognize the importance of giving media teams the marketing automation tools they need to save time and energy without sacrificing performance. That’s why we built Iris by Brand Networks.

Inside the platform, our rules-based automation helps media buyers control their social campaigns based on conditions (e.g. impression capping, responding to campaign KPIs). Furthermore, with third-party providers integrated into Iris, media buyers can activate or pause their campaigns based on real-world events, such as weather and sports games. Automation like this helps deliver more relevant experiences to audiences across social.

To empower even more automation inside Iris, we launched Rule Templates, a range of predefined templates that allow media buyers to easily activate a specific rule for their campaigns. This means that by choosing a Rule Template, the conditions and actions are pre-populated for the campaign–saving time. This reduces the risk of manual errors when setting up rules with complex logic, and simplifies Open Signals’ workflow, allowing media buyers to focus on more strategic decisions.


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