Why Ad Automation Tools Aren’t Working and How to Fix It

As a possible recession looms and budgets tighten, marketers and agencies need to maximize the value of ad spend and labor. With the pressure on, marketers looking for automated tech solutions to help them do more with less will find no shortage of intelligent software promising an easy way to off-load repetitive tasks, free up time for creativity, and boost ROI.

But as many agencies and marketers discover, stocking up on intelligent solutions is not necessarily the solution to the problem of achieving efficiency at scale. Agencies find themselves caught in a vicious cycle: they’re adding more automation tools to their marketing stack and yet still spend too much time planning and managing campaigns. 

Two major factors contribute to this problem: the lack of a standardized campaign creation and management process as well as a lack of integration across the marketing tech stack. Let’s take a closer look at these two common frustrations with automation software as well as how agencies can overcome them to achieve greater efficiency and drive stronger results for clients.

Balancing creativity and standardization

The allure of any AI solution lies in its promise to eliminate boring and repetitive tasks, allowing users to focus their time on more engaging and fulfilling parts of their work. But reclaiming this creative time isn’t an out-of-the-box feature for most tools. Getting the most out of adtech automation software requires organization, strategic planning, and standardized best practices that integrate functionality into the creative process in a way that makes sense for your agency — and your clients.

Identifying the strengths your agency brings to its particular areas of expertise is the first step. Then, consider where and how you can mobilize creative assets to serve the different needs of your clients across verticals. From here, deploy software to efficiently maximize your creative power and expertise. 

For instance, use intelligent templates to streamline campaign creation for clients in a given vertical, collect creative for that vertical, and easily extend campaigns across distribution channels. Content originally produced for one format — display, Facebook, email — can be readily adapted in-platform for numerous other formats in just a few minutes. This is the power of automation and organization together.

Integrating the marketing tech stack

Redundancy is the biggest threat to efficiency when it comes to the marketing tech stack. Your agency may have a full suite of the newest tools in adtech automation and analytics. But if they can’t talk to each other, these tools operate more as silos than solutions. You lose time and money as you struggle to manually update and integrate data across a bloated tech stack.

How to avoid this trap? For one, take a discerning look before onboarding new software: build in time to fully integrate any new platforms into your existing tech stack before its operational debut. 

When it comes to managing your existing stack, identify operations-critical data and prioritize it. What essential information do you need from clients to execute baseline campaigns in your verticals? Establishing procedures to keep highest-priority information accessible and up to date across platforms ensures agencies aren’t losing time and money in unnecessary hands-on app management. A calculated approach to tech stack integration prevents errors risked by manual data management and ensures that marketers are prioritizing their expertise and energy where it will go furthest.

Getting the most out of advertising automation

With strong processes in place and a software suite working in concert, marketers should be able to work faster and smarter with the help of automation.

On the content front, intelligent platforms allow agencies to manage the needs of a variety of clients across verticals, generating differentiated ads and managing campaigns at scale. Content automation software gives marketers the framework and flexibility needed to efficiently create customized campaigns that align with each client’s unique objectives and strategic goals. With the ability to generate bulk actions, marketers can quickly and easily make changes across all campaigns, allowing them to adjust and optimize content according to client needs or evolving best practices.

As for optimization and measurement, ad automation software should provide insights and analytics to help marketers evaluate progress and adjust long-term strategy. For example, keyword analytics allows marketers to compile and track relevant terms by the thousands from one launchpad. With real-time tabs on the top keywords across clients and verticals, marketers gain access to data-driven insights into the subjects and types of content that play best with target audiences. Granular breakdowns of metrics by campaign empower marketers to act on their insights as well as to explore new avenues for engagement.

When it comes to integration, consider custom solutions that are built specifically for your business and its needs. Each agency has a different suite of tools. Great software can figure out how to make those tools work together in ways that each individual software provider cannot figure out before the fact.

Strategically implemented, intelligent solutions can help agencies grow revenue by streamlining client onboarding, generating differentiated content at scale, and accelerating delivery. With margins tightening, marketers looking to do more with less need their software speeding them up, not slowing them down.

Don't miss these insights: