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2. Efficient Media Buying
If you look on the media front, the idea of “media buying” which used to be a largely human process has become completely automated and along with it media optimization. So, why is it that some brands still pay their agencies for armies of “media planners” and “buyers” – what is it exactly that they do when media has shifted to digital – programmatically bought media? Have agencies reduced the number of people being paid for by the brand to do this as they shift to digital? Has all the automation modern media buying platforms like DSPs bring to the table been used to reduce costs?
3. Auto-optimize to the best creatives and channels
The same with measurement and optimization of creative, armies of “analysts” seem to pore over reports printed out or plugged into massive and unreadable excel spreadsheets to determine “the best performing creatives” or “the best performing media channels or audiences.” Again, why is this still human powered when DCO software not only provides such insights in pre-aggregated dashboards and analytics, but DCO-based platforms like Jivox even have AI driven algorithms that automatically optimize towards the best performing creatives and media channels.
With automated optimization and creative versioning, brands can expect a significant increase in ROI while reducing production costs.
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Be a smart marketer, lean on the right side of automation
An awareness of these inefficiencies is what created the in-housing trend a few years ago. Brand marketers felt that leaving key marketing functions in the hands of agencies inherently created inefficiencies because yesterday’s agencies were, afterall, largely people-driven and not tech-driven.
Traditional media and creative were both people driven. While some forward thinking agencies have embraced technology, many still follow the non-digital model of people-driven creative production and media services, rather than embracing automation. Embracing technology and automation often threatens the very business model of yesterday’s agencies – where traditional creative production methods and manual campaign optimization were the money makers.
Unfortunately, the knee jerk reaction some marketers have had when faced with budget cuts has been to outsource even more and push marketing activities to agencies where such costs could be folded into media provider fees or agency media fees. While this in itself is not an altogether bad strategy, not all agencies have pivoted to adopting automation to deliver efficiencies to their brands. The reality is that without automation the costs and inefficiencies don’t go away. They have simply been recategorized, and all it serves to do is reduce the amount of the budget being spent to reach customers.
While this in itself is not an altogether bad strategy, not all agencies have pivoted to adopting automation to deliver efficiencies to their brands. The reality is that without automation the costs and inefficiencies don’t go away. They have simply been recategorized, and all it serves to do is reduce the amount of the budget being spent to reach customers.
Smart marketers on the other hand are realizing that the best way to manage through leaner marketing budgets is to lean even more heavily into technology and automation. Any other solution is a losing battle because the manual, human powered ways of producing creative, buying and optimizing media and creative will only get more and more expensive as tech savvy labor costs continue to increase and media channels formats and options continue to expand and proliferate.
There is a lot of money hiding with marketing and media budgets in the form of human powered processes and ancient workflows that need to change. A cut in the marketing budgets may be exactly the impetus for smart marketers to require their internal teams and external agencies to use automation.