Digital marketing is automated

7 ways to know if your digital marketing is automated

May 1, 2024

Just how automated is your digital marketing, actually?

In the digital age, marketing automation promises to make advertising easier, more efficient, and more effective. However, not all automation is created equal. For better or worse, ‘automation’ has become quite the buzzword, with many platforms claiming their digital marketing is automated, but behind the scenes, they rely heavily on manual processes — a far cry from the hands-off efficiency you might expect.

So are the tools you use providing you with real marketing automation?

To truly gauge whether your digital marketing platform offers real automation, ask yourself (or your provider) these critical questions.

Multi-channel campaign

1. Can I execute multi-channel campaign launches?

Can you seamlessly launch an advertisement across multiple digital channels — like Facebook, Instagram, Google Discovery Network, Google Search, TikTok, and more — all at once? True automation means integrating campaigns across various platforms without having to log into each ad channel and manually tweak settings for each campaign within them.

Why this matters: Real automation enables a unified strategy that amplifies your reach and maintains message consistency across platforms. It reduces the risk of human error and vastly improves operational efficiency, saving time and resources that could be better spent on strategic decision-making, generating new business, or better serving your clients rather than administrative tasks.

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2. How long does it take for my ad to go live after campaign creation? 

How quickly can your platform go from campaign creation to launch? If you’re waiting more than a few minutes to see your ad go live, you might be stuck in a semi-automated slog. Real automation should mean that ads can be launched or turned off almost instantaneously.

Why this matters: Timing is everything. Fast campaign deployment allows businesses to capitalize on trends and engage with audiences at peak times. Launching in real time means you can be more responsive and agile in your marketing approach. However, when your digital marketing platform is secretly relying on manual intervention behind the scenes, there is simply no way for them to build, launch, or dynamically change content on that campaign, let alone thousands of campaigns at the same time.

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3. Can I instantly launch ads during non-working hours?

Does your marketing stop outside of standard business hours? Truly automated systems allow you to launch campaigns anytime, whether it’s at night, over weekends, or on holidays — your ads should launch at the moment you want them to.

Why this matters: The ability to automate campaigns around the clock ensures that you’re always present in your customer’s lives, regardless of time zones or holidays, maximizing engagement opportunities without additional manpower. This additionally gives you much more flexibility to reach your customers when your competitors can’t. Is business slow over the weekend? Is there a local event happening on Friday or Saturday night? A truly automated solution means that you can go ahead and fire off an ad instantly that takes advantage of any opportunity. The reason your current solution doesn’t allow this is quite simple. Usually when you aren’t working, neither are they.

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4. Am I able to launch small-budget campaigns?

Many platforms have minimum spend requirements that make it impractical to run small-scale campaigns. A truly automated platform should allow you to run campaigns with any budget amount, and still make every dollar count.

Why this matters: Small-budget campaigns are excellent for testing new ideas and markets with minimal risk. Automation that supports low-budget campaigns provides flexibility and fosters innovation, allowing businesses of all sizes to refine their marketing strategies economically. In fact, we recently learned that one of our clients launched an ad for less than $2.00 — and got a qualified lead! Most of these supposedly ‘automated platforms’ don’t allow these low-spend campaigns because it is simply not profitable for them to pay their people to execute them.

Setting the campaign duration and launch an ad

5. How much flexibility do I have when it comes to campaign duration?

Can you run a campaign for a very short period — maybe just a few days or even hours? Automated systems should offer the flexibility to test short-lived campaigns without cumbersome setup processes or high overhead costs.

Why this matters: The flexibility to launch short-term campaigns quickly and easily can leverage momentary market opportunities, such as a special event or a sudden change in consumer behavior, which could be crucial for staying relevant and competitive. Many platforms that claim to be automated are actually interfaces to place an order to create a campaign. That order typically goes to a spreadsheet, where someone (likely overseas) is manually creating the campaign. As a consequence, these platforms limit their campaigns to run for set durations of time, making it economically viable to cover off on the labor hours needed to run them. The cost of turning on and off campaigns manually would be too prohibitive to execute campaign changes. Speaking of — the next question you should ask yourself is…

Icon - Pencil

6. Do I have the ability to adjust and/or update campaigns that are already live? 

Can your platform dynamically (or even manually for that matter) adjust campaign content based on real-time data? Whether it’s updating ad listings as inventory changes, adapting to weather conditions, or responding to recent events, true automation adapts quickly to the needs of the business.

Why this matters: Dynamic adjustments ensure that your campaigns remain relevant and effective throughout their duration. This responsiveness not only improves the ROI, but also enhances the customer experience by providing timely and pertinent content. Let’s say you launch a new campaign that you had originally planned to run for a short time, only to find that it started performing exceptionally well. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could then add more budget to that campaign, and extend it as well to strike while the iron is hot? If your current solution doesn’t allow it, you could be leaving real money on the table. Plus, as a reminder — the longer your campaign is live, the longer the channels’ machine learning optimization algorithms can work on it and the better the performance you will get.

Marketing automation across multiple locations

7. Can I instantly launch unique campaigns across hundreds or thousands of locations at once?

For businesses with multiple locations, can your platform manage and launch distinct campaigns tailored for each site instantly, and without manual intervention on a regular basis? Scalability is a hallmark of true automation, supporting your growth without increasing your workload.

Why this matters: Scalable automation supports consistent brand messaging across all locations while still allowing for local customization. This capability is critical for growing businesses that need to maintain brand integrity and relevance at every customer touchpoint without logistical complexities. How many people might it require to build and launch unique, highly localized campaigns by hand for hundreds of locations? How much time (and how many billable hours) might this take? With real automation, this can be done quite simply and nearly instantaneously.

Now you know if your digital marketing is automated

If you find your current digital marketing tools lacking in these areas, it might be time to question just how “automated” they really are. True automation empowers you to focus more on strategy and growth, leaving the repetitive and manual tasks to the machines. As you evaluate your digital marketing strategy, keep these questions in mind to ensure you’re investing in a solution that truly automates the marketing process. Effective automation should not only save time but also enhance your marketing effectiveness, enabling you to achieve better results, and gain more strategic insight, with less effort. Choose wisely—your digital marketing success depends on it.

Evocalize embodies the essence of true digital marketing automation. Our sophisticated platform ensures scalability, timeliness, effectiveness, visibility, and localization— all seamlessly integrated into a single solution. With Evocalize, you can launch targeted campaigns across multiple channels instantly, adapt to real-time data effortlessly, and gain invaluable insights through comprehensive analytics. Discover our marketing solutions today.

Complex digital marketing — automated. Learn more about Evocalize.

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