Digital Marketing Automation

AutomationDigital MarketingAutomationAI

Every organization needs an automation strategy for digital marketing.

In digital marketing we strive for all channels to deliver a consistent and engaging brand experience. If you have a retail store this should also be part of the entire experience. This makes your brand more powerful and engaging and helps you stand out from the noise.

Our digital strategy combines three channels:

  • Email campaigns
  • Search Engine
  • Social

Each of these channels requires thousands of man hours to optimize. Each channel is constantly changing. Each channel takes years to master.

Automating these systems as much as possible is the way you can turn your ad spend into big returns.

A Typical Scenario

Imagine you are launching a new campaign. You go into Google Ads and configure a new campaign, a new ad and guess a few keywords that might be relevent. Then you do the same with some new Facebook Ad Sets and a few key groups you think might be interested in the offering. Finally, you look through your email list and come up with some way to target the right people.
Once you set it, you have a few problems: Are you targeting the right people, how do you know? What channel is the most effective and how do you tell? What changes do you need to make to adjust the campaign to make sure it’s optimized?

Just worrying about this alone is enough to occupy the entire day, every day. You still need to come up with the right ads, a relevant landing page, and do your regular job. Even still you may not be getting it right.

Become Data Driven

The benefit of these digital marketing platforms is that they generate a ton of data. Data in turn can be useful for making decisions. The issue is the data generated by each platform is contained within that platform. Google Ads and Facebook Business Manager don’t offer a single place to retrieve data and analyze it. Your options can be to use Tableau or some other sophisticated tools, but that is more than most people can really do. Not to mention they are somewhat cost prohibitive. Another strategy we use is we store all of the data in a data lake that is then crawled by algorithms we’ve written to make sense of it.

The point is, future decisions on where and how you spend your advertising dollars should be driven by the data. If you aren’t using it, you are going to lose to your competitors who are using data to make the decisions.

Algorithms

Once the data is collected we can write simple steps that tell us: Which campaigns are successful, which are not. Then we can find better demographics. This is an iterative process that we can do every day with computers. They are very good at repetitive tasks. Once you have algorithms you can have several ideas of what you can do next:

  • Create a new campaign targeting men 18-24 years old on coastal cities
  • Make sure we only target mobile devices
  • Advertise only on the weekends on Google and advertise weekdays on Social Media

You can start to get very granular with your advertising. With this process we can save money on ineffective campaign words.

This also allows us to find new customers by analyzing the terms people are clicking on and the demographics of the people. Then we can understand our next steps.

Automation

Once we know where to go, we need to automatically update our campaigns, ads, demographics, and keywords. Both Google, Facebook, Klaviyo and other platforms have free “APIs” that allow computer code to talk to them. Getting access to Google and Facebook APIs is quite a complicated process and they don’t make it easy. However, given a few weeks you could get access and then a computer program could take the output of your algorithms and apply them to your campaigns.

One example we did: We had a generic farming campaign that generated a few conversions. Each time the conversion happened, we created a new Ad group from that keyword, turned it into an exact match, and negated the keyword from the former ad group it was in. We also knew how much we needed to pay for this keyword, saving 100s of dollars a day across several campaigns. We were also able to get very granular.

Repetition

The great thing about automation is that it doesn’t mind doing daily mundane tasks. Once a system is in place you can let it run for several weeks and evaluate the performance. We’ve seen dramatic increases in ROAS through analyzing giving us a 10x+ return in our investment.

The road ahead

Going forward you will need to have some sort of automation strategy for your digital marketing efforts. Many people use Ad agencies to perform some of these efforts. What we have seen is that a few of these agencies run a “set it and forget it” ooperation, updating Ads on a monthly to quarterly basis. We encourage you to speak with your ad agency and ask them how they are automating your campaigns.

At Castle Rock Data we work with agencies and clients to automate their ad spending processes. Our clients have been very happy with our work and we are looking forward to helping more people maximize their investment in digital ad spending.