Why Digital Agencies Are Jumping on The Automation Bandwagon
The idea of marketing automation, the automation of internal processes, customer service, managing budgets and projects, has an enticing appeal to digital agencies.
Working with multiple clients, often with various projects, can be a complicated task. It's easy to lose track of client communication, budgeting expectations and limitations as well as the myriad of internal communications and processes.
Being able to automate your marketing strategies and all of its related tasks is a brilliant idea. However, it is an idea that comes with its own set of unique problems. Determining the best automation tools and being able to distinguish between those things that must be automated and those things that must not, is critical to effective digital management.
What's your organisation has determined that it does, in fact, need some tools for automation cover it's also essential to be able to articulate how you're going to benefit from them. Here are seven reasons to get on board with automation in the most common areas of digital agency management.
Automating Your Workflow
Any decent inbound marketing strategy requires a range of tools to manage the process. Those tools might used in the development of high converting web pages, forms, project management templates and
Tools that are designed for workflow automation ties processes together and allow in-house and remote teams to collaborate on individual projects.
As discussed in Buildapreneur's review of Active Campaign, tools such as Active Campaign allow you to visualise these internal workflow processes, automate tasks and communication within your team.
It also allows you to visualise your marketing goals and develop strategies to improve those goals.
One of the critical factors for quality business management is the management of time and the measure of time against productivity.
Functional automation means simplifying routine marketing processes. The goal is to remove repetition inherent in manual tasks.
Creating new forms cover templates and database is for each new project or client is beyond tedious and counterproductive if your business is to grow. Automation allows you to organise client data and developed information tools that can be used for repeatedly across clients.
They also allow you to monitor and update client portfolios, marketing strategies, internal processes and standardise a good number of routine tasks.
The automation tools you choose could be as simple as Google suite of professional office software or be the results of your own internal software development.
Trello, Aero Leads and keyword planning tools are all excellent examples of automation that can boost productivity.
Increase Your Return on Investment
An increase in productivity should result in an increase in your return on investment, or increased revenue. By minimising the number of repetitive tasks and increasing the opportunity for productivity, digital agencies should be able to expand both client base and service delivery and have a direct impact on your bottom line.
What you should be waiting up with each tool you purchase is whether it will provide you with a real return financially on your initial investment.
Digital agencies need to tread carefully here. Most digital agencies report and an increase in revenue as a result of using automation. However, not every tool on the market will actually provide you with a measurable return. The purpose of automation is not automation for automation sake.
The tools you adopt and incorporate into your business will require maintenance, upgrades and support from time to time. You need to weigh up the real value of the tool to ensure that it is providing you with a profitable return.
Useful marketing automation tools will do this for you. They will serve the organisation by limiting human error and repetition and allow more efficient delivery.
Effective Automation Improves Client Relationships
Automation did not negatively impact client, business to business or business to customer relationships. In fact, when implemented thoughtfully and properly, they can serve to build and strengthen client retention, loyalty and relationships.
For example, the ability to automate reporting and allow clients to access instant updates on the progress of any project increases confidence. Providing this kind of access to automated tools allows for greater transparency and enables clients to develop more trustworthy relationships with digital agencies.
Automation need not mean the removal of human communication. Instead, functional automation should serve to make that communication more efficient, timely and professional.
Good automation must also improve web accessibility so that the maximum number of people can participate and share in client and business-to-business relationships.
Being able to track the ebb and flow of client and business communication is critical.
Beyond basic messaging, service and client-focused communication and automation allows you to separate tasks, we order priorities and ensure the often overlooked elements of communication are monitored and dealt with efficiently.
Tracking Multiple Campaigns
For those in the digital marketing space looking to make money online, being able to track the progress of multiple campaigns can be a nightmare. A single client may have eight or more individual campaigns running at any one time.
Whether they are paid media buys, Facebook advertising, Google advertising, search engine optimisation projects, content marketing initiatives and more, these all need to be tracked and monitored in order to determine their success and report of them accurately.
Monitoring tools are a big business these days. From Raven to MOZ, SEM Rush to Web CEO, InstaPage to Unbounce, Majestic and more, these tools are capable of integrating complex marketing projects, tracking and improving landing page conversions and enable in-house teams to follow-up projects.
They also ensure that projects are not abandoned mid-way or that any stalling can be quickly rectified.
When incorporated into smart reporting tools, they take a massive chunk out of data entry tasks, enabling agencies to focus on greater reach and deliverables.
Marketing automation can clearly tag connected staff, teams and interested parties. It makes accountability and project management more transparent by enabling management to monitor the actual workflow of each team. This has become increasingly necessary with the surge in remote teamwork.
Automation software allows marketing teams to see exactly who is accountable for each task and where those processes are currently up to.
This is a massive boost for organisational efficiency and for those who are responsible for monitoring and are accountable for, their remote and in-house divisions.
Clearly defined processes put everybody on the same page, and, by tagging the individuals responsible for those processes, an agency can step in and provide support of training, goal setting and skills acquisition when needed.
While the software behind marketing automation might be complex, it's goal is to reduce complexity. The provision of visual tools that allow you to imagine entire projects in a single shot are invaluable.
They enable multiple teams to have input to the processes, make recommendations and simplify often complex marketing strategies and methods.
They also remove the cumbersome information not needed by individuals engaged in specific tasks.
The content marketing team is not distracted by the clutter of other project and management process is going on around them but can distil their core objectives and goals in a clutter-free environment.
Those responsible for financial management are able to separate tasks and look clearly and cleanly at the economic issues for which they are responsible.
Good automation software hides the complexity, enabling marketing seems to act and comprehend swiftly.
Today, the question is not whether you need good marketing automation but which tools and which processes you're going to implement to ensure that the automation is in place.
Automation allows you to take the guesswork out of project management and insurance consistent branding, processes and hopefully, consistently good outcomes for digital agencies.
Feature Image, Pexels, CC0 License
Additional Images, courtesy of Active Campaign