Budget management is an essential part of advertising agencies because it’s how they ensure they meet customer goals and maximize their revenue. However, keeping up with underspend, overspend, and pacing is error-prone, tedious, and unscalable. If you're catering to an inventory-driven industry—such as automotive retail, real estate or the like—budget management can consume hundreds of hours, monopolizing most of your analysts’ time.
What your team needs is a solution to handle all of the complexities of budgeting automatically—not manually. In this article, we will dissect the optimal approaches for overseeing budgets within a challenging ad operations setting, while showcasing ways to streamline what was once a laborious task. Let’s dig in.
Advertising Budgeting Before Automation: Manual Challenges in a Dynamic Landscape
Ad strategists and operational teams have long grappled with challenges inherent to manual budget management—from distributing budgets across a multitude of channels, to basing decisions on past data and gut instinct rather than real-time insights, to attempting to adjust to swiftly-changing market conditions.
With Google as an example, we've all experienced the need to overshoot budgets to ensure spend and that gets risky of overspend potential. It's extremely difficult to thread that needle of allowing for overshoot, but stopping spend as you meet your 100% budget.
Here’s a closer look at four key work streams that are dominating advertisers’ time:
- Calculating daily spends based on the remaining monthly/flighted budget
- Logging into Google, Facebook, and the like to update all the individual across accounts
- Shifting budget from under performing or underspending campaigns into better performing campaigns or most conversions
- Calculating the under or overspend at the end of the month and rolling over that amount into the next month's manual calculations
The absence of data-driven decision-making has also traditionally made achieving accurate ROI measurements a hurdle. Managing budgets and ROI in industries characterized by complex bidding competition and cost fluctuations only compounded the challenges, as did the growing array of available advertising channels. In short, the manual approach to budget management has often proven to be ineffective and is increasingly being replaced by automation.
Accelerating Budget Management with Automation: Key Workflows and Best Practices
Automation can transform budget management from a laborious process to a single button push. Regardless of your budget's size or complexity, automated procedures can alleviate some of the longstanding problems traditionally associated with manual efforts.
Budget automation has evolved significantly since its inception. Here are the key work streams and processes that advertising teams can now address via automation while maintaining control of their strategies.
1. Budget allocation, pacing, rebalancing and rollover: Automation solutions can pace monthly or flighted budgets towards a set goal—updating it continuously for the partner to meet that goal at the end of the budget, while transforming the historical process of editing daily budgets so you can work off a recurring monthly or flighted budget model.
2. Underspend mitigation: With automation, advertisers will have the newfound ability to accurately and much more effectively put clients’ ad dollars to work—especially if they’re dealing with outsized scale demands. We like to think of it as automation, your way, within the boundaries you set.
3. Account, campaign and group-level management: Managing spend at the account, campaign and group-level is cumbersome and often leaves users in the dark. With automation, users can streamline this process by managing spend at all levels. Additionally, features like notifications automatically flag and alert users of optimization opportunities or budget concerns so they’re never left in the dark.
It’s clear: with automation, advertisers can save time by eliminating the repetitive tasks associated with budgeting—allowing for more focused financial planning and analysis.
Fluency’s RPA4A Platform: Leveraging Automation to Streamline Budgeting
At Fluency, our Robotic Process Automation for Advertising (RPA4A) enabled platform makes budget management efficient and easy. Want to see our tool in action? Take a look at this video:
See What the Power of AI and Automation Can Do for Your Budgeting Strategy
Experience the power of automation and see what it can do for your budgeting strategy. But don't just take our word for it. Here is a testimonial from one of our satisfied users: “Managing budgets in Fluency is much easier than what we were doing in a previous platform. That’s a resounding opinion—company-wide at Click Here Digital—I find it incredibly easy.”
Book a demo today and start your journey towards hassle-free budget management.