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Automation Readiness Part 1: Defining Your Strategy

For digital advertising agencies, automation streamlines your processes and guides your trajectory toward your ultimate goal, whether that be scaling, optimizing your bottom line, or another positive outcome. But the act of automation itself is not a snap of a finger—and while the right partner can reduce the pain of transition, it’s helpful for agencies to prepare for what will likely be a major shift in how they approach their work. We call it a “journey.” 

One key aspect of automation readiness is defining your strategy. What does it mean to define your strategy as a digital ad agency, and how do you go about it? Here’s your guide.

What It Means to Define Your Strategy

The word “strategy” can mean a lot of things, but in this case, we’re referring to your overall organizational strategy: identifying your competitive differentiators in the market, identifying your client-facing value proposition, how those both continue to evolve, and documenting your approach from end to end.

Before we dig into this, it’s important to emphasize something: while defining your strategy can put you so far ahead as you enter the automation onboarding process, don’t let it be a point of discouragement if you’re not there yet. The right ad tech provider, like Fluency, will help you uncover many more tangible opportunities than you even thought existed. After all, this is about automation readiness, not eligibility.

Put It On Paper: Your Value Proposition and Competitive Differentiators

If you’re in business of any kind, you know how important it is to stand out in the market and hone your direction. For digital ad agencies looking to automate, this becomes even more important.

Part of defining your strategy includes documenting:

What differentiates your agency from your competitors: In other words, what makes you…you?

Your agency’s value proposition as it stands (AKA before automation): This includes what you’re selling, how you’re selling it, your audience, and all the other details that give your agency its identity. Also, let’s not forget ‘what’ you have to do (internally) to deliver.

These factors may seem basic, but it’s crucial to intimately understand your message before you start to visualize how it could evolve through automation.

Here are two pro tips before we move on to the next step of defining your strategy:

  1. Get granular. Automation is a growth opportunity, and intimately defining your competitive differentiators and value proposition makes automation that much more impactful.
  2. Be open to change. In addition to providing a chance to grow in your ideal direction, automation allows you to evolve your value and differentiators even further. This is because it enables you to do things you may not have been able to do before (because of limited operational capabilities, for example). With the opportunities that automation provides, you can expand and even diversify the ways you give value to clients.

Where Does Automation Fit In to Your Approach

As part of your preparation for the automation journey, let’s dig a bit deeper into your strategic agency approach.

Ask yourself some key questions, understanding that the best answers will help your ad tech partner find where automation will fit best in your agency:

  • What are the different levels of your agency operations that enable your value proposition? How do they interact and support one another (spoken literally—what is your process?)
  • Is your sales strategy guided, informed, or even limited by your operational capabilities?
  • What is your growth plan and how did you come up with it? (Hint—if there are any operational limitations hindering your growth plan, the right automation technology can eliminate those obstacles.)
  • What are your key opportunities? What about your challenges and roadblocks? (If you did a SWOT analysis in the early stages of your agency, now is the time to redraw it.)
  • What (if any) technologies do you invest in, and why? (You’ll be surprised what you can put back to the bottom line with streamlined operations!)

This will help you outline your current approach; automation will flip it on its head—for the better.

Ready, Set, Strategize: Fluency Will Guide You to Automation

Automation partners should be tackling these topics and helping you define your strategy. If they’re not, they’re the wrong partner—point blank. Coming to the conversation with something in your backpack is helpful, but there’s no need to freak out if you find yourself struggling to prepare for automation. Strategy is an evolving conversation, and Fluency is here to make the path toward Robotic Process Automation for Advertisers (RPA4A) as streamlined as possible.

As Tomy Szczypiorski, Fluency’s VP of Client Services, says, “Automation is a gateway to a better version of yourself.”

Stay tuned for more information on preparing for automation, including why and how to document your processes, and readying for change management.