Many of us here at Fluency have been in the digital advertising world for over a decade now and can remember the early days of using Google Adwords when it first launched. In comparison to today’s Google Ads, it was very simple. Select what keywords you wanted to advertise on, and place a bid. View your end results and iterate on the process to achieve the best results.
Over time, this process has become more and more complex with Google expanding on how we can target searchers, and for many organizations, the manual approach to advertising remained. Companies believe that their operations are working and approach their Google ad strategy by making manual and incremental tweaks, edits and updates. These companies will operate at this pace and see some marginal gains and think they are on track and their strategy is validated. But within an ever-changing technology world, practices like this are not only outdated but unsustainable. Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet, agrees:“Most companies decay slowly over time because they tend to do approximately what they did before, with a few minor changes. It’s natural for people to want to work on things that they know aren’t going to fail. But incremental improvement is guaranteed to be obsolete over time. Especially in technology, where you know, there’s going to be non-incremental change”
As technology - especially ad tech - develops in sophistication, the tools to manage it are becoming increasingly simplified and automated, bringing new levels of functionality to the surface. If such capabilities exist today, why do companies continue to operate their Adwords accounts manually and individually, rather than automate tasks that are time-consuming to employees? We couldn’t figure it out either, so to explore the question, we looked at the evolution of bidding over the last 20 years to see where complexity spiked and likely kept users trapped in the DIY phase.
The growing complexity with bidding, targeting, creatives, and the addition of new advertising channels and networks has made it challenging, if not impossible, for some users to keep up. Bidding, specifically, is only one of many areas of Google Ads that has undergone massive advancements; so much so that it could warrant a full-time job to manage it. But recent advancements in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence have made automation of operations very tangible for every business.
Today’s Digital Advertising Analyst must take in, adjust, and optimize so much information on a daily basis it feels like an exercise in futility. An unnamed Google Partner recently confronted this situation and you know what they did? You guessed it - they automated it. They moved all their conversion data into Google Ads and put an automated bid solution in place. From this, Google reported the company seeing Advertising Account Managers gaining a 30% time savings. This had a ripple effect within their organization and they additionally saw:
- C-level Management labor cost savings of 20%, and management efficiency grew by 30%
- Customer satisfaction grew and sales increased by 30% due to customer recommendations. (This can be attributed to Account managers having more time to do other tasks)
Metrics like these are enviable by even the most efficiently run organizations. When staff are free to do what they were hired to do - most likely engage with clients and strategize new market-building opportunities - rather than execute an endless list of manual tasks, the creativity and revenue streams flow freely.
Google reported that partners like these who have automated operations are growing 3x faster than those without automation. So ask yourself, why do we still have so many manual tasks? And how can I automate them in order to stay competitive?