Technology is a great enabler, and through the various recent lockdowns, it’s also been a lifesaver. When it comes to digital marketing campaigns, technology has evolved quickly. Nowadays, most campaigns will use at least some technology to manage these as brand teams, and agencies look to squeeze every last marketing dollar from their online performance. Technology can make light work of decision-based bid management, campaign optimisation, remarketing, attribution modelling, user journey enhancements and so on. Whatever your requirement, you can pretty much guarantee there’s a piece of technology out there to help you.
Efficiency through algorithms
Smart technologies use AI to learn and improve the performance of digital marketing campaigns. You can set parameters to achieve specific goals or targets, and the technology will work out the best way to achieve them, taking into account market conditions, time of day and even the strategies being adopted by the competition. No doubt about it, it’s all very clever. Algorithms have been created to make our lives easier, and they can work with vast amounts of data and insights, turning them into automated tasks to achieve their pre-set objectives. George Orwell would be proud.
Whilst technology relieves much of the heavy lifting in managing large and often complex, data-driven campaigns, having an over-reliance on automation is not without its challenges. Machine learning is a logical process. The actions proposed are through rapidly analysing multiple data sets – sometimes simultaneously – to reach a set of recommended actions to achieve the desired outcome. In fact, the only remaining factor it doesn’t consider. Real life. Those situations that arise unexpectedly, such as a global pandemic, an election result, natural disaster or climate emergencies. Automated campaign management won’t take any of these things into account. It also won’t be able to adjust approach based on the commercial reality of how a business is performing. Technology can be exceptional in every perceived way, but ultimately, it’s not human.
As much as technology can bring smart operational effectiveness to digital marketing, it still needs context to operate at its full potential. That context can only be brought by human intervention. It’s only by blending the right technology, automation tools and human insight that digital marketing truly functions best. The speed and accuracy of campaign performance can be managed more profitably than ever before, and yes, without technology, all of our digital marketing campaigns would be far less efficient. However, it’s only by overlaying the broader trading reality onto the automation that the best results are achieved. As good as technology has become, it still needs a human touch.