Whether people like it or not, automation is here to stay and is undoubtedly the future of digital marketing (we’d argue it’s already the here and now). Marketers need to learn how to use automation effectively to get the best results.
Don’t let the sceptics & cynics fool you - automated tools are not here to “steal our jobs”, far from it. Digital marketers provide a vital human role in leading the overarching strategy, providing business-specific context and leveraging first-party data; We drive the car and set the destination - automation is the engine that provides the power. And much like an engine, we can fine-tune it to improve performance and get ahead of the competition.
Google has been the spearhead for accelerating automation in the last few years, with the rest of the pack following suit. Recently Facebook (now Meta) has upped their efforts in the automation space with their latest marketing product: Advantage+.
What is Meta Advantage+ ?
Advantage products aim to enhance one aspect of a manual campaign, such as Detailed Targeting options within your target audience. Advantage+ takes things one step further and automates an entire campaign flow from end to end - or the core step of a campaign setup such as placements or creative. Think of it as Meta’s equivalent to a Performance Max campaign.
Specific Advantage+ products include:
- Advantage+ App Campaigns (formerly known as Automated App Ads)
- Advantage+ Placements (formerly known as Automated Placements)
- Advantage+ Creative (formerly known as Dynamic Experiences)
- Advantage+ Shopping (Coming Soon)
The products aim to use real-time learnings to adjust ads across different audiences, placements and creatives. Advanatge+ Placements will serve across six or more placements (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Marketplace, Reels, Stories etc.), optimising towards the best performing placements, claiming a 73% likelihood of outperforming campaigns which serve on four or fewer placements. Advantage+ Creative claims to reduce CPAs by 3% when bundling creative optimisations into a single-entry point for ease of use.
The benefits of Advantage+
As with all automation products, the most commonly advertised benefit is efficiency. Saving time by letting the product do the heavy lifting with the bidding and targeting allows marketers to look at “the bigger picture” and take on a more strategic role.
The other benefits revolve around algorithms being more capable of processing millions of data signals to better match the right ad at the right time to the right people. The expected outcome is optimised campaign performance and a more personalised experience for the end user.
As with any new marketing product, we should never adopt all automated products without thought or critical analysis. In the case of placements, the average performance improvement is not a guarantee and may not work for all advertisers; we know from our clients that some perform better when excluding Instagram, for example, so it is always about testing for yourself and seeing what works.
Automation is a tool which can improve performance when used correctly. It gives marketers more time to ask clients the big questions, identify their pain points and drive strategy to achieve overall business objectives, not just siloed marketing KPIs. The customer journey is only getting more complex, so it's great to see more tools reflecting ever-evolving customer needs & behaviour. More marketing platforms improving their automated product offering can only be a good thing, and it will be interesting to see how they perform in the coming months.
Want to know more about how automation can work for you? Get in touch.
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