In this article, originally published by Martech Asia, Yogeeta Chainani, CEO and Co-founder of Swaarm, shares her wisdom to help marketers in the APAC region understand how automation can play a crucial role in helping businesses grow. Learn how your company can benefit from using automation software and why you should embrace it now if you haven’t already done so.
Yogeeta Chainani, a dynamic young woman tech entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Swaarm, shares her expert insights about how automation can help scale up businesses in this MartechAsia interview.
Automation is a powerful marketing technology or martech tool that can help scale up businesses. This technology has evolved and is now a critical inclusion in every marketer’s toolkit.
Automation in marketing
The toughest hurdle for any marketer often revolves around complex advertising management, especially when managing several campaigns and channels.
For instance, managing 10,000 campaigns across 10 publishers and 10 sub-publishers would need a million data analysis points, often spread across various spreadsheets/pivot tables. This takes up valuable time that a marketer should use for strategy, planning, and creativity.
Business growth is critical and can be scaled only with the right tools. Even today, many marketers spend most of their time cleaning and analyzing data instead of focusing on important aspects of strategy, planning, and creativity.
Ways to leverage automation
Marketers in India must use automation to replace all the man hours put into repetitive manual processes while generating distinct, value-added user experiences and making user engagement even more connected for their consumers.
Yogeeta Chainani says that digital marketers can leverage automation in five important ways to make their performance marketing strategies more efficient and scalable at the same time.
1. Offer Testing
Offer testing can save time and resources for advertisers and publishers. By identifying faulty or broken links, corrective measures can be taken in a timely manner to make the most of the efforts.
2. Data-Driven Campaign Optimization
Performance marketing solutions with automated audience targeting based on geolocation, device, traffic type, carriers, interests, and other custom data. These solutions can reduce the amount of manual work and cost based on rules set by the marketers, thereby increasing the ROI for the advertiser and profitability for businesses.
3. Automated Insights
Performance metrics allow marketers and partners to see real-time tracking and revenue numbers. Today’s data science tools can automatically uncover patterns, trends, and business opportunities in the given data sets so that marketers can further enhance their performance marketing efforts.
4. Automatic Offer Approval
Affiliate or partner marketing is unique from other digital advertising channels (like search or social media) in the way that the marketer must distribute and accept offers with the partner to refer potential customers. Automation now allows importing, creating, and accepting offers from an extensive number of integrated partners depending on predefined rules, which can save tons of time and resources.
5. Automated Client Notifications
Another big part of the partner marketing domain is keeping partners informed of all the changes that might be happening on an offer. With automation, everything is manageable with just a click of a button.
Challenges APAC Marketers Face
The marketing automation software market will grow at 8.55% and will unlock a market capitalization of $ 6.4 billion by 2024 (source- Marketing Automation Market by Component-Software, Services). Even though over 51% of businesses already use marketing automation, more than 58% of companies plan to adopt it (source- Emailmonday).
COVID-19 has changed how people work and live in many ways, redefining behavior even after its effects subside. The majority of businesses are stretched for margins.
To strengthen marketing automation adoption, businesses need to overcome barriers such as budget allocation for automation and upskilling employees who can work alongside the digital workforce. Many businesses struggle in getting a C-level buy-in for deploying automation tools and making a corresponding investment- which is both critical and, in some cases, difficult to achieve. The perennial issue of digital skills shortage and C-suite understanding is not limited only to the APAC region but is relatively acute, given the massive advances and variety in the area. APAC’s linguistic, cultural, economic, and technological variety – also presents a challenge to marketers.
Additionally, for implementing marketing automation, businesses need C-level support and a strong, coherent team effort between the key implementers, including marketing, sales, customer service, and IT.
Use Cases: How automation can help scale-up businesses
To grow its business during the pandemic when resources were limited, Ads and More, a London-based mobile marketing agency, turned to Swaarm when it needed a performance-based tracking platform with advanced automation features and a powerful analytics tool to access critical insights to gain a competitive edge.
Swaarm has supported Ads and More with the integration of Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) like Adjust, Appsflyer, Branch, etc., as well as the set-up of other advertisers on the platform without any data loss.
With Swaarm’s advanced automation suite and powerful analytics tool Explorer, Ads And More increased revenue by over 1000% in the first three months after the company launch. Since then, Ads & More has been growing consistently month over month, establishing itself as a key industry player in a very short period.
Start-ups must prioritize and automate Performance Marketing
With over 77,000 startups, India has emerged as the third-largest start-up economy in the world. With the growing competition, no wonders that startups are stretched for margins. With the changing business dynamics, whether in business models, operations, or consumer preferences, automation can help marketing teams pace up, scale-out, and focus on those impactful activities that will drive the business forward.
To attain business goals, marketers need to build campaigns strategically—choose the right platforms, advertising formats, and optimization goals. It’s crucial to focus on the right audience and create campaigns that will resonate with the target audience. By aligning their offers and advertising campaigns with the help of real-time data analysis and insights, businesses are leveraging automation in performance marketing like never before.
Investing in AI-powered integration and automation, where marketers are empowered to integrate their apps and data and automate their processes and workflows, is fast becoming an essential step. Automation is the key to building and scaling a high-performing marketing organization.
Automation helps with ad-tracking
Affiliate advertising tracking technology has become old-fashioned and poses a barrier to keeping up with the industry’s growth. In India, the affiliate marketing industry is anticipated to reach USD 835 million by 2025, from around USD 300 million currently (source-Tata Strategic Management Group’s whitepaper, ‘Affiliate Marketing in India- The Next Frontier’).
Ad agencies count on tracking platforms for data accuracy, publisher management, and campaign optimization to help them achieve their client’s targets. Tracking platforms can provide greater performance and help ad agencies in identifying weaknesses and surface opportunities for revenue optimization.
5 Ways Tracking Platforms Help Marketers
Yogeeta Chainani explains the five essential ways tracking platforms help affiliate marketers reach their targets:
1. Making critical analytics consistently available on the marketer’s dashboard
It should be customary for tracking platforms to display all of the critical data on marketers’ dashboards: gross profit, comparing yesterday to today’s performance metrics, and swift access to their hourly/daily/weekly/monthly progression. Analytics software can resolve this industry-wide concern by surfacing the essential data on a dashboard, making it easier and faster to scan performance and take action when necessary.
2. Scannable Tracking Links without Third-Party Vendors
Ideally, affiliate marketers must use an integrated tool to scan tracking links without sharing data with a third party. When an offer is active, links must be repeatedly scanned to ensure they’re hitting a store, which saves money by preventing sending traffic to a broken link.
3. Know the Best Performing Publishers for Optimization
It’s vital to know the best-performing publishers. Otherwise, it can be difficult for marketers to decide where to invest and who to drop confidently. The holy grail is data analysis and deep insights in real-time. A transparent solution that allows marketers to select what they want to filter, split and measure to obtain critical insights and enhance performance is the golden standard.
4. Attain Visibility and Transparency with Network Integrations
Affiliate marketers must be able to integrate networks and decide if they want to approve offers for that network automatically. Furthermore, they want to watch a feed of offers, assess how these offers have performed on their platform in the past, and opt for the ones they want to approve. This would give greater performance transparency, allow them to be more selective with the offers they approve, and save time with auto-approvals.
5. Innovative automation
Tracking platforms can automate anything and everything related to everyday operations. They can accept and block publishers, click budgets, conversion budgets, and plan payouts in place.
Automation Best Practices
In the post-pandemic times, automating an end-to-end workflow of manual actions ranging from what campaigns partners are running on the platform to setting the optimization criteria could altogether open a whole new sphere of elevating efficiency and productivity.
Here are the seven ways automation best practices that can help marketers to help their business grow, according to Yogeeta Chainani:
1. Publisher approval
Publisher approval translates to automatically approving certain publishers for specific offers and pushing the offers to publishers. Marketers can approve new publishers on a set of offers. They can automatically set a click cap for each new publisher and add different settings for each new publisher
2. Set margins per publisher
Marketers should consider keeping margin optimization while testing new publishers’ performance. Automation should be used to set margins for both new and existing publishers.
3. Setting KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Marketers must set KPI automation rules for optimization on the offer level, publisher level, and sub-publisher level. Many advertisers calibrate KPIs for their campaigns, such as tutorial completion. They can automatically turn off sources that don’t reach these set KPIs.
4. Automate your fraud prevention
Click spam and bots present a serious problem within the mobile marketing ecosystem. Marketers can automatically safeguard their campaigns by placing the right criteria for indications of fraud, such as click volumes, CR, CTIT, and others.
5. Link scanners: Stop sending traffic to faulty links
The benefit of automating the link scanning process is that their links will constantly be checked to ensure it is not sending users to ‘dead’ tracking links and to avoid losing revenue.
6. Keep your publisher informed (block and pause traffic)
Based on new advertising data, a dynamic marketing platform may adjust in real-time. For instance, if the campaign is experiencing tracking issues for some reason, marketers can place a rule to pause the campaign or pause the publisher and notify them simultaneously until the issue is fixed.
7. Accept the same offers from different advertisers/network(s)
A marketer might decide against running deals with a lot of redirection. A marketing platform that allows for such automation can enable marketers to make high-impact decisions and actions in a few seconds, leaving time to focus on more value-creating tasks.
This article was originally published on Martechasia.com.