The Answer Is Automation

art shot of robot and child hand

By Danelle Amos, Media Director at Miles Partnership

Pursuing strategic initiatives aimed at improving productivity and efficiency is always a smart idea in business. Now as the global economy is experiencing volatility, these tactics become not only preferable for success but also vital for business survival.

For digital media, advertising and numerous other industries, automation is the key solution needed to improve efficacy and efficiency, allowing businesses to outperform the competition.

Adapting to Uncertainty

As we navigate this pandemic and the economic consequences of it, many businesses are focusing on cost-cutting and maintenance, instead of investing in new initiatives that could be expensive, difficult to implement, and slow to bring financial results.

However, if history can tell us anything, now is the perfect time to invest in your business’s future. Gartner recently performed a historical analysis of how businesses react to economic turns and uncertainty. They found that those who stuck to conservatism and cost-cutting stagnated or failed, while winners who spurred innovation, changed their strategy and took risks often came out on top after a recession.


For businesses facing the realities of today’s economic uncertainties, the right automation tool can be the solution they need to improve efficiency, save money, and prepare for growth.

Automation as a Multifaceted Solution

When we say the answer is automation, we don’t mean piecemeal solutions to specific challenges, but instead, a comprehensive approach to getting the most value out of robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence combined. Many industries, like finance, banking, healthcare, manufacturing, and telecom have already woven RPA into their operations. In fact, global robotic process automation is expected to grow at a whopping 32.8% CAGR from 2021 to 2028.  Meanwhile, the ad industry is lagging behind when it comes to leveraging automation to advance the way we work.

Comprehensive automation is more than just a solution to a problem. It helps reinvent how businesses work, in a way that drives key performance metrics and allows for a competitive edge in challenging markets.

Here are some of the many ways automation serves as a multifaceted solution:

  • A comprehensive view of performance — Automation makes it simple to unify your data insights in a single view to optimize omnichannel campaigns with intelligence and agility.
  • More accurate data — Automatically collecting and analyzing data avoids human error, as well as time, wasted trying to rationalize inaccurate data insights.
  • Real-time insights — Rather than taking a reactive approach to performance optimization, automation can provide real-time insights so you can improve your campaigns faster and avoid inefficient ad spend.
  • Better use of talent and resources — Automation takes care of tedious and repetitive tasks, freeing up team members to work on creative projects and pursue growth opportunities.

Addressing the Rising Cost of Ad Tech Tax

Automation creates opportunities for businesses to take programs into their own hands and rely less on middlemen to operationalize their advertising. Instead of layering on more and more point solutions, each of which compounds the Ad Tech Tax, advertisers need to start looking to consolidated platforms which offer buying capabilities beyond programmatic. This approach can lead to tighter, and more transparent margin management.

Many brands have already started to reap the benefits of using automation as the connective tissue between their programmatic, direct, search, social, and advanced TV buys. By leveraging tools that automate the consolidation of reporting across these digital channels, time can be better spent on testing, optimizing, and experimentation.

Looking Towards the Future of Autonomous Media

Adopting RPA practices and software in the ad industry is actually just a precursor to us moving towards a more autonomous way to work in the future.  Think of the current job of a media planner. Much of their time is spent pulling reach and frequency data in order to make decisions around where to allocate spend. Imagine a world where a media planner could enter their campaign goals and parameters into a platform, and then be presented with multiple media plan choices, all of which would guarantee they meet or exceed their campaign goals.

This is what autonomous software will do for our industry. And it’s coming, just like it’s come to many other industries already. Does this mean the job of a media planner goes away? Absolutely not. What it does mean is that, just like industries and jobs we’ve seen evolve over time, the role will change. It will improve. Media professionals will be able to focus on things that you can’t automate well, like concepting, outlining strategy and tactic recommendation based on performance.  And, after all, isn’t it the creative, imaginative and inspiring part of the advertising process that drove us to want to work in this industry in the first place?