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Automation is both the best and worst thing to ever happen to market.

When applied appropriately, automatic algorithms find impossible patterns in absurd amounts of data. When abused, however, the technology can make for lazy and under-performing marketing.

Unfortunately, it’s a common practice for firms to dump their digital labor to computers while sticking you with the bill.

Don’t become a sucker. Here’s the telltale signs that your marketing partner is over-relying on poor performing technology:

You Aren’t Getting Good Results

Automation used to be the marketer’s secret weapon. But when everyone started using it, the playing field leveled and competitive advantages evaporated. Now, it’s the creative firms who have the upper hand again.

If your digital marketing results are lackluster, it may mean your partners are still relying on technology that is now commonplace.

So . . . how do you know your results are good? Sometimes, it’s not so obvious, since ROI can’t always be tracked back directly to conversions.

But in general, your digital marketing efforts should do more than exceed some arbitrary industry-standard benchmark. To validate genuine business growth, look for constant improvement, a regular stream of new insights, and, where available, competitive metrics based on comparisons to other players in your market.

Your Account Manager Can’t Explain Their Work

Do you remember that lazy kid back from high school who got high grades by paying someone else to do his homework?

And when the teacher called on him to explain his work, he stood there looking like a goon?

That’s what’ll happen if you ask an over-automating digital marketer what’s going on with your campaigns. Luckily, it’s not hard to ferret out a fraud when it comes to digital marketing, and doing so can save you thousands of dollars.

Here’s a few questions you can drop on your marketing partner to make sure they’re the ones behind the wheel, and not some machine:

  • Can you tell me what you did differently with my campaigns this month?

  • Can you explain the overall strategy of the campaigns?

  • What industry trends are impacting our digital marketing, and how do you know?

  • Why did you choose the specific KPIs that you did?

Your Campaign Is Not Creative

Even the best algorithms can’t save boring marketing.

Some marketers skip the hard work of audience research, message tailoring, and clever copywriting, and just slam dunk some generic phrasing into ad campaigns that go nowhere.

The end result is bland advertising that often sounds just like your competition’s, but with a few words rearranged.

Want to see bad marketing in action? Google a product. Any product. What you’ll likely see is 2-4 completely interchangeable search ads, all as generic as they come and written with minimal effort.

There’s no ad so inconsequential that it shouldn’t elevate your amazing brand. Every single search ad and social post should showcase your offers by creatively eliciting emotional responses, not just by spouting offers.

Incite Media: Talent That Out Competes Computers

Technology is amazing, and we love it. But there are some things that humans still do much better.

If you’re looking for a creative kick backed by innovation methodologies, drop us a line to learn about our best-of-both-worlds digital philosophy.