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Three Signs Your Marketing Agency is Over-Relying on Automation

Three Signs Your Marketing Agency is Over-Relying on Automation

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.

What You Need To Know About Facebook Special Ad Category

What You Need To Know About Facebook Special Ad Category

If you have been advertising on Facebook for a while, you’ve probably noticed the targeting changes that hit in June of 2019. This was the result of the March 2019 discrimination settlement between Facebook and the National Fair Housing Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Communications Workers of America and other private parties.

Facebook then put into place what is now known as Special Ad Categories to prevent advertisers from discriminating based on gender, age and race with any ads dealing with housing, employment and credit opportunities. You can target people in a specific location, but it will include a 15-mile radius around whatever city, address or pin-drop you select to target.

These guidelines seem clear enough, but if you work in the automotive vertical, you learned early on that all of your advertisements for automotive are now flagged as Special Ad Category, regardless of your ad’s focus.

Take for example, an ad running a simple buy back message as shown below.

This ad has nothing to do with credit or financing, but it does send the customer back to the dealership website that has a Finance tab on the homepage. Most dealerships have Finance departments and tabs appearing on their websites that automatically makes the campaigns Special Ad Category based on Facebook’s guidelines. In general, any ad linked to a page that could be related to a credit opportunity or possible financing option or credit application will be flagged as Special Ad Category.

So, does that mean Facebook advertising is now limited to only brand awareness campaigns and cannot focus on the bottom of the funnel shoppers?

Thankfully, our agency and clients benefit from our partnership with Oracle Data Cloud. We are able to layer in custom audiences built from unique purchase-based data, that includes vehicle make and model, in-market segments, and shoppers’ lifestyle. Facebook’s system automatically filters these Custom Audiences to ensure compliance.

Another valuable tool is your own customer data that can be uploaded into Facebook to create your own Custom Audience to be used within Special Ad Category ads.

We agree with preventing any type of discrimination and promoting fairness and inclusion, and now with our Oracle data we can be relevant to consumers by giving them the right message at the right time, all while eliminating waste for our clients.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can use the power of our Oracle data or your own CRM data to improve your Facebook advertising.  

Adapting Your Marketing to the “New Normal”

Adapting Your Marketing to the “New Normal”

“Opportunity” and the COVID crisis go together like peanut butter and . . . motor oil. 

The harsh truth is that the sales and marketing game has changed in light of the epidemic, and is, in many ways, worse for wear. 


But it’s always darkest before the dawn. So for the marketing go-getters and advertising early risers, here are a few tips for getting a jump start on a brighter tomorrow: 

Leap ahead of your shell-shocked competition. When they zig, you zag. And when your competitors are so far into crisis-mode that they can’t even think about marketing, that’s your window of opportunity to act. Don’t let it expire. 

Geo-fence new points of interest. In the upcoming months, pop-up events will be frequent occurrences, many of which may be worth fencing. Examples of pop-ups to watch for include senior shopping events, new testing sites, and areas with increased traffic, such as public parks and parking lots where curbside service is being offered. 

Leverage spikes in digital demand. Even beyond social isolation, the work-from-home revolution will create more digital touchpoints (and more competition) for digital audiences. Account for this shift in your 2020 marketing mix, and make sure your creative is punchy enough to rise about the increased clutter. 

Evaluate your brand strength. COVID was the ultimate brand test for many businesses, especially those that had to go radio silent April 2020 and beyond. Strong brands saw lower-impact sales levels, while weak brands were virtually forgotten within days. If your sales took a huge hit, consider reinforcing your brand. 

As the dust settles from the COVID Crisis, the Automotive Marketing Group is committed to helping clients recover. 


Leveraging Facebook Lead Ads To Increase Your Sales

Leveraging Facebook Lead Ads To Increase Your Sales

Imagine that your dealership is running an amazing Facebook campaign that is relevant to your specific audience, and has leads scheduling appointments to take advantage of your awesome sale at your dealership!

You can achieve that with Facebook lead ads. Facebook offers a wide variety of ads to accomplish many things such as awareness and even driving traffic to your website. However, leveraging Facebook lead ads to increase your sales can be a game-changer for dealers offering incentives.

Facebook lead ads can:

·       Find Quality Potential Customers

·       Drive leads directly to your CRM

How It Works:

Facebook Lead ads show a static or video ad to targeted customers. When potential customers interact with your ad, they can easily fill out their contact info to send to your business to redeem a service or learn more about your product. These leads can be easily sent to your CRM or email for you to follow up with them.

Find Quality Potential Customers:

When it comes to acquiring leads, we know that not all leads are created equality. Many leads end up being not a good match or at worse, non-responsive. With Facebook lead ads, these leads are a direct response to a dealership sale or incentive that the user is specifically interested in and is reaching out to you. These ads can cut out the confusion about what is being offered and who they expect to be contacted by regarding this offer. No surprise cold calls! In Addition to that, these are hot leads! One of social media’s key characteristics is immediacy (think: instant messaging, instant uploading, etc.) There is no better way than to utilize this type of social behavior to increase your contacts and make a sale.

Drive Leads To Your CRM:

Another important feature of Facebook leads ads is the ability to drive lead information directly to your CRM. For your sales team, this feature is convenient and allows dealerships to collect accurate information who set an appointment and how long it took to close a sale.

Work with agencies that can optimize your efforts:

There is a method to the madness when it comes to leveraging Facebook lead ads to increase your sales for car dealerships. Social media ad success is a science, and working with an experienced full-service automotive agency can tailor your ads with the right formula. Our agency has years on social media experience to help grow your business in the most cost-effective way possible.

Contact us to learn more.

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