Automation: What it Can and Cannot Do

It seems that everyone is talking about automation these days, especially about the dangers of losing human employment to the machines. On the surface, advertisers have good cause to worry about this. Software is simple to automate, and many smaller companies set and forget their campaigns. The truth is that automation isn’t going to kill marketing, especially not at the entry and middle levels.

Good marketing requires people who can think on their feet. It’s not a simple set of instructions to follow, nor is it an easy operation to follow. It’s something that can be taught, but requires a lifetime to master. Automation isn’t something to fear, but it can be a valuable tool for those who choose to embrace it.

Day Parting

Day parting is the action of controlling which times and days your campaigns will show. It’s a technique used both to reduce costs and to improve conversion chances. When you part your campaign by day or time, you remove it from listings during a specified period. It’s a process that automates itself, but it’s not one that can be automated.

In other words, a robot can’t recognize the history of a campaign and make this decision for you. It can’t look at other campaigns you’ve run in the past, and has no previous instinct to rely on. That’s what makes mentors so important for younger professionals. Day parting is also not “set and forget.” You would need to continually monitor data as it comes in, and make decisions on when to further restrict your banner advertising based on the results of your tests.


Reporting is another aspect of marketing that can be automated, but the intricacies are lost in translation. Automated reports are actually a benefit to marketers. They free your mind to explore other opportunities, receiving reports at scheduled times so that you can review them. You can schedule your entire day around these reports if you like, but you can’t rely on a machine to read and interpret them. You can get graphs and visualizations when a program crunches data for you, but actual analysis is still left up to humans. That means capable minds who are willing to challenge themselves and find new methods of making campaigns work or work better.

Final Thoughts

Automation can sound scary if you listen to all the hype. The reality is that automation is a benefit to marketers, especially up and coming professionals who stand to gain more time to research and work with campaigns.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the co-founder of engage:BDR, a buy-side platform for advertising professionals. Ted Dhanik manages business development for the company, and is an avid fan of dogs in his personal time. Find out how to leverage display advertising to increase your business with advice and articles from Ted Dhanik.