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Four Hot Tips for Automation in 2024

As we wrap up an exciting year, the SEBPO Team is taking a moment to reflect on the valuable insights gained from participating in an impressive array of conferences, summits, and industry events in 2023.

From Beeler.Tech Base Camp to Possible Miami, CES to LMA, lively discussions and inspiring keynotes all honed in on an overarching, trending topic: automation.

Looking to 2024, our team is eager to share event takeaways where automation continues to take center stage, and innovation meets efficiency.

Four Hot Tips for Automation in 2024

Putting Automation to Use

“One thing we hear often is that people want automation and AI, but when asked what they want to automate or use AI for, they don’t really have an answer,” says SEBPO Director of Sales. “The struggle to define automation continues, and provides an opportunity for us to drive that conversation.” 

This past year, she attended two AI/automation panels at the MM+M Summit: one discussed programmatic tech in the AI era, and the other addressed AI-generated content in the health space. 

“Conversations touched on how highly regulated and slow-moving Pharma can be, and how AI tech can be riddled with bad actors. What does this mean for Pharma compliance? These big topics are forecasted to monopolize the 2024 automation conversion.” 

Another big pain point for Pharma focuses on regulation-laden creative production and the sharp rise in companies using automation to bridge gaps. She was struck by the quote, “The currency of trust will become more and more important for brands as we move forward.”

Regardless of the industry, the consensus is resoundingly similar; any AI initiatives must be purpose-driven, trustworthy, compliant, and make our lives measurably easier.  

People, Process, and Technology

At the Media Ad Sales Summit, Ryan Stephens, SEBPO Director of Sales, was reminded that it takes people, processes, and technology working in harmony to find true success. “In our rush to automate, we can’t knock the other two aspects out of balance, or progress will ultimately fail.”

SEBPO Team - Automation Blog People Process Technology

During the rise of Web 2.0 in the early 2000s, businesses were being introduced to social media. They knew they should take advantage of its reach but didn’t have a game plan (or know they even needed one). Today, they understand that automation is the next big thing–but are once again in the process of sorting out how to make the most out of its potential. Everyone is enthusiastic about diving into this transformative tech, but they also need to seriously consider that perfect, seamless roll-out. 

That’s where SEBPO can take the wheel, with our people-first approach and experience with process and technology.

Related SEBPO Blog:
Automation & Outsourcing: The Power of People and Technology

Automation for Publishers and Agencies

At Beeler.Tech Navigator, Todd Handy, SEBPO’s Chief Revenue Officer, attended several sessions, including one whose goal was to identify areas where automation could be (or is already) in play to help streamline businesses and relationships.

Publishers are trying to automate many repetitive, manual tasks; despite the industry’s sophistication, these back-end processes are still quite manual, error-prone, and slow. The consensus is that we need to find alternative ways to execute these tasks to free up publisher and agency personnel so they can focus on higher-level, value-added, strategic, or revenue-generating functions. 

Related SEBPO Blog:
Tell-Tale Signs You Might Need Ad Ops Help

SEBPO Automation 2024 blog

Agencies are focused on automation to improve campaign performance, enable faster reporting turnarounds, improve the data set to help with decision-making, and many more interconnected elements. 

One large publication in attendance identified the potential for automation within the following:

  • RFPs – in order to avoid human error with entry into Salesforce
  • Invoicing – enabling faster Accounts Receivable actions
  • IOs – if Order Management Systems (OMS) could be connected to agencies, there’s a lot of value there
  • Reporting – to populate reporting templates (publishers deal with multiple templates from the buy-side)

Agencies are generally working towards successful systems that allow them to buy media with good, audience-based data that’s easy to find, which is why they are more comfortable with programmatic vs. direct ads. Premium publishers, however, are important, so PMP (private marketplace) advertising is good if it includes data and insights.

One panelist said: “There is a desire to automate, but it’s not feasible to automate everything.” Agencies know they must find the balance between this statement and embracing automation across all processes and platforms.

It was often heard that the tech is there, but publisher and agency systems are not built for it yet. A lack of or inconsistencies in common IDs, taxonomies, and client reporting templates have held it back. But this also creates an opportunity to advance the industry, and there will also always be a need for customization.

Controlling Your Destiny

Handy attended the “How Do We Make Automation Work for Us” session and identified savings, efficiency, and quality as the main benefits of automating. The speaker brought up a point many might already be thinking: “I’m a human. Why should I develop automation opportunities when I might automate myself or my team out of a job?” The responses:

  • Automation is here to stay; best to control your destiny in your department versus  someone else controlling it for you
  • Ops is still a cost center; any way to reduce your costs will improve your business
  • Considering automation forces reevaluation; it makes organizations review processes and get rid of outdated, unnecessary steps
  • Doing more with less; automation can minimize repetitive tasks and enable a more strategic focus and fewer long nights

“Automation will not take jobs away,” Handy noted after the session. “It frees team members up to do more valuable things. It will elevate what your employees are doing by getting these tasks off their plates.”

“At SEBPO, we know that when you can focus on your company’s core competencies by leveraging behind-the-scenes partners to handle the work that bogs your team down, you’ll be set up for success in 2024 and beyond”, says Handy.

Get in touch today and engage a SEBPO Ad Operations, Back-Office Processing, Creative Services, Customer Support, Data Solutions, Media Planning, or Quality Assurance Team to help boost your efficiency and walk you through the latest automation trends and solutions that suit your business.


Todd Handy

Ryan Stephens SEBPO

Ryan Stephens

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