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Why automation is the key to marketing services

Marketing services is the fastest growing revenue stream for many publishers, says Affino CEO Markus Karlsson, and the way to optimise performance in this area is through automation.

By Markus Karlsson

Why automation is the key to marketing services

For most publishers the key revenue stream currently is one of: subscriptions, events or marketing services.

The post-Covid landscape has seen mixed results for events, while subscriptions can be seen to be somewhat maturing for some brands nowadays – which means that for many, the biggest opportunities are now to be found in the area of marketing services.

Marketing services tends to cover five key areas – lead generation (permission based prospects), content campaigns (advertorial and sponsored content), ad campaigns, message campaigns, and on-site activity campaigns (tracking user behaviour and preferences, eg. forms filled, competitions entered).

Marketing services require a lot of native data capture and processing – which can be extremely costly and time-consuming if not properly automated and optimised. A great deal of data is also lost if you are using third party plugins to capture your analysis data as they are frequently blocked, in particular by Apple and on corporate networks.

There's lots of potential for things to get complicated real quick, and for costs to mount up if things are not automated as far as possible. Being able, for instance, to set up a new client campaign dashboard in less than a minute based on the ad and message campaigns, content, activities and lead lists, transforms your return on each campaign.

A client campaign dashboard harnesses all the automation, and gives marketing services clients unprecedented access to monitoring their own campaigns on-site in near-realtime, and the ability to download leads and data, with minimal effort.

This saves a great deal of manual intervention on a daily and weekly basis. No more downloading and sending data reports by your team, no longer having to provide updates, no manual capture of the data, no requirement to have processes to tag campaigns across systems or maintain integrations. Most importantly, it is fully reliable and delivers the best service 24/7/365.

There are two key parts to this – the degree of depth and fidelity of data capture – where it needs to happen natively and organically to be properly and accurately observable in real time. So, without the highest fidelity of data capture, all of this is something of a non-starter.

And getting the data in is just the starting point – as it needs to be processed and aggregated and sent through to a fully intuitively usable interface – where marketing services clients can easily and effectively access and view the data in context – and be able to pinpoint particular results within the data set – and export to the team that does the customer and leads follow-ups.

It's not just about seeing what traction your campaigns are getting, and being able to accurately identify leads, it's also about being able to observe the impact of your campaigns in real time – learn from the behavioural analysis and further evolve and improve your campaigns.

It's only really when everything is run natively and holistically across all aspects of customer on-site engagement and activity – that you can fully capture detailed identifiable patterns of behaviour and therefore the most likely candidates for successful follow-up and conversion.

The dashboard interface the client interacts with has to be fully self-service empowered, look great and be simple, intuitive, fast, and work across all devices.

Were you to try to do this any other way – for instance by trying to harness various different databases across an 'enterprise stack' – the more elements which are involved, the lower the fidelity, cleanliness and accuracy of data.

Native marketing services automation doesn't just significantly lower the cost of such activities and make them affordable to all, it's actually a critical part too in making this all work as well as it needs to.

Publishing brands who have these abilities on-tap will be able to steal a march on their competitors, by being more attractive to marketing services clients – thanks to the seamlessness and transparency of such a system, and its ability to create new self-sustaining revenue streams!


There are numerous benefits from engaging marketing services automation, including:

  • Marketing services margins and growth are only properly achieved by automating the delivery of the stats and leads as far as possible
  • A fully end-to-end service maximises the data that is captured and shared with the clients – delivering more leads, impressions, and engagement stats than any third party data capture plugins.
  • A client campaign dashboard allows marketing services clients to fully track their own campaigns on-site in real-time, observe, learn and evolve them.
  • The added transparency and insight makes clients more likely to invest in your brand, and improves customer satisfaction (less campaign performance dissonance).
  • The productivity and efficiency of the marketing services personnel is massively ramped up via the automation and optimisation.
  • Marketing services automation brings highly advanced capabilities and revenue-marking opportunities within the reach of even the smallest of publishing brands / teams.

About us

Founded in 2009, Affino provides a ‘Unified Business Platform’ for media, publishing, events, membership and professional services organisations.

The Affino SaaS Platform provides a complete single customer view solution for engaging with and monetising audiences. It combines full-range CRM with Sales and Marketing Automation, Ecommerce, Subscriptions and Memberships, Messaging, CMS, Events, Ad Serving, and Recruitment.

We help streamline and make organisations more efficient, more cost-effective, and more productive, as well as delivering numerous new revenue stream capabilities not possible via alternative means.

The fully GDPR-compliant system is built on the principles of Actionable Intelligence – prompting and triggering intuitive rapid responses based on fully accurate and comprehensive first-hand real-time data.



Tel: +44 (0)20 3393 3240