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Marketers have so much on their plates these days. They are expected to be a jack-of-all-trades and an expert at all things. You can’t fix how big your workload is but you can find ways to make your job a little easier. What would you do with your time if you could use automation for some of the more repetitive tasks? I would bet you a nickel a lot of what you’re responsible for includes copying and pasting numbers into a spreadsheet, and then from a spreadsheet into some kind of report. I would bet you a dime that it’s easy to space out and make mistakes (not on purpose!) because of the monotony of the tasks you’ve been assigned. Perhaps automation is the solution to your woes. 

 automation assembly line

In this series you’ll learn:

  • How to assess your job for automation
  • What tools can be used for automation
  • What data you can use for automation
  • An example of automation code that you can try out

 

Let’s not waste any more of your time and dive right in. How do we assess your job/tasks for automation opportunities? Trying to automate too much at once can have the opposite effect of what you’re after. You can end up creating more work for yourself instead of less. Let’s break it down one small piece at a time.

The best way to do this is to pick a task and outline it step by step in granular detail. A couple of easy ways to do this is to write down the steps like a to-do list, or if you’re fancy you can create a workflow diagram. To keep with the theme of simplicity, let’s write a step-by-step list. In this example we’re going to imagine that we run a Twitter account which includes creating original content, scheduling the tweets, and reporting on the performance.

These are the general steps for managing and reporting on a Twitter account [results may vary]

  1. Research something amazing to write about
  2. Create a magical post with stellar writing, images, and emojis to post on Twitter
  3. Post said magic on Twitter
  4. Navigate to analytics.twitter.com
  5. Choose your timeframe
  6. Export analytics
  7. Import .csv file into Excel, or similar data software
  8. Copy/Paste into another sheet where the global metrics are being kept for the Twitter account
  9. Create chart
  10. Copy/Paste into powerpoint
  11. Draft up general insights
  12. Handoff deck to someone else who will distill your hard work down to one bullet point
  13. Get more coffee to give your soul a chance to heal
  14. Lather, Rinse, Repeat until the end of time

Sounds pretty monotonous, and prone to error with all of that copying and pasting. If you’re managing multiple accounts this can get unruly. A lot of the steps outlined are taking away from the time you could be using to create stellar content, or even provide more useful insights that wouldn’t be so easily overlooked. How do we fix that?automation cat

In the next part, we’ll dig into where to get started. More specifically, what tools do you have access to for automation?

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