Gone are the days when the concept of AI was chiefly associated with a formidable entity on the brink of world domination, as depicted in sensational sci-fi films gone by. AI has now been adopted across a wide variety of sectors, from healthcare and financial services to retail and entertainment, and with UK spend per household predicted to rise by £2,300 per year, advertisers cannot afford to ignore the power of intelligent technology.
Used correctly, AI is posed to boost productivity up to 40% by 2035 and increase average profitability rates by 38%. So how can advertisers apply AI – in practical terms – to ensure an efficient and effective new year?
Automation just got a whole lot more “automated”
Programmatic burst onto the ad tech scene as the first truly automated method of buying and selling advertising inventory, driving efficiency and scale. But in reality, while algorithms within DSPs have provided a level of automation, manual work is still a reality of everyday campaign optimization. Today, more and more buyers are adding their “intelligence layer” based on first-party data and real-time customer interactions and are using AI “tools” to sift through not just terabytes, but “yottabytes” of data instantaneously. This facilitates real-time optimisation for advertisers without the need for human intervention, freeing up talented creative ops teams to focus on just that – the creative side of their campaigns – ensuring that each and every impression is tailored to provide customers with the optimum ad experience.
Turning blanket marketing into brilliant marketing
Investing in programmatic advertising can seem overwhelming for brands seeking to reach more targeted segments of their audience. But by taking this one step further and combining programmatic with AI capabilities – such as semantic and behavioural analysis – advertisers can now achieve the ideal “1to1” targeting, based on their first-party data and real-time customer behaviours. This allows marketers to glean insight into precise purchase patterns, as well as a customer’s propensity to engage with their brand. Using this digital customer interaction model, advertisers can be sure their messaging will be seen by those most likely to convert, while at the same time being mindful not to bombard other online users with irrelevant messaging – therefore minimising wasted ad spend.
Using intelligence to sustain integrity
With ‘brand safety’ joining the ranks of industry buzzwords following misplaced ad campaigns hitting the headlines earlier this year, it is increasingly clear that simply reaching the right audience is not enough to sustain a healthy brand image. There is a consensus among some advertisers that programmatic can leave their campaigns susceptible to ad misplacement due to a lack of control over where that ad may appear. However, by adopting AI-powered technology such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) – a form of contextual analysis – advertisers can prevent their campaigns appearing alongside misaligned content that could tarnish their reputation in an instant.
The adtech industry has made progress in transforming perceptions of AI from an unknown entity to a powerful digital aide. But there is still work to be done. So, as advertisers begin to assess their programmatic proposition for 2018, now is the time to consider the potential of incorporating machine learning technology into the mix, while allowing creative teams to flourish. Now is the time to really put the AI-programmatic partnership into practice.