January 26, 2017
The Future of AI in Digital Advertising

The Future of AI in Digital Advertising

Marketers are beginning to realize AI’s potential as a tool for improving the effectiveness of campaigns, but understanding of its capacity remains limited. In this article, Giovanni Strocchi, CEO at ADmantX will explore the benefits of AI for marketers and how intelligent tech will shape the future of digital advertising

“Smith & Tinker’s Patent Double-Action, Extra-Responsive, Thought-Creating, Perfect-Talking Mechanical Man […] Thinks, Speaks, Acts, and Does Everything but Live.” – Ozma of Oz, L. Frank Baum, 1907

Written almost 110 years ago, L. Frank Baum’s product description of a mechanical man powered by artificial intelligence (AI) was a humorous oddity in a fantasy world. While we may not have Tik-Tok — except on screen in the Return to OZ — we do now have smart technology.

The powerful urge to streamline our existence has spawned a host of consumer-level AI applications that promise to do nearly everything. AI-driven tools like image and voice recognition on smartphones, algorithm-based viewing suggestions for Netflix, and Google’s real language analysis in search, are now integral to everyday life. And with tech giants Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft joining forces to create the ‘Partnership on Artificial Intelligence’ — a body that will research and set best practices for AI — it’s clear smart tools are destined to be even bigger business.

Marketers are also starting to realize AI’s potential as a tool for improving the effectiveness of their campaigns, but understanding of its capacity remains limited, especially at a brand’s customer level. Many are uncertain about what it will mean for production and whether it will be a positive move for consumer engagement, or not.

So, what are the benefits of AI for marketers and how will intelligent tech shape the future of digital advertising?

A digital take on clockwork efficiency

Speedy delivery is essential to meet the real-time expectations of today’s audiences, but brand messages must also be meaningful if they are to make an impact. AI meets both needs.

Using sophisticated algorithms that efficiently access, combine, and filter multiple data sources, marketers can gain an instant — yet deep — understanding of what individuals intend to do, which products they want, and how they prefer to connect with brands. And thanks to advances in AI tech this detailed insight can be applied in a number of ways with immediate effect: it can be used to personalize offers, deliver connected and tailored conversations across channels, or even power branded chatbots that interact with consumers and provide relevant services via apps.

AI as a mechanism for better advertising

With programmatic due to account for 67% of global display advertising by 2017, there is a growing requirement for AI tools to ensure that greater quantity doesn’t compromise quality. Brand marketers need tech that marries personal resonance with automated scale, and some digital pioneers are already experimenting with machine learning that does just that.

A form of AI that continuously enhances its own knowledge is Natural Language Processing (NLP), a cognitive machine learning technology that detect trends in user traffic and behavior by analyzing data or content as the human brain does — it allows ads to be matched based on context or emotion rather than simple keywords, and thereby boost click rates.

But this is only the beginning. In the near future, AI will be used to analyze a user’s moods, tastes, and needs — information that will not only allow marketers to optimize ads in the moment, but also predict what consumers will want next.

Publishers too will have a lot to gain from NLP – they will have the capabilities to understand the content users view, anticipate their propensity to engage with articles in the future, and present a customized content experience that increases in relevance, and effectiveness, over time.

Keeping a close watch on potential pitfalls

For all the abilities AI will bring, there are some possible pitfalls that marketers must be careful to look out for. While it’s tempting to see AI as a solution to all digital advertising issues, there’s a danger that irrelevant use or bots that pretend to be human might irritate consumers, which means utilizing AI transparently and only when it enhances the user experience is vital.

Marketers should also make sure their strategy is adaptable. Technology and consumer behavior are forever shifting as a change in one influences the other and campaigns that rely on rigid planning, inflexible data sources, and outdated AI tools are likely to fall behind more agile competitors.

Last but not least, there’s the need to establish a system where human experts have control over AI execution. The concept of ‘technological singularity’, in which machines become better at developing themselves, is a real eventuality and to ensure campaigns don’t run off-track, a high level of human input will still be important.

Although they haven’t achieved sentience yet, modern automations have come a long way since copper-bots like Tik-Tok were futuristic. Their influence over the way we live, work, communicate, and shop is increasing by the day and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.

AI is therefore set to be an unavoidable and indispensible part of the future digital advertising ecosystem, so those that want to be at the forefront of this evolution need to get involved now. As ever, the big players like Amazon, Google, and Facebook were the first to the party, now marketers must up their game to avoid being the last.


From: MarTech Advisor