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BizReport : Advertising archives : September 15, 2017

Marketers: How and why you should use AI

While artificial intelligence has been rapidly adopted for gaming and even by some publishers, other marketers have not been as quick to adopt. That, says one expert, could be a mistake. Here's why.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What are some unusual ways online marketers can use AI to better engage consumers?

Josh Sutton, Global Head of AI Practice, Publicis.Sapient: Advertisers can use large data sets combined with machine learning to much more accurately target how to best reach their target audience. We are finding that advertisers consistently overpay based on preconceived biases about what publishers are best able to reach their target customers.
By combining individual level data sets with AI, we are able to identify dramatically more cost effective ways to reach their audience. This is true across all channels - we seen improvements in ROI from 10%+ on terrestrial advertising such as billboard spend to improvements of greater than 100%+ on programatic digital spend.

A relatively new and exciting way that leading advertisers are leveraging AI is by applying image recognition and natural language technologies to publicly available data sets about their customers (people that have liked their brand on Facebook, etc). They are extracting common activities performed, themes discussed and other brands shown in images to create a much more robust understanding of their customers than was ever possible before these AI technologies began to mature. These insights are allowing them to dramatically improve their campaigns to better align with the values that their customers care about resulting in improved ROI.

Kristina: What are the implications for marketers in using AI?

Josh: AI is causing a fundamental shift in the advertising industry. Historically, advertising was about determining how best to convey a message to consumers. It was largely a one-way communication vehicle. The combination of AI and today's connected digital world is rapidly changing this into a two-way communication channel where listening to your potential customers is equally (or even more) important as ensuring that you are conveying the right message. Advertisers that don't use AI to listen to their customers will be viewed as tone-deaf and unresponsive compared to their peers that do adopt AI to create better customer experiences.

Kristina: How much should businesses be investing in AI at this point?

Josh: Every company should be looking at how AI technologies can be deployed to improve their business. That being said, they should not be writing a blank check. Everything that is done should be aligned with strategic objectives and have clearly defined metrics which will enable you to concretely prove the value of any solution. AI has the potential to be a game-changer for nearly all companies, but it must be deployed in a responsible fashion that measures a meaningful return on investment.

It is important to note that as solutions are designed and deployed, it is extremely important to remain focused on experience design. The success of nearly all AI solutions will be predicated by how much they improve a reader's experience.

Tags: advertising, AI in advertising, AI in online marketing, online marketing tips, Publicis.Sapient

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