Published date: Monday, 15 February 2016

Press: DMM - AI and the Future of Digital

Published on 15th February 2016 in the Digital Marketing Magazine.

As we press ahead into 2016 it strikes me that we are moving into an exciting new phase of digital advertising.

Today the industry embraces mobile as an integral part of the marketing mix. There is no doubting the medium’s importance and it’s set to surpass TV in terms of ad spend by next year. To uncover the next industry trend we have to look to something new in the mobile space, something which really offers to transform the way the industry works.

From robots to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (AI) is making waves across the tech world and a splash in the newspapers. Just this week at the World Economics Forum in Davos, AI was heralded as the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ with the technology predicted to radically transform a whole host of work forces and industries.

Advertising is no exception. AI technology began to crop up in ad campaigns in 2015; the opportunities the technology presents, and its problem-solving potential, are far-reaching. While it might be some time before driverless cars hit our streets, artificial intelligence campaign optimisation is ready for adoption by the wider advertising community.

This is because artificial intelligence supercharges data and targeting. While most digital campaigns implement data to some extent, many will use this information in a blunt manner. A brand will outline their demographic and target audience. Take for example, a sports brand looking to target 18-34 year-old males with an interest in sports in order to sell the latest football boots. First and third party data will be used to identify users which fit this profile and the advert will be delivered accordingly.

While this approach is better than attempting to serve the ad to a 90-year-old woman, it lacks finesse. There are many sports fans who will never actually play football and so have no need for boots, but they will be targeted anyway because they fit the profile.

The solution

By implementing artificial intelligence, it is possible to teach the technology not to target users who have never interacted with this type of advertisement. Each time a similar campaign is run it will know who is likely to engage and who isn’t, only targeting the most relevant users.

Read the rest of the film here.