WHAT ROLE DOES AI PLAY IN ADVERTISING?

Artificial intelligence is continuing to grow in the world of advertising, changing what is possible with everything from ad creation to ad buying to personalised audience targeting. Brands are beginning to use commercial artificial intelligence to identify audiences, build ads, improve performance and optimise their spending. The use of AI has an impact on a brand’s competitive advantage and how marketing agencies will create and run ad campaigns.

What is AI in advertising?

In simple terms, artificial intelligence is a computer science that aims to create intelligent machines that have vast knowledge, can learn, problem-solve and plan. AI excels at analysing huge amounts of data, often more effectively than human brains. Advanced AI can learn from the data and improve analysis and predictions over time. From this, numerous outcomes are possible, particularly when it comes to advertising.

AI can analyse sets of data about online advertising, picking up patterns a person may have missed, create ad copy and creative while predicting what works best. It can understand information on how consumers interact with advertising, using this knowledge to optimise campaigns. AI can also use the insights it has gathered to streamline ads.

The enormous amount of data on consumers watching and interacting with ads is too much for the human mind to process – especially in recent years when so much buying and selling is online! An AI tool can help a business create insights that inform future marketing campaigns and allows marketers to do their best creatively. It may sound like AI does our job better than we do, but it is essentially a tool that helps us do better!

Performance Optimisation

Performance optimisation is one of the most useful situations where AI can be implemented. Algorithms are used to analyse how ads perform on different platforms and offer recommendations on how to improve their performance. The platforms may use AI to highlight performance issues you were not aware of, and in other cases, AI is used to automate actions you are aware can be improved.

As AI uses sophisticated data analysis to gather insights on optimisation, it can help save you time and money. By gauging what could be causing losses, AI can help you make changes to the advertising campaign and importantly, improve your return on investment (ROI)!

This tends to be the most common form of AI that helps us out here at Bluesoup. In PPC, AI can help with performance optimisation through programmatic advertising and automated tasks. AI helps to adjust and optimise search terms and budgets for real-time market conditions where it can offer suggestions on keyword bids based on user behaviour. With the goal in PPC generally being to drive highly qualified, cost-effective traffic, AI can help through algorithms and automation, potentially increasing ROI with its suggestions. However, the suggestions Google provide aren’t always beneficial to the campaign, which is where a PPC manager is needed to keep a close eye on things (but more about that later!).

Audience Targeting

Ad targeting is as important as ad copy and creative. Social platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, search engines like Google and multinational companies such as Amazon collect huge amounts of data on consumers which can be used to target audiences. Manual adjustments aren’t always efficient, as we have mentioned above; it is time-consuming for us humans to go through the information and make changes.

This is where AI can help. Several AI systems can look at previously targeted audiences and ad performances, compare it to KPIs and real-time data to create new audiences that are better suited to your ads. As AI can predict relevant ads based on old data, companies can also further understand the preferences of their customers and make recommendations. Netflix does this to recommend shows (you probably won’t watch), and Amazon uses this technology to recommend products (you almost definitely won’t buy).

Challenges with AI Advertising

Despite the many benefits artificial intelligence offers, there are a few challenges when it comes to using it in advertising, with the ROI being one. Businesses have to create different types of advertisements, depending on the medium, which can incur high costs. Ads that don’t land due to the range of consumer tastes and openness of the internet create overspending and minimum revenue.

Repeated and multiple ads are another challenge facing AI. Though intelligent, AI technology doesn’t have the same perception as a human and cannot determine what is a typical number of ads to see in a determined period. No doubt, at one time or another, you’ve been browsing the web, and keep seeing large numbers of the same ads repeated over and over. Like many others, you are sure to be unresponsive, which is costly and risky for the business behind the ad.

How Marketers Can Use Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence can be used in various ways to help marketers and advertisers if they have the means to do so. One way is with using AI on email marketing to collect information on subscribers; you can track which emails are read, which CTAs are clicked and who interacted with what on the website. This data gathered by AI allows you to create segmented email lists, so you can deliver personalised content.

Social listening can help businesses improve by listening to what people say about them online. Due to AI, listening tools that can be used on various social media channels can track mentions of your brand and industry. The AI can then develop a larger view of how customers react and respond to the brand, learn what products are most appealing and avoid problems by marking any negativity that is associated with a product or the brand.

AI cannot replace a human, despite the highly efficient analysis and algorithms they create and run, so we don’t have to worry about a robot uprising or computers taking our jobs (yet). AI is a tool that makes PPC managers more productive, taking care of their repetitive daily tasks, giving them time to focus on strategy and creating compelling ads. AI also hasn’t cracked the creative side of marketing, so there still needs to be a human to take the data produced by an AI and transform it into an attractive and successful ad campaign.

What Are Your Thoughts on AI?

AI is becoming more prevalent as major companies invest and consumers have access to virtual assistants like Alexa, Google Home and Siri, so it is inevitably becoming a huge talking point in all things technology. However, not everyone is welcoming this move; the idea your phone could potentially be listening to you to help companies market to you is a bit unnerving! Do you think the increase in AI is a good thing, or is it too invasive?