Is Artificial Intelligence Taking Over Advertising?

Technology is advancing at breakneck speed and with it changes in advertising are rapidly evolving. While we have seen Search and Social media become major components of the advertising ecosystem where does Artificial Intelligence(AI) fit in? Is Artificial Intelligence really taking over Advertising? You would be surprised.

Last year Lexus revealed that they had released a TV commercial that was entirely scripted by AI. Partnering with IBM and Watson, Lexus fed the computer numerous data points including the winning commercials for the last 15 Cannes Golden Lions and 10 years of the best “luxury” commercials. A gimmick, sure! But it points to the potential power of AI.

Nowhere has AI had more of an impact than on digital advertising. Machine learning—a core AI technology—is used everywhere in major ad platforms. Brands are using artificial Intelligence to correctly identify and segment audiences, build ad creative, test variations, improve performance, and optimize spend—automatically, in real-time, and at scale. Because AI can process vast quantities of data in a matter of minutes many simple advertising tasks are no longer performed by humans.

Let’s look at some of the ways AI is being used to improve advertising. And remember, while you may not be actively using AI, the advertising platform you use is.

Budget and Performance Optimizations

Machine learning algorithms are used by many software providers to analyze how your ads perform. They then offer recommendations on how to improve performance. Many platforms, such as Google and Facebook, will provide recommendations and perform optimizations for you.

Ad Creation

Some AI platforms can actually write part or all of your ads for you, based on your objectives. Some social media platforms already provide this service to suggest ads you should run based on the links you’re promoting.

Ad Targeting

Many people might argue that ad targeting is more important than your ad copy or creative. Many ad platforms use AI to direct your advertising to prospects they think are most likely to meet your objective. If the purpose of your Facebook campaign is to get clicks, Facebook will serve your ads to people who have a history of clicking on ads. An advertiser who asks Google to maximize conversions will see Google place their ads in front of consumers who historically convert.

Many advertisers generate oceans of data with which to target potential consumers. One platform on the market looks at your past audiences and ad performance, compares this with your KPIs and real-time performance data, then identifies new audiences likely to buy from you.

This technology also has the ability to make itself smarter based on past performances. Just as people do, AI teaches itself how to do better and gradually gets smarter as it works.

In many cases AI works in the background of advertising, processing data that is too vast for an individual or team to review cost-effectively. Like most digital strategies AI should be tested. Use a portion of the budget from a campaign on AI while humans use best-practices on the other portion. Every year the algorithms get smarter and faster. Very soon if you don’t use AI you will be left behind. Artificial Intelligence is taking over advertising.