Marketers today are using the same technology that powers digital assistants like Siri and Cortana to help them craft engaging and impactful ad campaigns.
Artificial intelligence is beginning to squeeze its way into almost every aspect of today’s connected world. Rapid increases in computing power have equipped companies with an unprecedented capacity to automate processes that previously required hours, days, and weeks of human effort. From the medical field, to roadways, to factories, 2016 saw major advancements in the application of AI technology, and this is only the beginning.
AI as a Personal Assistant
In an interview with the Washington Post, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about the importance of developing AI in the company’s suite of iDevices, delivering highly-customizable AI assistance at the consumer level. “Look at the core technologies that make up the smartphone today and look at the ones that will be dominant in smartphones of the future — like AI. AI will make this product even more essential to you,” Cook said. “It will become even a better assistant than it is today. So where you probably aren’t leaving home without it today — you’re really going to be connected to it in the future.”
Because Apple tends to not invest in simple technological fads (like PDAs or netbooks), the company’s long-term investment in AI speaks volumes about the technology’s long-term potential. Amazon, Google, and Facebook have also been on the cutting edge of consumer-facing artificial intelligence, all of them hoping to leverage the technology in order to improve UX and make their customers’ lives easier.
AI in Marketing Today
Most if not all AI tech is developed to streamline manual processes, whether they exist in the consumer electronics field or in the world of marketing. In the same way that Siri acts as an ever-present personal assistant for its users — updating suggested routes with real-time traffic reports, utilizing predictive text to craft messages, and using facial recognition technology to automatically sort photos into particular albums — marketing and ad tech companies are now utilizing AI to act as a personal assistant in the creation of highly effective marketing campaigns.
Currently, these companies utilize AI for a few reasons: to sort through assets from creative agencies in order to determine the target audience and intended vertical, and to gather data about how a brand can best be represented. AI can also take a static image file and use it to create rich and varied advertisements intended for a wide variety of mediums, including everything from billboards to social media. In these ways, AI streamlines and automates processes that would otherwise take weeks for a human to perform.
The Future of AI: the Marketer’s Personal Assistant
AI is helping brands make faster decisions about when, where, and how to deploy their marketing assets in order to achieve or exceed set KPIs, and its potential applications will become more numerous as AI becomes more commonplace.
In an article published on The Drum, Founder and Chief Executive of Wayve Jamie Evans-Parker outlined how AI will affect marketing in the coming years. “Right now, the AI ad revolution is in its infancy,” Evans-Parker wrote, “but it won’t be long before its potential to improve production, expand programming, refine targeting, and clarify performance sees it become more essential to those in the advertising industry than the trusty smartphone.”
The goal of AI in advertising is to optimize marketing campaigns by placing ads in front of the right customer at the right time. As technologies evolve, advertisers will be able to limit their ads on the basis of a huge array of parameters: individual qualities like age, gender, and personal interests, as well as more general data points like weather, time of day, and location.
Considering the rapid developments in machine and deep learning already taking place today, these systems will become increasingly capable of teaching themselves to make more precise and effective decisions based on the successes and failures of previous choices. By using machine learning to continually optimize marketing campaigns, companies should see consistent increases in engagement and impact.
Many companies have already embraced the artificial intelligence revolution, and the smartest of them let autonomous marketing platforms like Albert™, the first artificial intelligence marketing platform, to manage the number-crunching. Albert uses the power of artificial intelligence to make decisions about where to place ads, when to buy media, and which audiences to target. After setting initial parameters, the system optimizes marketing campaigns that adapt and grow, reacting to the results of its decisions in real-time. Albert launches “micro-campaigns” based on trends he identifies as likely to succeed, and allows them to run until he determines if the campaign should be scaled upwards, downwards or abandoned.
The application of AI in marketing is growing, but the tools available right now allow advertising teams to craft highly impactful and engaging campaigns. Personalizing and optimizing campaigns in the sea of data brands must navigate today would be humanly impossible without advanced tools like these.