The rise of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) has brought substantial changes to the online advertising ecosystem. As AI continues to improve in power and efficiency, it will lead to a groundbreaking shift in the way consumers interact with and respond to digital media. However, there are some tasks that may remain in need of a human touch.
1. Understanding Target Audiences
Through increased data processing, machine learning and AI make it possible to vastly improve targeting. As a result, the advertiser begins in a much better position to convert a potential prospect. As machine learning improves, the value of AI will grow exponentially as it continues to generate higher ROI than previously possible without it; at the same time, humans will maintain an important role in managing the performance of this AI.
2. Chatbot Invasion
If you’ve spent any time shopping online in 2018, you’ve likely encountered a smiling stock photo paired with a friendly message asking if you need any help. While chatbots help guide consumers to make a purchase or provide customer support, they also allow human talent to focus on higher-value tasks. AI may be able to offer guidance and collect information, but humans are still necessary for a wide variety of more strategic communication responsibilities in retail and media.
3. The Escalation of Programmatic Advertising
Machine learning has allowed advertisers to efficiently target their advertisements to the right audience. AI has also been the genesis for programmatic advertising, where ads are bought and sold in a fully automated marketplace. An advanced form of programmatic advertising is header bidding, through which multiple ad exchanges are merged to bid at the same time on the same inventory. By 2019, 83.6% of U.S. digital display ad dollars are expected to be spent programmatically, according to eMarketer. The question remains, what will the human role be in managing all of this investment?
What’s Next? Rapid Advances and Exponential Growth
As more data is collected to inform advertising algorithms, and as innovative marketing leaders develop new ways to utilize these algorithms, AI will soon become the backbone of every digital media strategy. Improved contextual analysis will enable more affinity between content and ads, even adapting ads according to the mood of the user based on the content involved. With these steps forward in customer targeting, advertisers will be able to enhance monetization and improve their bottom line.
It is undeniable that artificial intelligence and machine learning have already caused a shift in the digital media landscape. With this seemingly boundless technology, the right level of human touch and some creative thinking, an environment could be created that effectively benefits and creates new efficiencies for everyone at the table: advertisers, content creators and consumers.