WFA Finds Media Taking A Backseat In Setting AI Strategy

The vast majority of global marketers already have set strategies for incorporating AI into their mix, but most of it is focused on creating content, ideas and improving customer experience, not media. That's the finding of a just-completed study released this morning by the World Federation of Advertisers, which will present the findings to its executive committee Tuesday.

In fact, the word "media" is used only once in the 899-word release announcing the findings, and that was cited as part of the study asking marketers which teams were most involved in setting their AI strategies.

Of the six departments cited in the research, media ranked fourth behind marketing teams, legal teams and insights teams, and just ahead of policy/corporate affairs and sourcing (see above).

"We need to review the opportunities and challenges through the prism of all business functions," WFA CEO Stephan Loerke said in a statement included with the announcement. So far, media doesn't seem to be among the most pressing business functions, according to the study.



The most immediate internal gains cited by respondents were:

  • Improved productivity and efficiency (89%)
  • Reduced costs (76%)
  • Improved creativity (46%)

The biggest risks cited by respondents were:

  • Data protection/privacy (77%)
  • IP/copyright (77%)
  • Brand safety/adjacency (71%)
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (54%)
1 comment about "WFA Finds Media Taking A Backseat In Setting AI Strategy".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, September 25, 2023 at 6:28 p.m.

    Joe, reading your post, it seems as though the WFA are implying that media agencies are dragging the chain with AI inclusion in the marketers strategies.

    Based on what Ed has said media agencies were developing 'optimisers' in the early '90s which are basically the fore-runner of what is now the AI race.   In AU we were (well, I can only speak for Clemenger/DDB which became OMD) busy writing and developing bespoke effectiveness models.  Why?   Because the marketers were pretty much at sea, and the media agency had much sharper data, information and strategies.

    Now that marketers have push-button solutions at their fingertips, they see media agencies as being in the backseat.   In my experience the effectiveness relies more on the data inputs and the software than the convenience.

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