Do Advertisers Dream Of Electric Sheep?

When MediaPost named generative AI tech developer OpenAI agency of the year late last year, some readers scratched their heads.

"You were so right," one of them emailed me in early February when OpenAI unveiled text-to-video tool Sora.

I often describe what I do as a media trade journalist as covering "an industrial revolution."

But unlike any before it, this revolution will never end. It will only accelerate, and the rapid progression of AI within the ad industry is just the latest example of that.

Certainly, advertisers and agencies have been integrating rudimentary forms of AI into their tool chest for some time vis a vis programmatic media, algorithmic trading, adaptive digital design, dynamic ad versioning, and various forms of Big Data analysis, but the speed with which the ad industry has embraced -- and integrated -- AI tools into marketing since OpenAI's general release of ChatGPT a little more than a year ago, is moving faster than even I would have imagined.



According to a new report released this morning by the AI Marketers Guild (AIMG), 83% of marketers surveyed in the past couple of months say they have at least partially integrated -- and 13% say they have fully integrated -- AI into their marketing strategy.

"From content creation and personalization to analytics and optimization, AI is being applied across the marketing mix to drive efficiencies, insights, and performance," says David Berkowitz, a long-time digital-oriented ad industry exec and consultant, who founded AIMG.

Not surprisingly, the study shows much of the recent impetus for AI integration has been in advertising creative and brand content, and it's tools like Sora that are accelerating it.

In fact, nearly three quarters (73%) of the marketing exec respondents said they already are using AI for text-based content generation, while two-thirds (65%) are using it explicitly to generate images, video and or editing such content.

One reason I suspect that media planning and buying doesn't come up higher in surveys like AIMG's is that rudimentary forms of AI have already been long integrated into media services, and because media planning and buying is a far less visible process than creative and content are.

But I suspect a survey of client and agency media execs that was explicitly focused on media services would find it is accelerating there too.

Remarkably, only 18% of the AIMG survey respondents said they have begun integrating AI in their media management.

One thing I never see much of is research on the ethical concerns and unintended consequences of integrating AI so rapidly. That said, 76% indicate that so far the impact has been a positive.

"We've reached a tipping point where AI has shifted from a nice-to-have to a must-have for marketers," notes Berkowitz, adding: "As these technologies continue to advance and more marketers build AI capabilities, we expect to see AI become deeply embedded in marketing processes and increasingly shape strategy and decision-making."

2 comments about "Do Advertisers Dream Of Electric Sheep?".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, March 26, 2024 at 8:43 p.m.

    One wonders who the AIMG surveyed.   If it is what I suspect, 83% is a surprisingly low.

  2. Jim Meskauskas from Media Darwin, Inc., April 24, 2024 at 12:57 p.m.

    The other reason you might not see higher percentages associated with AI use for media planning, aside from the machine-learning-driven aspects of it that are already foundational, is that the data sets necessary for output akin to what LLMs produce have to be enormous. Literally billions of data points. Schedule data, buy data, delivery data, MRI/Simmon-esque survey data, across every demo and geography. Oodles and oodles of it. Can an AI bot be used as an interface to process data more quickly than a planner or buyer has on hand? Sure. But pre facto planning and buy de-risking through AI is still some ways off. Unless MediaOcean and Nielsen want to open up their databanks for all to use?!

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