Here’s How AI is Permanently Changing the Ad Game in the Era of Autonomous Marketing
We are officially entering a new era of marketing. Here's a glimpse into the future of advertising.
Originally Published in The Drum
Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear about some exciting piece of AI news. ChatGPT is everywhere, and it only seems to be growing; back in January, Microsoft invested $10bn into OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT), and Mint Mobile released an ad that was scripted by the AI-powered chatbot.
While ChatGPT, Character.AI, MidJourney and all the other new AI models are extremely fun to play with, today’s real-world uses haven’t gone very far beyond making it easier for students to cheat on their essays. And in recent weeks, the pitfalls of AI (think racist chatbots and Google’s recent Bard debacle) have largely been dominating headlines.
But under the radar, AI-powered innovation is transforming marketing as we know it.
We’re entering the era of autonomous marketing. Here’s a look at some of the ways AI is currently changing the ad game:
Algorithms are outperforming humans at finding target audiences
Facebook and Google’s algorithms are already far better than humans at identifying target audiences. The human media buyer has been relegated to merely deploying these algorithms and letting them do their work. The rare companies that can outperform Facebook and Google have unique datasets that they apply to their own machine-learning algorithms.
Other digital marketing platforms like Taboola and TikTok have their own algorithms, and analog media is racing to build data-driven optimization solutions. In any of these cases, AI is beating out its human competitors.
Machine learning is progressing toward automated content creation
Content is also increasingly starting to fall into the purview of AI. Today, the leading search advertisers let Google automatically create and test text ads from the company’s landing pages – based on Google’s autonomously selected keywords and audience parameters. Such ads are almost impossible for humans to beat.
Ads that are auto-generated with images and text are also now in-market. Technology is still young, but it’s advancing every day. Hardee’s recently created 10,000 burger images using the generative AI model DALL-E. (Part of that gimmick, it should be mentioned, was to demonstrate the limitations of such technology in its current stage.) And B2B management and tech firm ZS also used Midjourney – another generative AI platform – to create images for its “Data connects us” campaign, which launched last It’s only a matter of time before the vast majority of content production is handled by AI. Today’s image generators could eventually become sophisticated enough to produce full-scale commercials.
Don’t worry. When (and if) that day arrives, strategists and creatives will still have vital roles to play: they’ll need to think up the original ideas upon which the content will be based, and also tweak the AI’s prompts to optimize the content that’s produced. AI will simply be another content production tool, like Figma is today.
AI-powered personalization keeps getting better
The largest tech companies have been using machine learning to customize digital experiences for the better part of a decade. Case in point: Your TikTok feed is unique from all others, customized by an algorithm to appeal to your interests. The next wave will be providing personalized digital experiences for every company, and every individual, at scale. As AI evolves, brands will be able to create more sophisticated digital experiences with less code. It will also make it easier to automate customer interactions – think CRM on steroids.