The robots aren’t coming to take your job; they are coming to assist you with the work that you already do. Marketing specialists have started to venture into using AI and machine learning to assist the way that they create digital marketing campaigns. These tools can not only create better pitches and ideas for creating new ads, but they can also optimise how advertising dollars are being spent throughout the organisation.
LinkedIn offers a perfect example of how AI is utilised to improve ad spend throughout virtually any organisation:
That’s where AI-based decision intelligence platforms come in.
These platforms can help retailers predict outcomes, recommend actions, and optimise their ad spending in real-time by analysing data from various sources, including social media, website traffic, and sales data.
Humans can do many tasks, but less quickly and efficiently. That is why the best approach to take is to combine the experience and flexibility of human beings with the raw processing power of AI technologies.
How does AI and machine learning help?
AI learns when it is fed data. The mass availability of customer data continues to grow by leaps and bounds over the years. The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) points out that there are various new sources of data available to feed into AI programs, including:
- Internet browsing patterns
- Wearable technology data
- Social media activity
- E-mail open rates
- And more
Consumers freely give up many of these data pieces in exchange for access to some service or product. That is data that is worth its weight in gold. AI programs can offer it to sort through and determine the optimal way to reach each customer.
These technologies cut down on the time that human employees have to work on determining the best course of action to win over as many customers as possible. They can also help one craft the best possible bid strategy as well. Winning customers via bids requires time and energy, and tracking all the work that goes into that bidding strategy is essential. AI helps reduce the time spent doing that research because it can instantly produce all the figures and metrics you must look at. Use it as an aid to develop your bid strategy based on the actual numbers related to the work that you are doing.
How AI and machine learning can optimise ad spend
Did you know that the time of day, the weather, or your previous orders impact what is marketed to you at McDonald’s or Burger King? It’s true. The fast-food giants have been experimenting with machine learning to reach customers more effectively. Those machines learn how to optimise digital marketing efforts for both companies by making probabilistic assumptions about what a given customer might want to order. It also serves as a great “nudge” to customers who might not otherwise have come in for a Big Mac or Whopper.
AI and machine learning can assist any industry that wants to improve its digital marketing. These programs review hundreds or even thousands of data points about a given customer to suggest the optimal type of ad bid, the placement of that ad, and the timing of the placement of that ad. The AI learns how to create an ad that will appeal to any given customer and when to place that ad to convert that individual to make a purchase truly. This can create far more powerful advertisements than one might have had before.
Steps to implementing AI and machine learning for ad spend optimisation
You see the value of AI and machine learning; you understand the potential that it can unlock. The only thing you have left to figure out is how to implement both systems into your day-to-day operations. To get through the implementation of AI and machine learning, consider the following:
- Introduce your staff to the concept of AI and machine learning. Let them know you are considering implementing these technologies, and listen to their questions and concerns.
- Start any program you implement on a trial basis. You will need time for your staff to get up to speed about how they will use the technologies and what they can do to make the most of it.
- Roll out the programs to a limited number of accounts to test that they will work under real-world conditions.
- Receive feedback from your clients and customers. They will likely offer their opinions for free to give you a piece of their mind about how they feel about your ads (both positive and negative feedback).
- Make changes as necessary based on the feedback you receive from employees and customers alike.
These five steps will help you go from where you are today to a place where AI and machine learning begin to play an outsized role in your marketing efforts.
Challenges and limitations of AI and machine learning for ad spend optimisation
AI and machine learning help increase team productivity and return on ad spend, but don’t simply turn over total control to AI and assume that everything will go perfectly all the time. There have been some very high-profile AI failures. From an AI recruiting tool used by Amazon that turned out to have a bias against women to a chatbot developed by Microsoft’s AI programs that turned very racist and sexist very quickly, there are dangers everywhere. This is why using AI as a tool is a good idea and not assume that it can take over complete control of all marketing processes.
There should always be a level of human intervention available for any of the projects taken on by AI programs. This allows you to retain control over what the machines are doing and avoid brand-damaging moments like those described above. You should always remain across the AI tools that you are using.
AI will revolutionise marketing, but people are still needed
Everything will change in the digital marketing world because of AI. Human experts are still necessary, and staying on top of the latest trends is essential. Don’t hand over your marketing to AI, but consider leveraging the power of AI to maximise your return on ad spend.If you want more information about how AI can improve your marketing efforts, contact us to find out how to use them to your advantage.
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