marketing management - advertising and AI

A sneak peek into where advertising is going in the AI Era – II

A sneak peek into where advertising is going in the AI Era

Part two

A thought-provoking examination of the current status of advertising and its future possibilities in the AI era.

New sources of consumer data and the AI-produced info

VR/AR glasses, smart assistants, smart TV, smartwatch, smart fridge, smart A/C — did you hear about DigitalSTROM ? It’s exactly that! A smart home system that can program your gadgets to follow your daily habits. Coffee prepared for you before you get out of bed, lights turned on when your alarm goes off, or the thermostat set to the exact time you’re supposed to get home from work.

All connected to the internet — the Internet of Things.

All of this enables the collection of additional data.
More data means more control. Biometric data from smartphones and security systems that employ fingerprints, facial recognition, or retinal scans is one of these new sources. Wearables, eye-tracking cameras, and other similar technologies capture behavioral data. Voice samples captured by smart speakers, smart displays, and other voice-controlled devices.

Automated, AI-powered systems generate huge results. By looking for patterns in scraps of user data, automatic algorithms can predict consumer behavior to a larger extent than a person may have consented to. And people are unaware of the wealth of information that may be gleaned from seemingly innocuous data that they generate.

Data protection

Enters the famous GDPR (EU’s General Data Protection Regulation) which put us all through hell a few years ago. The GDPR legislation, along with various privacy scandals or data leaks, has also changed a lot for people by putting the privacy issue on the lips of everyone. Some are annoyed by yet another popup. Others are distressed by discovering how much data has been gathered on them by companies.

Another point to make here is the opt-out choice. It is relatively easy to withdraw one’s consent to data storage. But what if one’s data is used to train AI? Would the deletion of the source data be enough?

The issues of privacy and data ownership have changed the industry forever and will continue to have an increasing influence on it.

Enters Ad blockers. They are a way for people to say that they’ve had enough. According to reports, 47% of Internet users have some sort of ad blocking mechanisms enabled. This increases the costs of advertising, and the only way to combat that, is to work towards less intrusive ads for a better customer experience.

The marketing and the 5G technology

Do you remember that scene in Star Wars where R2-D2 is delivering a message from Princess Leia in the form of a hologram? Can you even imagine the power of the internet they must have had?

Back to the future, imagine presenting your product in a virtual or augmented reality, smart assistants proactively promoting your offers, your ads shown on fridges or microwave ovens’ displays. An advertising paradise or a nightmare depends on which side of the screen you are on. Well, the IoT plus 5G is making it possible.

What we do have now is the unabashed rise of VR/AR technologies, with more and more applications in experiential marketing.

The reality of many touchpoints encouraged marketers to attempt to engage with a consumer genuinely. It is known as omnichannel marketing. Needless to say that all touchpoints, from awareness through to purchase, are seamless.

But eventually, the fragmentation of the Internet is inevitable. In recent years, the Internet has ceased to be a worldwide anarchic platform devoid of country. Big techs have changed it into an oligopoly.

Now we find out that big tech players also have a nationality and an agenda. Chinese, Russian and Western nets are divided more and more. Soon an advertiser may not be able to run global campaigns and switch from country to country with ease.

There have always been barriers between countries in the online world. But the new, divided Internet — splinternet — may consist of completely incompatible parts.

Money talks

Because the competition is fiercer and the growth in ad space is insufficient to meet demand, the average cost of a click varies between verticals, but it is rising.

Moreover, ad blockers usage is still going up and bot traffic, despite the small drop, still makes a huge chunk of traffic. And this is a matter of ad fraud practically.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a new means of distributing capital introduced by blockchains. They are one-of-a-kind digital IDs for physical or digital items. You may buy and sell single tweets or.jpeg files, as Christie’s did in its latest record-breaking auction.

Digital commodities are a real way to invest large sums of money. This new product category needs fresh advertising.

Blockchain technology has the potential to significantly alter the marketing sector. It can considerably decrease prices, but it may hasten the split of the advertising industry between large companies by removing intermediaries.

My proverbial two cents

Considering a user’s history of touch-points across various channels, focusing on the cost of a click will be inefficient in the long run. As a result, the profit created by a customer over time will become increasingly essential, and marketers will finally be able to quantify it.

marketing management in ai era

A sneak peek into where advertising is going in the AI Era – I

A sneak peek into where advertising is going in the AI Era

Part one

When someone in the industry asked me what do I think is the future of advertising, I bluntly responded that the advertising, as we know it, will be gone. In this article I will intent to develop my thoughts over the status of advertising in the AI era.

‘Power to the people’

Remember Lennon’s song? Well, since ’71 we’ve seen it all come true.

The early XXIst century sees the shift of control away from marketers and placed into the hands of consumers, apparently. It is the dawn of the Social Media era.

Consequently, digital advertising is born.

Facebook starts as a way for Harvard students to check each other out. It grew to be the most ubiquitous social media platform of the early XXIst century. Follows the birth of Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat, which enables everyone to communicate visually. And this empowers consumers with real-time feedback tools. Now we all have a voice.

And it’s very true that technology always changed how marketing works. Think of the revolution the printing press brought about; then the broadcasting, then the personal computer. Let us see what advertising in the AI era looks like.

 

Where are we now?

The state of the digital advertising industry in 2021 is flourishing, under scrutiny, and yearning for a change.

The state of the users is: hating ads.

Several patterns arise from this state of affairs, and the structure of postmodern advertising begins to take shape.

 

The future?

When it comes to thinking about the future, the mind wanders to new gadgets and gizmos, the internet, AI, and space ads.

And while the traditional marketing theory was revolving around brands, with integrated marketing campaigns, the 4Ps, AIDA, segmentation, targeting, positioning and the people were merely unsuspecting subjects, the marketing today apparently gives the consumer the center role.

 

But, the traditional marketing theory is still relevant today, and nothing is fundamentally changed. Even though the accent is shifting and the information is influenced by social media and controls the sales. This is to say that ultimately the brand-centric development goes hand-in-hand with consumer-centric development. Modern brands are evolving from ideas, as David Ogilvy defined them (the intangible sum of a product’s attributes) to networks (the sum of assets and networks that are owned by a brand).

Is that disruptive for advertisers? Pretty much so.

Does it give more ‘power to the people’? Definitely.

Consequently, what will count more and what advertisers are finally able to track is the value generated by a user over time.

Let’s see.

Artificial intelligence and the most recent trends

Storytelling is data explained with a story. Advertisers no longer want you to remember the technical specs of their products. They want you to feel specific emotions when interacting with their brands. Critical thinking has died. Welcome emotions. It’s not about products anymore. Latest and not so, as we can track this tendency as far back as the 80s.

Gillette did it. Nike did it.
Watch these online ads! You’ll learn nothing about the products, but you will remember the emotions you felt when you recall these brands.

Personalization — A time of smaller, personalized ads in campaigns with even bigger budgets is here. Because turns out that customers respond better to content that seems to be tailored just for them .
AI-generated content. Individual marketing campaigns. In the age of anything smart (smartphones, smartwatches, smart TV), smart ads are becoming commonplace. And much of it is run by bots.

Personalization can’t be achieved without measurability. It’s not about clicks and conversions anymore. How do you measure an emotional response? Eye focus? Heart rate? Yes, just like that: the gadgets of today are gathering all sorts of data.
From the point of view of a marketer running an ad campaign, a single visitor belongs to a group of other visitors, similar in terms of spending habits but not necessarily in others, like demographics and location. So, you may not be as unique as you would like to think. And AI can group people with surprising accuracy.

 

Smart grouping, based on interests and behaviors, is being introduced by Google, with others likely to follow. These groups, or rather ‘Federated Learning of Cohorts’ (FLoC), is the tracking target of the future. “This points to a future where there is no need to sacrifice relevant advertising and monetization in order to deliver a private and secure experience,” Google stated. But this is tricky since Google’s attempt to delete third-party cookies and other identifiers for the sake of user privacy would, sadly and unavoidably, aggravate the problem of ad fraud.

Bots generated content

The key phrases behind content-writing robots are intelligent narratives, natural language generation (NLG), and automated storytelling technology. And I believe that this is one of the most disruptive things to the advertising sector in the AI era.

Quill is an NLG software created by Narrative Science who could be the biggest player in the field of AI-generated content.

It describes itself as: “Humanizing data like never before, with technology that interprets your data and transforms it into ‘intelligent narratives’ at speed and scale.”

Companies like Groupon, Forbes, T. Rowe Price, Credit Suisse, and USAA use Quill to create content. Quill can generate news stories, industry reports, and even headlines without human intervention. It’s limited to the confines of news reports and data-backed content, but it can generate this type of content at scale.

Heliograf is a robot reporter created by Washington Post. This in-house automated storytelling technology — or better-said reporting technology — supplemented The Washington Post reporters covering the Olympics, and created hundreds of news stories and alerts for the event. The Post also has used Heliograf to cover hundreds of political races since 2016.

Photo courtesy of DIGIDAY

Wordsmith by Automated Insights is half bot half-human. The human adds the data to the software (tell it a few data points for a “story”) and writes the template for the story. The bot creates the content. That’s it — easy and publishable straight from the app. Many businesses have invested using Wordsmith, including Allstate, Microsoft, and Yahoo!, so this became a direction for marketers. 

There also are funny stories happening with bots. Apparently, Facebook created two chatbots to talk to each other, but they were shut down after they started communicating in a language they made for themselves.

That’s it for today, folks!

In the second part, I will talk about the new sources of consumer data, AI-produced info, and the sound of money.

To be continued