Industry POV

Some guidelines from digital experts

26 Feb 2018

With the growing march of digital in all spheres of business, there is now increasing use of technology tools beyond tech companies. Increasingly tech tools like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are being adopted by marketers and communications agencies. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data are seen as bringing in the next wave of innovation and digital engagement. 

According to Zenith’s Global Intelligence Report 2018, this year will see some companies begin more strategic implementation and start realising more of AI’s benefits. AI will be able to meet consumers’ growing demand for built-in ‘immediate’ service. Until now m-commerce has been regarded as standard shopping over the smartphone, but with AI, marketers can expect automated commerce that offers dynamic experiences to fulfil the customer journey. In 2018, the customer journey will quickly encompass virtual-reality purchasing, dynamic pricing, automated voice recognition and digital attribution, which can be managed within a single system and with a natural-language interface. The dynamic experience supported by AI will allow for a more ‘in-the-moment’ adaptive shopping experience. 

Taking cognizance of the growing importance of Digital, the Union Budget 2018 made several announcements to give a greater impetus for the growth of a Digital India, which includes establishing national programme directing efforts in the area of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, robotic automation and the Internet of Things (IoT). Accordingly, allocation for this programme has been doubled to Rs 3,073 crore in 2018-19. 

Advertisers, however, need to recognise that for this magic to work, they need powerful data, which needs to be set up correctly for machine learning. While there’s nothing sexy about naming conventions, data tagging and compliance, it is imperative that these become a business priority, otherwise everything will remain dumb, states the Zenith report. 

In order to further explore how advertisers can successfully leverage technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Adgully spoke to a cross-section of digital experts. 

How AI is making inroads in advertising 

Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO, WATConsult, observed, “AI is making its way in many different ways in advertising. AI’s impact will not only be in terms of use for campaigns, but its real impact will be in terms of usage as the technology that helps automates various advertising functions like media planning, dynamic content and creative creation as well as social monitoring and response management. 

He further added, “On the campaigns front, brands will use AI to automate their data segmentation process as well as to improve their targeting, segmentation and remarketing. AI will also be used as the technology to create customer service bots which will replace real people.” 

“AI and machine learning is quickly making its way to advertising and marketing and we are already seeing the benefits of it. AI will be able to enhance our day to day tasks of creating reports, optimising campaigns which will lead to substantial improvement in turnaround times and will have a tremendous impact on performance,” remarked Shamsuddin Jasani, MD, Isobar India. He added, “I believe that within a year’s time we will be able to use AI to get us much better insights from all the data that we have. Overall, it will be great for agencies, clients and publishers alike. Finally, AI will also go a long way in cheking the menace of adfraud and go along way in ensuring brandsafety.” 

Honey Singh, CEO - PR & Content Marketing, #ARM Worldwide, believes that AI is driving efficiency in advertising after blending well with communications. One can use Real-Time Automation, content personalisation for a defined target audience, recommendation engines for customers.  

Citing an example from #ARM Worldwide, Singh said, “We have created our perception building framework in PR using AI for beaming customised content pegs to target the audience for creating desired brand perception using communications. As a result, we are managing international PR from India HQ and achieving quick results like getting an organic feature in CNN International. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-vwaGGWph8).” 

Prasad Shejale, Co-Founder & CEO, Logicserve Digital, too, believed that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are revolutionising the marketing world. According to Shejale, “Artificial Intelligence is one of the most influential technologies available to the modern world. It is quickly being utilised by marketers across various industries and is changing the nature of jobs to make them more seamless and effortless. Technology giants like Facebook, Apple, etc., are already making shifts in their marketing strategies and are emphasising on AI heavily. As per PwC, business leaders believe that AI is going to be fundamental in the future. In fact, 72 per cent termed it a ‘business advantage’. Also, as per IDC FutureScapes 2017, 75 per cent of developer teams will include AI functionality in one or more application or service by 2018.” 

The benefits 

Some of the benefits offered by this unique technology are:

  • Efficiently process and analyse the huge chunk of data available with marketers and gain useful insights for the same that can be used for future marketing plans
  • Analyse customer profiles and provide insights that can be used to optimise customer value
  • Figure out effective ways to interact and engage with the audience
  • Time saving
  • Improved productivity

AI is starting to become more valuable in automating planning, buying and optimising media spend as it allows brands to target more specifically to audiences and demographics. This leads to better conversion and of course, better success. 

How can advertisers maximise the use of AI? 

For Shamsuddin Jasani, the first and foremost thing is that AI will help marketers to free up their time from daily task and invest that time in coming up with solutions and strategising on the brands and business KPIs. Brands also need to leverage AI to help understand ad fraud better. “Also, AI will help decipher data much more quickly, which will allow us to take better and quicker calls. Overall, this means that advertisers will not only be able to save much more monies, but more importantly, take strategic calls will have a much larger impact on the brand and the business,” he added. 

 

Echoing similar views, Rajiv Dingra noted, “I think the first step is to understand where AI stands today. AI and machine learning are linked and what brands need to do is deploy AI tools and run enough campaigns so that machine learning happens and AI can then be more intelligent and useful.” 

According to Honey Singh, the biggest adverting platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter and LinkedIn make the best use of AI by blending it well with their machine managed platforms. “On the other hand, AI is an integral part of Programmatic advertising, Supply-side platform (SSP), Demand-side platform (DSP) and Real-time bidding (RTB) to drive efficiency at scale,” he further said. 

Prajad Shejale, too, pointed out that AI is starting to become more valuable in automating planning, buying and optimising media spend as it allows brands to target more specifically to audiences and demographics. According to him, “This leads to better conversion and of course, better success. It is not only the delivery of digital advertising, which AI is already impacting, but with some brands the creative itself is benefitting from intelligent computing that can learn and adapt to serve more relevant ads to each consumer. Lastly, a newer use of AI technology – Chatbots – are the source of much discussion in the advertising industry. AI is helping marketers profoundly by streamlining their processes and functions. Marketers can make the most out of this technology by accessing the right set of data, use the insights considering their business objectives and keep on improving the processes on an on-going basis.” 

Artificial Intelligence is still in its nascent stage, but has already created a huge impact on the digital marketing industry. AI has the power to transform the overall success of a brand, if used correctly. Marketers are confident that it will thrive really quickly and will create even bigger impact as it becomes more advanced. AI has huge potential in helping the digital advertising industry grow and sustain. 

Marketers need to up their learning in new skills, keep themselves updated and continue adapting to the changes and utilise the technology innovatively to be able to match up with the fast-growing digital space and make their mark in the industry. They need to use the AI more creatively, they are sure to succeed and take their business to new heights. 

Shejale summed up by saying, “It is high time we start embracing this novel technology and make the most out of it to survive in this disruptive digital world.”

 

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