Programmatic ad buying is expected to grow by around 31 percent in 2017. Google's ad exchange program, AdX, is the leader when it comes to programmatic ad buying. Even traditional advertising giants like Procter and Gamble are using automation for their digital ads.
However, the influence of big data and automation in the advertising world goes well beyond just programmatic ad buying.
"The Automation of Creativity" is a short documentary that explores the role of artificial intelligence in creative advertising. JWT's Rembrandt campaign and M&C Saatchi's AI-driven outdoor poster campaign featured in the documentary attempt to answer how the juxtaposition of artists, data scientists, and intelligent machines will create smarter campaigns.
We don’t foresee the entire process of advertising creativity to be fully data and automation-driven sans human influence. But it is very likely that both will soon play important roles in generating high volumes of creative iterations to support an increasingly personalized and dynamic advertising landscape.
This will greatly benefit creative talent as they can spend less time working on ad versioning and more on creating new ideas. Advertisers too will benefit from faster creative turnaround times and improved performance due to having enough of the right ads to run optimized campaigns.
Personalization: The Holy Grail of Marketing
Using big data and machine learning, you can match different iterations of an ad to their most relevant buyer personas. This approach, coupled with automation, allows advertisers to efficiently personalize marketing messages in real time.
The programmatic creative approach enables the generation of intelligent creative. This is where each ad adapts, changes and is personalized to each person in real time, regardless of the device or site they are on.
This allows the programmatic manipulation of ad content, so it’s more relevant to the person it’s being served to, with a continuous feedback loop for optimization.
Retargeting is another great way to personalize your ad campaigns. Data about past visitors of your website is collected. It is then used to automatically show ads related to the product or service they were viewing to them elsewhere on the web in a bid to recapture their interest.
An average of only 2% of website visitors makes a purchase at any given session. And it takes seven interactions on average to convert a prospect into a customer. Retargeting helps you convert a significant portion of your website visitors into customers. And this is done through multiple interactions across different online channels such as Facebook and Google.
Predictive advertising can work on two levels: predicting the performance of a campaign based on data gathered from similar past campaigns and predicting purchase intent based on a user's recent activity online.
ReFUEL4's users harness AI-powered predictive analytics to aid their selection of ad creatives based on likelihood to perform. The initial pool of submitted creatives is ranked by an overall performance AI score. This is also broken down into AI scores based on campaign objectives. The higher the score, the more likely a particular creative will perform well.
Machine learning technology achieves this by harvesting insights from past data related to similar campaigns to predict future performance.
Partnering with automated ad creative management features such as auto-swapping of underperforming ads, this use of data and automation creates a powerful way for advertisers to achieve their goals while saving time and reducing ad dollar waste.
In the case of Cardinal Path's automotive client, using predictive analytics to examine purchase intent, the company saw that a newsletter signup strongly predicted some form of regular maintenance in the near future.
Based on such insight, the client can then customize their ad targeting, creative and messaging accordingly. This results in highly personalized experiences for its ad audiences. In fact, as AI and machine learning mature, this will be increasingly done automatically.
The Benefits of an Optimized User Journey
Data and automation ultimately bring about an optimized customer journey across the sales funnel.
For the advertisers, the benefits are significant and undeniable. You achieve higher conversion rates thanks to improved ad targeting and relevance. Money is saved from creating and running creatives that are relevant to your target audience. Time is saved from not having to update, tweak and swap out underperforming ads manually.
And most importantly, you gain more control over your ad campaigns' outcomes with the help of the data and automation dynamic duo.