This post was originally published on March 23, 2017.
On Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 3:15pm, Magnetic’s CEO James Green presented in the Watson Marketing track at the IBM AMPlify conference in the Engagement Theater 260. This was Magnetic’s first public appearance speaking on the topic of artificial intelligence, and we had a lot to say. We were (and still are!) excited to share our thoughts on how new cognitive technologies are being used by companies to deliver engaging and personal experiences to consumers.
It’s hard to browse any popular marketing website without coming across a headline article mentioning AI. And AI is hardly anything new; for centuries, humans have thought about formal reasoning. As early as the 13th century, logical machines were created. During the Dartmouth Conference in 1956, the term “Artificial Intelligence” was coined by the organizers Minsky, McCarthy, and two senior scientists from the host of this AMPlify conference, IBM.
So why the sudden insurgence in popularity?
The resurgence and renaissance of AI has something to do with the change happening in marketing, in which all roads are transforming to digital. We know this from our appetite and consumption of digital in many facets of our lives, but let’s look at one example: our consumption of media in the USA. We all know the story; print declines along with everything else – except for digital. Digital has increased exponentially.
According to new data from Magna Global, 2016 would be the first year that digital ad spending would catch up to television. The company said that 38.2% of ad spending will go to television in 2016, and 38.1% to digital outlets. By 2020, the company says that digital ads will grow to 51% of the overall spending, while television’s share will fall to 34%. This is a huge change in a relatively short period of time. In 2011, digital ad spending was half that of television.
Predictive analytics and Ad Operations are valuable parts of the AI puzzle. But predictive analytics alone is still largely based on algorithms that require humans.
Ad Operations is currently managed by people with loads of experience that use that experience and their “gut instincts” to come up with campaign strategies.
But what if a machine could learn from tens of thousands of experiences per second, and assess (in real-time) the effectiveness of a campaign and alter a strategy based on its performance? Well, it can. It does. And it’s here.
And this makes AI not only practical, but also absolutely necessary. This technology is here, and taking digital advertising to the next level at lightning speed.
With AI, marketers will improve both peoples’ experiences and marketing efficacy. We now understand the true value of each action that a prospect or customer takes, and we can address each person accordingly, based on their individual needs and desires.
Without AI, what we know as marketers can be considered current predictive characteristics. We can know someone’s age, gender, income and shopping tendencies. But what we know with AI is dynamic and in real-time. AI can do this because it understands people. It knows their motivations, the actions they are most likely to take, and how and when they will take them. Now our ability to differentiate and understand the true value of an opportunity is never as good as it is today.
Giving machines the freedom to do their job will in turn free marketers to do theirs. In short, AI will free marketers from mechanical tasks and let them take the reigns on what they do best: tell stories about their brand.
Magnetic is a digital marketing and artificial intelligence company. We use machine learning and AI to deliver smarter, faster, and more effective advertising. Our powerful AI platform continuously analyzes the attributes of 320 million live user profiles alongside real-time inventory supply and bid opportunities to deliver highly performant and profitable campaigns for our clients.