Move aside, Don Draper. Artificial intelligence (AI) is moving in. Compelling creative and hard-hitting headlines aimed at the general masses are only a fraction of the modern marketer’s job description. With reams of data about millions of online consumers at their disposal, marketing professionals today more closely resemble a nerdy math geek, a spreadsheet in hand, than the smooth-talking Mad Men of old. In 2019, they’re more effective, too.
AI makes marketing smarter and more effective. That’s thanks to the advent of Artificial Intelligence in digital marketing. Although AI has been around the industry for some years, the power of AI to deliver personalized, relevant, and timely ads to an individual online is only growing stronger, and marketers are growing savvier with their new tools. By employing multivariate testing methods in advertising, marketers can test all of the traditional elements of an ad campaign – imagery, headlines, Call-to-Actions (CTAs), and color – and add the mountain of consumer data into an AI engine that will deliver the right ad to the right person at the right time in the right place. Rudimentary tests will optimize around single ads that perform the best to a broad audience. The best Mad Men of 2019 will use multivariate testing to serve unique combinations of each variable in a single ad for a single category of user. AI is here.
Artificial intelligence is offering a powerful new tool to digital marketers, who can use the capabilities of AI to both test and modify how marketing campaigns are delivered to target audiences in a far more personalized way. Before the advent of AI, the testing of banner ads or email campaigns would have been limited to A/B variables, such as subject lines for email or headlines for digital banners. Fancy experiments could also test different graphics, but it typically would be limited to two or three versions at most.
No more ‘spray and pray’: Appeal to individual consumers in 2019. With AI, marketers can now test a wide variety of media attributes, including colors, font, calls-to-action, and background image specific to an individual consumer. AI can assess that person’s past preferences to predict what will have the most impact. That opens up much greater opportunities with retargeting: Not only can the ad display, the same product that the consumer was considering from the day before, it can also suggest, as just one example, the angle of the image that would be the most appealing to that consumer.
The brains of AI, of course, are its algorithms. While different AI software may vary slightly in their algorithm, all deliver modern marketers with the unprecedented ability to make real-time calculations about advertisement opportunities. Known as Moment Scoring, AI can determine the likelihood that a digital consumer will engage with an ad and make the desired action based on the goals of the marketing campaign. More than just delivering ads in the moment, AI in 2019 is more cost-efficient by predicting what marketing actions to take in which moments, thereby optimizing your campaign’s spend toward those users that are most likely to convert from prospect to customer.
If you’re not using AI, you’re already losing. According to a report by eMarketer, advertisers around the world have caught on to the power of AI for their marketing campaigns. Nearly 40% of advertisers surveyed indicated that they already use AI’s media spend optimization tactics to make their campaigns more cost effective, with another 31% indicating that they plan to use that tactic. Dynamic creative – ads that change automatically based on the AI’s information about an individual user’s behavior, location, and interests – is already employed by 42% of respondents and is planned to be used by an additional 27% of those surveyed. All of this is to say, if you’re not yet incorporating the power of artificial intelligence into your digital marketing efforts, you’re already losing to the competition.