When you think of the term "AI," what comes to mind? Computers? Robots? 

This buzzword has gained much popularity and has made its way into headlines now more than ever. According to a PEW research study, this year, nine out of every ten adults have heard about artificial intelligence, either a lot or a little. However, this term encompasses more than the futuristic and visible technologies we hear about most often. In fact, it’s interwoven into many of the day-to-day activities that consumers interact with, including email inbox filtering, facial recognition on cell phones, and chatbots.

For us in the digital marketing world, AI is old news. We utilize artificial intelligence in our everyday operations, and we continue to find new ways to test its use. However, the possibilities and what can be automated are evolving. So we aim to strike a balance between deriving value and efficiency from AI while maintaining human-centric strategies and applications. We employ a healthy amount of skepticism when reviewing machine learning-generated campaign suggestions, for example, and we are sure to maintain a heavy hand in campaign branding and settings. 

However, it does stand to provide opportunities for efficiency and effectiveness. Below are just a few of the ways we have found to be successful uses of artificial intelligence in digital marketing:

Audience Targeting

  • By infusing CRM data into self-serve ad platforms, we can optimize the budget towards high-quality leads, driving a higher ROI. 
  • AI technology can also help re-engage, or remarket to, dormant customers, reducing the risk of lost business. 
  • Furthermore, we can avoid targeting customers who have already made a purchase, significantly reducing advertising waste. 

Platform Machine Learning

  • The AI in ad platforms, such as Google Ads, continually optimizes ad delivery through machine learning, aiming to show the ads to users most likely to complete the action you have set as your campaign goal.
  • Responsive ad formats, now increasingly common across self-serve ad platforms, take the ad components provided by the advertiser, and continuously mix and match them, favoring the set that drives the most action. A semi-automated creative test, if you will.

Programmatic Ad Buys & Placements

  • And finally, by investing in programmatic advertising avenues, we can make our ad buying and ad placement significantly more efficient and effective. To read more about digital out-of-home, one form of programmatic advertising, click here.

As publishers and platforms continue to evolve and incorporate more AI solutions into campaign management, it will be critical for advertisers to maintain a hands-on approach. Algorithmic bidding and responsive ad creation have the ability to incorporate signals unavailable to human decision-makers when delivering every ad impression to drive increased conversions and overall efficiency. However, it will remain incumbent upon advertisers to establish clear goals when creating campaigns, continually monitor performance, and make adjustments to ensure that their clients’ marketing objectives are met.