When predicting the future of AI's role in advertising, some will look through rose-colored glasses while others will focus on the challenges to AI adoption. Reality is likely somewhere in between. These industry pros did their best to provide a level picture of the future of AI in advertising. Here's what they said:
1. Laura Luckman Kelber, Vice President of Marketing at Flexera
“AI will allow advertisers to provide more customized and personalized ads to consumers with the more precisely targeted messaging. AI will not only save time, resources and money but will profoundly influence behavior. That behavior will positively impact an organization’s bottom line.
And improvements in voice recognition and smart speaker technology will fuel the merger of UX and marketing.”
2. Humphrey Ho, Managing Director, North America, Hylink Digital Solutions
“Media planning, creative a/b testing, and automated price bidding will be the future of AI in advertising.”
3. Mahi de Silva, co-founder and CEO of Amplify.ai
“As with other forms of AI, Conversational AI will keep getting better over time. That is true in the general case, as the platforms get better over time, and as machine learning gets applied to ever-larger conversational data sets. But it is also true for a given conversational relationship between a brand and a specific customer. As that relationship endures and deepens, the Conversational AI becomes capable of ever-greater personalization, anticipating needs based on prior engagement. And if you don't like it, you'll be able to communicate that feedback and know that you'll actually be heard!”
4. Peter Bordes, CEO of Kubient
“While we don’t have a crystal ball, it would not surprise me that many of the linear tasks performed by humans today may eventually be replaced by AI systems. Tasks like campaign management, creative verification, etc., may soon change, as advancements in AI continue to take shape.”
5. R.J. Talyor, founder and CEO of Pattern89
“AI will be fully integrated to every advertising strategy. Insightful data exists for advertisers to access, and AI will be the technology to help them digest it. Advertisers will come to understand the information that is available to them, and how an AI solution can enhance their own work and maximize ROI. With this integration into the industry, working with artificial intelligence solutions will be a part of everyone’s job.”
6. Stephen Swift, Creative Technologist at Allen & Gerritsen
“It depends entirely on whether advertising can handle the temptation of erring on the wrong side of ethicality. Writ large, there are two futures before us: one in which we, as a discipline, prove that we can't handle the responsibility of putting what is best for humanity before what is slightly more profitable for us; and one in which we able to be our best selves. I would urge all of us to, at all times, strive for the latter path.”
7. Luke Taylor, Founder & COO of TrafficGuard
“As the skills gap closes, AI will see much more widespread adoption. Right now, the availability of skills, the time factor of data collection, and techstack/business compatibility are mediating adoption. Companies that are able to overcome these mediating factors are motivated to achieve exceptional performance by being the first in this new frontier. At some point in the next 10 years, I expect that a critical point will be reached whereby businesses need to be using AI in order to stay competitive. At that point, the motivation will be survival and AI will deliver minimal viable performance. But that point is still some time away.”
8. Herve Utheza, Head of Media, Advertising & Network Operators at HERE Technologies
“AI in advertising will surely morph over a decade. New UI paradigms and formats, new ad units and Augmented Reality will reshape experiences.
From there, AI has the chance to reshape how we engage with devices, new screens (such as a connected car screen) and voice interfaces.
We will make screens and interfaces more human-like, and one day, we will be talking about “emotional intelligence” and how to make those man-machine interactions more relevant — and in the end, more “human.”
9. Matthew Fanelli, Senior Vice President of Digital at MNI Targeted Media
“The future of AI and advertising continues to evolve and improve. As the adoption rate grows, so too does the sales funnel. That is why businesses from QSRs to health care are embracing AI to further their brand purpose and drive sales revenue. AI can pre-qualify prospects based on behavior. The result drives increased personal, relevant and friction-free ads that are more likely to drive conversions.”
10. Laura Mingail, SXSW Advisory Board Member in Advertising & Brand Experience
“AI will soon have the ability to generate product innovation, develop and test ad copy and creative with a deep database of videos, 3D and 2D assts, and suggest and optimize media buys – all based on its understanding of the target consumer group.”
11. P.K. Kannan, Dean’s Chair in Marketing Science in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland
“AI is key to efficient and effective advertising campaigns that can lead to reductions in acquisition costs and an increase in customer lifetime value. More and more, content will be designed and campaigns executed automatically in real-time based on AI algorithms.”
12. Kevin Groome, founder of CampaignDrive
“Not this year, but next year, we are going to begin to see some of the “bells and whistles” promises of AI begin to appear in reality. We’ll see ads that talk to customers, using Alexa like capabilities. We’ll begin to see platforms (beyond Alexa) that listen to and respond empathetically to customer spoken requests. (Chipotle is rolling out this capability to 1800 locations with clearly measurable results).
We’ll see product placements in gaming environments, and we’ll see the products vary by gamer—and perhaps even influence the outcome of the game (imagine getting totaled in “Grand Theft Auto” because you hopped into a truck with the wrong nameplate on it. All of these capabilities, much hyped for years now, will begin to appear—but the implementations will be more sensitive to brand risk and better able to mitigate that risk.”
13. Michael Harrison, Managing Partner at Winterberry Group
“Winterberry Group believes that we will begin to see a centralized decision engine powered by AI. Currently, each application is building out decision engines into their technology, causing different customer experiences by channel. A centralized decision engine with AI will enhance marketers ability to deliver seamless omnichannel customer experiences. The AI-powered centralized decision engine will lead to headless applications, where the applications focus on delivery and not the intelligence/decisioning.”
14. Tod Loofbourrow, Chairman and CEO of ViralGains
“We’re just getting started. Advertising – after all – is the science and art of persuasion. And persuasion is all about understanding, predicting and improving the science of human behavior. AI will bring us closer to an era when advertising is less annoying and more pleasing, useful, relevant, and entertaining.”
15. Ciprian Borodescu, CEO at MorphL.io
“Personalization and automation are two trends to watch. Their impact will continue to overflow into other marketing disciplines.
Personalization is a key focus because useless ads eat our time and create disappointing user experiences while browsing social media, streaming videos or researching future purchases around the web. With AI, users will see only the most relevant ads and something they can relate to.
16. Sean Byrnes, CEO of Outlier
“AI will continue to automate more and more of the advertising ecosystem. New tools that automate basic creative creation may start to replace creative agencies and more complex ad formats will move to programmatic buying. There will always be a need for human advertising and marketing experts, but their roles will shift from tactical orchestrating and buying space, to launching and optimizing strategic short-term campaigns that take advantage of immediate market shifts.”
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