Artificial Intelligence will make programmatic ad buying smarter. Specifically, it will help determine when and where to best place an ad across the 300 billion real-time marketing observations that occur in programmatic advertising exchanges daily.
That’s the view of Nikos Acuña, the newly appointed Chief Visionary of adtech company Sizmek.
“AI will help make those granular decisions and will ultimately decide whether to bid for that opportunity,” Acuña told Which-50.
Following Sizmek’s 2017 acquisition of Rocket Fuel, Acuña, who previously ran the RocketFuel Institute, has stepped into the newly created position reporting directly into Mark Grether, CEO of Sizmek.
As the ad tech company’s lead evangelist, Acuña’s job is to educate the market on emerging trends, including rolling out an education program on AI to the major agency holding companies.
As well as automated decision-making, AI will be able to spot patterns in data sets to identify what is driving lift, Acuña said. This will allow marketers to optimise their targeting towards a specific outcome, rather than relying on segments and third-party data.
“AI augments our intelligence. It enables a platform to do things at scale that humans just can’t do,” Acuña said.
Acuña argued AI-driven models can expand ad targeting outside of individual segments and focus on the conversions.
For example, rather than assigning a constraint and targeting individuals within specific parameters such as age and gender, marketers will be able to assign an outcome to a campaign, like sell more home loans, and use AI to identify the variants that are driving lift.
“The ultimate way to understand it is to optimise towards those conversions and from there do an analysis of what actually led to those conversions,” Acuña said.
“If you only think in segments, you’re not thinking about all of the other potential opportunities to reach an individual. When you’re using a model, the models change the same way a Google car drives or the way you talk to Alexa.”
That shift is also going to change the job of the marketer.
“The role of the marketer becomes a hybrid role in which every marketer is going to need to be data savvy, plus implement more of an enterprise architecture application to every type of workflow they are implementing,” Acuña said.
Similarly, the agency holding companies are all becoming digital transformation shops, Acuña said.
“Every agency is building their own platform internally that consists of data enablement, media execution, creative execution and creative optimisation. They are all doing the same thing,” Acuña said.
“I have been sharing ideas with them about how to leverage AI to make them a future-proofed agency, and how they can become more competitive in the future to and how to launch new services in the market that could potentially re-architect the way they do business.”
His advice is agencies need to become more like technology companies by creating a technology stack that will serve as the foundation for the services they are going to implement.