By Darren Morton, Victoria and SA sales director, Quantcast
The journey from selling traditional television advertising to embracing cutting-edge AI and machine learning technologies, while remarkable, has also resulted in an industry distracted by tech rather than focused on outcomes.
As I reflect on my 15-year career, I can’t help but notice how I’ve come full circle, with the hottest digitally transacted inventory now being BVOD (Broadcaster Video on Demand). This evolution has sparked not only the rapid adoption of AI in our jobs but also a contemplation on the role of AI in media, the essence of our profession, and where we should focus our efforts.
The rise of AI in media
Over the past decade and a half, the media landscape has undergone a profound transformation. In earlier days, the industry primarily revolved around selling linear television advertising. Fast forward to today, and programmatic digital advertising, underpinned by AI and machine learning, dominates the market.
These technologies have driven a relentless pursuit of speed, cost-efficiency, and proof points. However, in this race towards technological supremacy, we must not lose sight of our core purpose.
AI and machine learning have also rapidly evolved and influenced what we sell and how we sell it. But while new technologies are fascinating, focusing too much on new capabilities can sometimes distract us from our primary mission: delivering meaningful business and marketing outcomes for our clients. It’s important to remember that AI exists to make us more efficient and to take the heavy lifting out of driving these outcomes.
The crux of our profession lies in understanding ‘why’ we do what we do and ‘to whom’ it matters. While programmatic advertising relies on AI and machine learning, these tools should be used for strategic planning, reaching the right audiences, media buying, and deriving measurable outcomes from advertising much easier.
Understanding the purpose of AI in advertising
In this scenario it’s crucial to recognise that not all AI or machine learning technologies are created equal, and that their core functions or purposes can vary significantly. Machine learning algorithms can be designed to specifically understand behaviours across the open internet and optimise for media metrics, while AI can now be used to develop creative in ads. The key lies in understanding the unique role AI plays in your organisation and why.
While it’s now essential to experiment with AI across all facets of our business and personal lives, the real benefits are already at our disposal. AI can streamline processes, allowing our human capital to focus on creative and strategic work. By leveraging AI’s capabilities effectively, we can enhance our ability to provide valuable insights, better campaign performance, and superior client service.
AI and machine learning have fundamentally reshaped the media landscape, propelling us from singular ad placements to being able to create digital experiences that drive impact at scale, but it’s crucial not to lose sight of the facts: technology is only as good as the humans that make and use it.
By understanding the role and purpose of AI, we can strike a balance between technological advancement and human expertise, ultimately shaping a brighter future for the media industry.
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