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    Why the organisations that embrace Generative AI will ‘pull ahead’ of the competition

    Elliott Knight, APAC SMB director, Microsoft Advertising, has told Mediaweek that Generative AI has “reached a pivotal point” in its journey, moving “from experimentation into business transformation.”

    Speaking on the Mediaweek Heavy Hitters podcast, Knight was joined by Dan Stevens, GM digital, Compare the Market; Kellyn Coetzee, national head of AI and insights, Kinesso Australia; and Mediaweek editor Brittney Rigby in a discussion about what AI meands for the advertising industry.

    Listen to the podcast here.

    For Microsoft in particular, Knight said there were three main ways that Microsoft and its customers are using Gen AI. The first is creating more engaging experiences, then democratising AI, and using AI as a collaborative partner.

    Knight: “At Microsoft, we envisage a world where everyone will have a Copilot or an everyday AI companion – and Microsoft already has Copiloted many of our products such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, and of course Search. With Copilot, we’re reinventing search by understanding complex queries, and synthesising information to give consumers what they want.”

    For brands, the introduction of AI has resulted in a boost in business performance, with Knight saying “on average advertisers on our platform last quarter saw around a 265% increase in clicks compared to the previous year.”

    Knight: “From a user’s perspective, people are making purchase decisions faster, reducing the journey from around 30 days to just over 20 when using Copilot. When a user’s journey incorporates both Microsoft Copilot and traditional search, there’s a notable 30% lift in aggregate click-through rate, indicating that the synergy between search experiences is actually driving incremental value. 

    “We’re also seeing strong engagement with ads being shown in Copilot compared to standard search. One of the unique ad formats in chat, which is multimedia ads, has seen triple the click-through rates compared to traditional search engine results.”

    It’s growth that Stevens has also seen. With a front-row seat to the way that AI has impacted the way people are comparing products, he adds that “Gen AI is the next evolution of the way that consumers conduct search.”

    Stevens: “We’ve gone from short keyword strokes that have been very specific about what we’re looking for, and with Gen AI we’re seeing more complex search queries being able to be answered so much quicker.

    “Platforms can deliver those answers far quicker, and be more relevant for every single user – from our perspective, that’s very exciting. From a broader context, we anticipate that over the coming years, as these platforms improve, we’ll start to see search proliferate, we’ll start to see people move away from specific short keyword strings to more complex keyword queries.”

    Why the organisations that embrace Generative AI will ‘pull ahead’ of the competition

    In terms of Gen AI enhancing digital marketing strategies and content creation, Coetzee predicted that the way that agencies specifically would take advantage of AI is “creative at scale”. 

    Coetzee: “We have different types of creative, and are feeding it all the different types of formats that then ultimately feed the algorithms,” she said.

    “When we think of Gen AI, we are constantly thinking of creative, but for me, AI is actually based in platforms, algorithms, and machine learning. To be able to give it a lot more creative to choose from means those algorithms are going to work better for us.”

    Finally, Knight predicts that the future will see employers both seeking out people who can use AI skillfully as well as working to create a workforce literate in the use of the technology.

    Knight: “Organisations that apply AI to drive growth, manage costs, or just deliver great value to customers will pull ahead. I think employers will be looking for people with AI skills, but I also think they’re going to be upskilling existing employees too.”

    Top Image: Elliott Knight, Dan Stevens, Kellyn Coetzee

    The post Why the organisations that embrace Generative AI will ‘pull ahead’ of the competition appeared first on Mediaweek.

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