OPEN MIKE



The benefits of AI and generative AI are becoming glaringly evident in the world of media buying and planning, where smarter trendspotting and better targeting and optimization rise quickly to the surface.

Carl Mayer

Regardless of your industry, the goal of your planning and buying agencies remains the same: To get your message in front of the right people at the right time, in the right places, achieving your marketing goals as efficiently and effectively as possible.

When I began my media career in the ’90s, optimizing software was proving itself as the most effective way to maximize value and reduce waste. But that was an era when “television” meant broadcast and cable, period. As the number of media options continue to increase exponentially, and with “television” having become just part of the larger world of “video,” which itself is part of a vast landscape, something more complex and capable is needed.

Enter artificial intelligence and its smarter sibling, generative AI.

Before going any further, what exactly is meant by AI? The term gets used a lot, in myriad ways, from the silly to the apocalyptic, so it’s helpful to establish some guidelines.

AI can go into a set of data and provide information from that data. That means Spotify or YouTube suggesting songs and videos you might enjoy based on the data of your previous selections; it means your research system telling you which shows perform best on your demo target; it means the red-light camera taking a picture of you making an illegal right turn and automatically sending a ticket to your home (which can feel like a drawback to AI, actually).

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Generative AI takes that a step further by making deeper connections and generating new content and information based on existing data.

AI can:

  • Analyze large sets of customer data to identify and segment target audiences based on their demographics, interests and behaviors.
  • Analyze historical data on media performance to identify the most effective media channels for reaching each target audience segment.
  • Develop and optimize media plans based on budget, goals and targeting criteria.
  • Automate the placement of ads across multiple media channels and track performance in real time.

On a deeper level, gen AI can:

  • Analyze information sources including social media data to identify emerging trends in audience behavior and media consumption.
  • Track the performance of campaigns across multiple media channels and measure their impact on key metrics such as brand awareness, purchase intent, and sales.
  • Generate personalized content for different audience segments — and even individual consumers.
    • Ad copy that is tailored to the interests of the consumer.
    • Personalized images and videos that feature the consumer’s face or other personal details.
    • Landing pages that are tailored to the particular interests of the consumer.

For advertisers, this doesn’t just mean better targeting — it means you’ll get to that better targeting faster. Your planners and buyers will be able to make optimizations more quickly, as artificial intelligence accelerates the campaign learning curve with:

  • Increased efficiency—Many of the time-consuming and repetitive tasks involved in buying and planning, opening time to focus on more strategic aspects of their work.
  • Improved effectiveness—Informed decisions can be made more quickly, cutting reducing the amount of trial-and-error needed.

AI is basically the norm now, and gen AI is on its way to reaching the same level of ubiquity. Do you need to adopt them right away, or at all? No, you can keep doing what you’ve been doing. Whatever’s working will probably keep working the way it has been. But if you can buy better, with enhanced targeting and increased efficiency — especially when that’s what your competition is probably doing — then why wouldn’t you?

The question that clients should be asking is no longer whether their agencies are utilizing these advanced tools; the question should be which tools they use and how well they use them.


Carl Mayer is the VP, integrated media of Active Entertainment.