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An Intersection of AI and Creativity – Producing Real Mobile-user Engagement

The digital advertising industry has found itself facing challenges over the past two to three years. As a result of the depreciation of third-party cookies and the stringent updates to Apple’s IDFA, marketers have had to think differently about how to scale and measure the effectiveness of their digital campaigns.

Yet despite the challenges posed by changing data privacy laws, the ad sector has been continuing to grow rapidly. Indeed, it is anticipated that the digital advertising revenues generated globally will rise from $463.8 billion in 2021 to around $633 billion by 2025. 

Within this, mobile has become the most powerful channel and is now the primary means of consuming content for the majority of consumers. Today, mobile accounts for 60% of global ad spend

However, in spite of this growth, the majority of mobile advertising has not moved with the times, remaining static and not engaging. This is despite an increasingly saturated market where brands need to deliver interactive mobile experiences to stand a chance of engaging audiences. 

 The reality is that the most important metric currently available to marketers is engagement, as it allows them to assess the level of interaction between the creative and the user. Engagement is intrinsically linked with creativity, making the curation of unique and eye-catching design imperative to a successful campaign. This has been known for some time; a study by Nielsen in 2017 ranked creativity as the most crucial element in advertising, with a staggering 47% contribution to driving a successful campaign. On top of that, if a consumer engages with your ad they will be more likely to internalize the message, making your ads up to 10 times more memorable.

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 Having said all of this, with advertisers having relied heavily on the tracking and targeting provided by third-party cookies to plan campaigns around, creativity in digital ads has, for 10-15 years, taken a backseat. But, with cookies on the verge of depreciation, there is an opportunity now for creative to take the reins again, allowing advertisers to be able to create real engagement with their target audience. 

For many brands, the challenge now is having the right solutions in place to not only measure the effectiveness of existing campaigns but to also make informed decisions about future creative. 

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When it comes to mobile advertising, there are plenty of tools for analyzing and improving the lower sections of the marketing funnel, but there’s a lack of time spent optimizing the top. This is killing potential performance and reach, and the result is that campaigns are getting lost in a sea of digital content. However, here, creative data can be used to stand out against the competition.

Traditionally seen as a subjective matter, creativity can now be escalated and measured analytically thanks to technologies relying on artificial intelligence, which are able to use historical data to determine what content and formats produce the most engagement.

With AI, brands now have the tools to deliver brilliant consumer experiences by leveraging creative data while maintaining privacy. 

Analyzing historical engagement data from large datasets, AI can be used to determine where consumers are most likely to engage with ad units and the type of ad unit that will be most effective. It would be impossible to manually leverage years’ worth of campaign data points and device touchpoints, but AI allows brands to access data from thousands of campaigns, including which sites/times of the day and engagement types will be the most effective for a given campaign.

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 By bringing a level of automation to the creative process, brands can alleviate complex and resource-intensive work to deliver the best possible ROI for their campaigns; targeting audiences who are engaged and motivated to convert, with the creative that is most appealing to them. Furthermore, as this data is anonymized, creative data provides a unique privacy-compliant solution for this new cookie-less industry. 

Moving forward, the most effective tactics for ensuring the success of campaigns will now come down to two key factors: context and data-informed creative. And in a world that will continue to become increasingly digital and mobile, if brands are not recognizing and using the intersection between AI and creativity, they’re putting themselves at a serious disadvantage. 

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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