AI in Action
So, with all that understood, what steps can a marketer take to best implement an AI-driven strategy? Here’s our take:
1. Define the goal
Marketers achieve the best results with artificial intelligence by clearly articulating desired outcomes for an advertising campaign that map to a company's larger strategic goals.
First, the marketer needs to understand the brand's business goals from which marketing KPIs can be devised and achieved.
Let's look at one easy example. Suppose a marketer wants to sell high-end appliances that retail for $1,500 and is willing on average to spend $200 on marketing to sell one.
Once the definition of the goal is clear — and it can take a lot of work to get there — we can explore ways in which that $200 is best spent.
2. Devise a plan
In devising our plan, we must ask what we know about measurable actions that lead to sales. These actions include things such as signing up for newsletters, showroom visits, or assembling options for the appliance on a website.
We can then build a program with steps that map to the goal. We can even weight different components — a showroom visit is likely worth more than a website visit, for example — to make sure we favor steps that lead to desired outcomes.
3. Run tests and gather data
We can then construct AI algorithms to feed into appropriate platforms, such as exchanges or DSPs, likely incorporating other instructions or constraints: a list of white-listed publishers; over-weighting in certain regions; limits on media spend; and so on.
With data gathering and measurement capabilities in place, we'll launch the campaign, integrating the weighted components and additional instructions and having the algorithms constantly monitor and optimize.
The AI can run tests in minute increments of time and price, constantly working to understand what points toward or away from success.
4. Take action and refine
AI, using machine learning, will be able to consistently hone in on ever more effective buying, timing, and pricing. Placements may be more or less frequent, higher or lower cost on average, and may be designated for mobile, desktop, OTT, or other mixes.
These pieces will all fall into place as the campaign keeps moving toward the increasingly cost-efficient sale of more appliances.
5. Use talent well
Unlike people, AI will invariably do as instructed. It's crucial that it is instructed correctly. AI is the opposite of "set it and forget it."
One key ingredient in all of marketing AI is talent, the people who know how to interpret goals, understand the programmatic advertising landscape, and can create and refine algorithms to the specific needs at hand.