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Artificial Intelligence will be the future of programmatic but there will still be an importance on design-based thinking

Design thinking is human-centred and prototype-driven. In the context of advertising, this approach aims to integrate the needs of our target audiences, the possibilities of technology, and this spurs creativity and innovation. It revolves around a deep interest in developing an understanding of the people for whom you are designing for and to develop empathy with the target user.

The five phases of design thinking are:

  1. Empathising with your users in order to create the right ad for the right audience
  2. Defining your users’ needs and their problems through the insights collected
  3. Ideate, by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions
  4. Prototype in order to start creating solutions
  5. Test these solutions to see if it matches the target markets needs

These phases are recursive. In order to engage and create emotive connections with the target customers, design thinking is essential.

If an advertisement does not resonate or spark thought with you, how likely are you to engage as a consumer or act on that ad?

With 48% of online display spend in Australia is accounted for by programmatic, it is vital therefore to understand the role of programmatic within design-based thinking. Programmatic is utilised in order to precise the targeting of advertising in order to get the message to the right people. It is about execution, not about strategic planning or understanding human behaviours that is where design-based thinking comes in.

This process of targeting the audiences, frees up creative operations to focus on the creative side of their campaigns to ensure the content of each impression is tailored to provide customers with the optimum ad experience. The “ad experience” means more than just the best content to create the desired human reaction. It also means the correct content for the particular stage of the consumer journey which best matches the audience segment. Now, with AI all these components can be optimised through machine learning.

In recent years the rise of AI is being utilised in order to optimise programmatic. AI and programmatic are currently racing ahead and providing vast amount of opportunities for advertisers to reach and connect with the target audiences. AI is currently aiding in optimising programmatic dramatically through gaining insight on a customer’s propensity to engage, to ensure ads are seen by those most likely to convert in order to best utilise advertising spend. AI helps to determine when and where to best place an ad by using real-time observations based on the analytics, which is superseding human capability to optimise programmatic.

In a programmatic era if I went to a company’s webpage, ads for that company may follow me around for the next three weeks as I went around the web. In the cognitive era, I probably won’t be flooded with the vet advertising because the systems can reason why I left that site, how I left that site, if I bought anything on the website or not and they can make informed decisions on whether they want to serve me that ad or something different.

AI is aiding programmatic by increasing the speed and the efficiency in which the marketers can make decisions. Advertising really is everywhere and by using AI to enhance programmatic to understand all those touch points, they will keep their consumers engaged.

If AI is racing ahead in the optimisation of programmatic, does this spell the end for jobs in our industry?

It is my view, this will not be the case. AI and programmatic will not replace jobs but rather aid in the efficiency as in order for AI and programmatic to be successful, human creativity is essential to differentiate from your competitors in todays saturated market. AI and programmatic does not serve as a replacement to human talent but rather as an enhancement. AI helps humans accelerate the speed and precision of that recursion.

Humans are instrumental in feeding data and innovation into DSP to oversee and power the AI algorithms. Humans will have the ability to hand over operational tasks to AI, in order to focus more attention on strategising refined and more sophisticated ways of measuring performance across channels and screens to drive efficiencies faster than ever before.

If an ad is not tailored and created correctly to match the target market’s needs, does AI and programmatic even serve any use? No, and I believe that AI will rapidly highlight that failure of content creativity. This is because, for AI and programmatic to be successfully adopted in a design-based thinking model, the organisation and the people designing ads are not able to get an enterprise-wide view of all of the data collected about every customer and prospect who has digitally interacted with the firm.

The silos also lead to discrepancies between processes as there is not one process for communicating consistently with customers. Thinking in individual segments, limits potential opportunities to reach an individual and maximise the customer experience. The data sets are not collected into one spot to create a profile on me but left in silos which makes it hard to get a unified view on the customer.

Without complete data, is it possible to allow for AI and programmatic?

To reach the right customer, at the right time and at the right place it is essential to have complete data, the data must be current, comprehensible and considered. It is impossible to have complete data in an organisation that has silos, these silos must be eliminated, and collaboration must be integrated in order to have a competitive advantage in design-based thinking. AI technologies are a collection of big data-driven point solutions, and algorithms are reliable only to the extent that the data used to train them is complete and appropriate.

Therefore, artificial intelligence will be the future of programmatic but there will still be a heavy importance and reliance on design-based thinking and complete data in order to effectively connect and engage our target market.