At Albert, we can already see that in the very near future, all paid digital campaigns will be executed by autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) guided by marketers. Through our experience helping Fortune 500 clients on their journey toward overall business transformation, we’ve discovered the following insights that might be of interest to brands who are thinking about implementing an autonomous, cross-channel AI marketing solution like Albert.
People have unique strengths. We can empathize, be creative, or be inspired to come up with ideas seemingly out of thin air. On the other hand, an AI-powered machine can transact, iterate, predict, and adapt to changing conditions at a pace beyond our comprehension. When marketers collaborate with an intelligent machine, the AI empowers them to expand their reach far beyond the capability of traditional advertising technology. Today, a machine acting intelligently on behalf of marketers can paradoxically enable a brand to present itself as more human, personalized, and flexible.
When marketers implement autonomous AI, it means that instead of operating the technology, they start to collaborate with it. This often involves shifts in a team’s mindset — especially for those with sophisticated domain expertise. Machines take a different path than humans would, because they can focus on everything at once, as opposed to the way we work, balancing just a few variables in order to find performance. As a result, it is important for brands adopting AI tools to ensure that implementation not only integrates technology but people as well.
Marketers who adopt autonomous AI are not always prepared for subsequent shifts in thinking required by the human team. Insights gleaned from an AI tool may surface learnings that shed light on previously undiscovered patterns or insights that change a team’s priorities or strategy. For instance, what does it mean that the machine uncovered a new audience the marketers didn’t know they had? Or what are the implications of hundreds or thousands of long-tail terms that the machine is able to make perform profitably? When brands adopt AI to take on rote, repetitive campaign management chores, marketers find they are able to use their traditional marketing strategy and creative skills to unearth the meaning of the AI’s discoveries, find stories in the data, and craft compelling value propositions from them.
Brands often encounter startling revelations when first implementing autonomous AI. For example, rather than crunching campaign data, more energy starts to be spent on making decisions related to what creative elements should be provided to the AI as well as thinking about overall campaign direction. Because the AI tool’s cross-channel capabilities deliver messages to the right person at the right time, human expertise can be redirected from a narrow focus on bid, audience, and budget allocation tactics to asking more strategic questions such as: are my messages resonating? And, is my overall marketing working?
Additionally, the rate of creative fatigue can be eye-opening for brands. Because the machine offers scaled capacity to efficiently test creative iterations at a pace that was never before possible, teams get to test as many variations and ideas as they can create. Marketers find suddenly they can test and learn more quickly, understand when to use a rational or an emotional proposition, and develop ever more learning agendas to feed the intelligent machine. Unlocking actionable insights and discoveries often steers teams to try new entirely creative techniques and tactics.
Similarly, the process of reviewing campaign performance speeds up to real-time from once a week (or month). And suddenly, those reports are actionable. In pursuit of performance, the AI may request more budget in one place while limiting spend in another. Or, the system may inform that engagement with one audience is increasing far beyond another, so it begins looking for more of the same in other ways. Marketers are on point to think about what opportunities this creates for other parts of their business.
Overall, we’ve found that implementing an AI creates new vistas for marketers to return to their roots: storytelling, using creativity, and building value propositions that resonate with consumers.
While the implementation is fast, learning how to fully utilize an autonomous AI to deliver on the promise of business transformation takes time. But, with adequate planning and preparation of staff, companies can speed up their path toward successful human+machine collaboration.
To learn more tips about autonomous AI, download this commissioned report conducted by Forrester.