“Did I get into this industry to be a data expert or to come up with creative campaigns that excite people?” It’s a question many marketers are asking themselves as companies become increasingly dependent on data to inform the way they communicate with customers.
In today’s advertising environment, you can’t have one without the other. Digital marketing only works when it’s both relevant AND on point creatively.
The average consumer is exposed to roughly 4,000 ads every day. Gone is the time when advertisers could get away with sending every customer or prospect the same untargeted, generic message and expect it to make an impression. To engage people on digital channels, you need to understand their habits and target them with the right message at the right time. Context is king to a marketer, and data rules supreme.
But having access to data is just the beginning. The brands that truly understand their customers are those that can analyse all this data and extract insights to help them shape messages, promotions, or offers that will work well with individual market segments. And ideally with individual customers.
There’s more. This insight then needs to be actioned, so that the right content is adapted for a host of different templates before finally being shared with your audience via their channel of choice.
This is the long part of the job, and often the part marketers would happily do without. If you’ve ever had to sift through mounds of customer data on website, mobile and tablet traffic to create 16 different landing pages for a website, or poured over email response rates to inform 60 different versions of a tailored newsletter, then you’ll understand just how time-consuming and tedious these tasks can be.
More importantly, you’ll be painfully aware of how much time this takes away from the fun part of the job – creativity, which is the one piece that’s glaringly missing from the above tasks. All the grunt work is crucial, but it requires more mouse clicking than creative expertise. Why waste brain power on this repetitive work when you could focus on actual campaign strategy and creating more ‘wow’-inducing content?
AI – your tireless assistant
This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes in. By handing over much of the admin that goes into data analysis and reporting to intelligent soft, marketers can get back to what they signed up for and love doing best.
Today’s AI for marketers, like Adobe Sensei, is like a tireless assistant that can manage large scale management and data analysis tasks. Not only can AI do this more quickly and leave advertisers with more time to focus on their campaigns, it also helps them uncover new insights that can fuel greater levels of creativity.
Let’s quickly boil down the three essential benefits of an “AI assistant”:
#1 Find what’s hidden
With so much data to manage, marketers have little hope of drilling down into the weeds of this information and finding the nuggets that will help them improve their service or personalise their digital experiences for each customer. AI software isn’t limited to processing a limited amount of information at once, nor does it get tired in the same way as the human brain.
That’s why brands are using it to sort through all of the data and help them extract relevant insights that go on to power more targeted, successful campaigns
2# Get faster insights
The big push for marketers is to achieve personalisation and relevance at scale, and that requires faster decision-making. Much faster than a human mind can handle. It’s one thing to be able to sift through data, decipher its meaning, and make smart decisions based on your interpretation, but doing all this in real-time to inform millions of actions each day is impossible without some technological assistance. AI software is ideally suited to achieving this.
3# Take action
Of course, insight alone is only partially valuable. It’s when you can turn that insight into action that great things happen. AI doesn’t just analyse billions of data points at lightning speed, it also uses this information to make better decisions about how to improve the customer experience of its own accord, all based on the parameters you set for it.
Whether it’s deciding where to direct ad spend at any given time, knowing which content is resonating with which audiences throughout the day, or understanding which messages to push out in light of real-time market activity, AI software can make these decisions for us. And often, it delivers better results. Like the human mind, it also takes stock of new learnings and applies them to future activity, which means your campaigns become more personalised and targeted over time.
What does this mean for creativity?
Digital channels and platforms have opened up infinite possibilities for the way we create and roll-out advertising, but marketers need more time to be creative. When stretched too thin, creativity suffers. You can’t expect a time-poor audience with sky-high expectations to interact with your content if you haven’t taken the time to develop something that will resonate with or excite them.
Ideas and content are suffering, but that’s largely because marketers are stuck spending so much of their time on campaign execution, analytics, and reporting instead of on creative inception. This is not just a waste of talent and demoralising for marketing employees, it’s also a waste of money for companies that have invested in people specifically for their brain power and expertise.
Going back to our initial question, few marketers got into the industry to spend their time on analysing data or populating templates. Most have chosen this field to generate buzz around new products and services, to communicate with people in innovative ways, or to come up with exciting product launch strategies. In light of this, it’s not too surprising that 81% of marketers are looking to leave their current role within three years.
This may be the strongest case yet for AI. By relieving marketers of their heavy administrative burden, AI promises to deliver the headspace they need to focus on what matters, which simply makes their job better.
Click here to learn how Adobe Sensei is helping brands amplify their human creativity with Artificial Intelligence and so they can get back to the work they love doing.