Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Redefining performance through advanced AI

Matt Nash, UK MD, Scibids

In today’s saturated digital ecosystem, consumer attention is at a premium, and it’s never been more difficult for brands to capture people’s interest. This has made it imperative that brands prioritise measuring – and optimising toward – attention, which is why more than a third of global marketers say that attention metrics will play a part in most of their buys in 2023.

But this goes far beyond just attention, with brand-specific outcomes now an increased focus for many businesses as they contend with persistent economic pressures. 

It’s time for marketers to look beyond the traditional KPIs in their media buying and towards exploring metrics that are uniquely suited to the outcomes their businesses are trying to achieve. In particular, there needs to be an approach to calculating return on ad spend (ROAS) that is driven by a bespoke measurement strategy.

Exploring intelligent solutions

The key to making this brand-specific approach a reality lies in artificial intelligence (AI), particularly predictive AI.

Predictive AI technology – which predicts future outcomes using past and present data – becomes more intelligent over time around determining outcomes in media buys. As a result, it has the ability to activate the media that delivers the best performance for a brand without ever needing any personally identifiable information. It can achieve this while prioritising brand safety and media quality, so campaign activation is not just performing well, but adheres to standards.

Its counterpart – generative AI, which generates new content or data from language models based on patterns and information it has learned from previous data – has been all the rage in 2023. While it is useful for aiding creativity within advertising, marketers should be looking toward machine learning-based AI technologies that are more probabilistic.

Indeed, in the privacy-first world, predictive AI prepares marketers for the future of digital advertising, because it offers a comprehensive solution to the imminent deprecation of third-party cookies, while being flexible enough to cater to the specific needs of each brand. This capability is becoming increasingly important as the data signals of third-party cookies and IDs weaken and businesses reprioritise determinist methods of analysing performance. 

Putting advertisers back in control

Utilising predictive AI for activating media and driving attention also gives more control to the advertiser, because they can buy in ways that have not been traditionally seen within DSPs.

Advertisers can bring their own or third-party provided custom algorithms to the table, rather than relying on the off-the-shelf capabilities of the DSP. This ensures they’re able to drive the outcomes that wouldn’t have previously been considered as outcomes, enabling them to work with the brand’s own definition of what return on investment (ROI) looks like.

Importantly, this means that advertisers can begin to explore buying against attention, which has fast replaced viewability as the number one way of understanding campaign performance. Only through the use of AI technology can advertisers start to consider utilising engagement metrics, such as time in-view, and recognise the true effectiveness of their ad campaigns. Without third-party cookies and other identifiers, attention metrics will be the key to understanding how effective campaigns are.

The AI can utilise those outcomes to optimise not just future campaigns, but ongoing campaigns in real-time, ensuring that all ads are consistently driving toward achieving maximum attention and the best possible ROAS.

The key to success

With the imminent deprecation of Chrome’s third-party cookies, marketers cannot afford to delay exploring solutions that can still effectively deliver campaign effectiveness in the future. Especially as the traditional KPIs they have been relying on aren’t fulfilling the actual needs of their business.

The right AI is readily available to help brands move beyond the metrics that don’t provide a true reflection of their goals, and more accurately establish if consumers are engaging with and paying attention to their ads.

While there may still be plenty of uncertainty around what the end of third-party cookies will mean for advertisers, one hard fact is that implementing AI-powered technology solutions will be essential to successful advertising both in the present and the future. 

*Scibids is a client of Bluestripe Communications, owned by Bluestripe Group, publisher of NDA