How AI is reshaping programmatic advertising

From audience targeting to campaign optimisation, artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming how brands target consumers and optimise campaigns in the automated ad buying and selling space

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How AI is reshaping programmatic advertising
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Delhi: The MMA Impact India 2024 conference buzzed with discussions on the evolving landscape of utilising AI for Marketers. Herein, a key theme emerged: Programmatic advertising. 

While marketers are ditching the dusty old spreadsheets and striving to reduce the monotony in work, artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming programmatic advertising, the automated world of buying and selling ads online. 

The "New age trends in programmatic advertising with AI" session brought together industry leaders to explore the impact of AI on audience segmentation, creative optimisation, and overall campaign efficiency. Programmatic advertising has traditionally offered a more granular approach to audience targeting compared to conventional methods. However, the session highlighted how AI is pushing the boundaries even further. 

Rajiv Dubey, Head of Media at Dabur India Limited, emphasised the value of AI for companies with diverse product portfolios. By analysing online data, brands can identify new product opportunities and segment audiences based on specific needs, not just basic demographics. 

The discussion moved beyond demographics with Gunjan Khetan, CMO of Perfetti Van Melle India, highlighting the importance of "opportunity spaces." AI allows brands to target consumers based on real-time contextual data. Imagine a chewing gum ad appearing for someone searching online for a breath freshener, or an afternoon pick-me-up during a work slump.

Vishal Singh, Country Head of Xapads Media, delved into the power of AI for audience segmentation. AI can analyse vast amounts of user behaviour and demographic data to create highly detailed consumer segments. This allows for hyper-personalised messaging, where brands can tailor their creative to specific needs within a broader audience segment. Previously, marketers created a limited number of static ads for campaigns. 

Gandharv Sachdeva, Country Head of Hybrid Earth AI, explained how AI can now analyse real-time data like weather conditions and automatically generate different creatives for the same product. Imagine a beverage ad showcasing a refreshing iced tea on a hot summer day, or a warm beverage on a cold and rainy evening. That's the power of AI – targeting you based on real-time needs and context, not just age and location.

An ad campaign aiming for brand awareness might not require the same level of optimisation as one focused on driving sales. AI platforms can automatically adjust bidding and targeting strategies based on the campaign's defined objectives.

Pratik Udeshi, Head of Ad Sales for Amazon, highlighted how AI can optimise campaigns for specific goals.

Addressing potential drawbacks and embracing the future

The session didn't shy away from the potential drawbacks of AI in programmatic advertising. 

Gunjan Khetan raised concerns about creating "echo chambers" where users are only exposed to content that reinforces existing beliefs. This could limit brand discovery and hinder innovation in the advertising landscape. Additionally, the panellists acknowledged the risk of bias creeping into AI models if the data they're trained on lacks diversity.

Despite potential challenges, the panel remained optimistic about the future. Vishal Singh envisions a future where AI-powered tools can create video ads in real time, further personalising the advertising experience. However, he emphasised the importance of human oversight to ensure emotional connection and brand consistency in creative content.

Rajiv Dubey acknowledged the challenges traditional companies face in adopting AI, particularly within marketing departments that may lag behind in embracing new technologies. However, the potential benefits are undeniable, and brands that adapt will be well-positioned to succeed in the ever-evolving programmatic advertising landscape.

The MMA Impact India 2024 session showcased a clear message: AI is no longer a futuristic concept in programmatic advertising. It's a powerful tool that brands are increasingly utilising to target audiences more effectively, optimise creative content, and maximise campaign performance. As AI technology continues to evolve, its impact on how we advertise and interact with brands online is sure to be significant.