Future developments in AI can help advertisers to stall the progress of ad blockers and regaining the trust of the online audience, writes Jamie Evans-Parker, founder and CEO of wayve.
Instant personalisation is a requirement of modern ‘millenial’ consumers of the online experience, from film recommendations on Netflix, to the digital ads that appear as they scroll through a uniquely filtered selection of online news.
In a bid to meet the requirement for real-time relevance, the industry has focused heavily on programmatic technology. In fact, UK programmatic ad spend topped £1bn last year, accounting for more than half of the total display market, and over the next 12 months spend is expected to surpass the £2bn threshold.
“Creative must get smarter and utilise the latest developments in advertising technology to its advantage”
But while this approach has enhanced the speed and scale at which digital ad campaigns operate, it has also limited emphasis on creative tailoring. As a result, adoption of ad blocking software is growing — over 20% of internet users currently block ads — and winning the audience back will be a key focus throughout 2016.
The only question is: how can advertisers meet the demand for an automatically personalised experience that will stall the progress of ad blockers? Creative must get smarter and utilise the latest developments in advertising technology to its advantage, starting with artificial intelligence (AI).
Fixing time-intensive production
Multi-screening has become the norm for today’s consumers, increasing by 500% in the last three years. The change in behaviour is driving a need for versatile campaigns that ensure consumers receive the best online experience across multiple devices. For advertisers and agencies, this adds hours to production time as an array of creative formats are required to match ads to the dimensions of each device.
Fortunately, new technologies are emerging that can streamline the production process, significantly speeding up and improving creative construction. Providing advertisers with the ability to adjust creative for a variety of devices in minutes, these innovative platforms make it easy to build beautiful rich media content that discourages ad blocking by displaying ads perfectly.
They also make use of AI to continuously enhance the quality of ads. By learning the creative preferences of advertisers and automatically replicating them, smart creative platforms become faster and more accurate with each campaign — improving the online experience for advertisers and consumers.
Better creative processes help publishers too
The benefits of advanced creative tech are not exclusively the preserve of advertisers; they also give publishers the tools needed to boost the value of their inventory. As expectations of personalised experiences spur advertisers to build more flexible and engaging creative, demand for mixed-format inventory will also increase — and smart platforms will enable publishers to meet this need.
Using creative platforms that can support ads in a variety of formats or convert ads at the click of a button, publishers will be able to offer a wider range of ad placements and instantly adapt ads to their environment. With greater versatility, publishers can guarantee maximum impact for advertisers, increasing demand for their inventory and driving its value higher.
This will not only enhance the revenue publishers receive from advertising, but also improve the experience consumers have on publisher websites, reducing the likelihood that users will block ad content. In addition, with more sophisticated creative capability, publishers will be able to tailor their own content for better multi-device usage and improve engagement with their audience.
Increasing effectiveness across screens
Advertisers understand the importance of maintaining a cross-screen presence — 84% of ad campaigns were served over multiple devices in the first quarter of 2015 alone. But the devil is in the detail and it’s vital to consider the importance of creative context when serving ads to different devices.
The most successful campaigns use creative that is precisely tailored for individual screens, as shown by the findings of an AOP cross-screen study using creative content from John Lewis and SEAT. After serving a variety of tailored ads to premium publishers across desktop, smartphone and tablet, ad awareness experienced an uplift of 60%, brand consideration grew by 24% and the likelihood of recommendation soared from 0% to 15%.
By implementing new creative technologies, brands can generate similar results in less time. Efficiently producing engaging and impactful cross-screen campaigns that will establish a strong cross-screen presence, improve brand engagement, and provide a truly individual experience for consumers.
“By utilising the latest advances in creative technology, advertisers can enhance the pace, relevance and multi-screen capabilities of their campaign”
Personalisation, speed and versatility are essential to provide an online advertising experience that meets the needs of today’s digitally savvy and highly unique consumers. By utilising the latest advances in creative technology, advertisers can enhance the pace, relevance and multi-screen capabilities of their campaigns, while publishers can expand their roster of advertising inventory to boost value and the consumer experience. When combined with existing progress in advertising automation, these developments will make digital ads more impactful than ever.
Futuristic developments in AI can also help advertisers to improve campaign accuracy over time, bringing advanced learning to ad tech and revolutionising production processes. With the ability to build smarter creative in minutes, advertisers can respond instantly and accurately to consumer needs — stalling the progress of ad blockers and regaining the trust of the online audience.