Ask the Board – December 10, 2018 | DAVE KOPPELMAN


“How do you see Artificial Intelligence (AI) figuring in the future of digital signage?”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a HUGE future in digital signage. To truly capture the advantages, we first should look at what it actually is and why AI will continue to enhance growth.

Artificial intelligence is the process in which we can make machines smarter or more capable than humans.  With machine learning, we teach computers to learn without having to program them with specific rules. We do this by repeating certain actions until the machine eventually starts to learn.  Artificial
Intelligence on the marketing end is where you can leverage data and AI concepts like machine learning to anticipate your consumers’ movement and improve the journey.

AI allows marketers to be smarter.  The data collected on the consumer is much more succinct now with this data. We can see who is near our screens, and then deliver a much more relevant message to them based off of the learnings. It measures behaviors too, so the data isn’t just learning the things found on the surface, say what playlist you listened to, but it also knows what specific songs you listened too most often to get a deeper understanding of habits and actions.

AI also allows marketers to combine existing tools available to make programming more streamlined.  You can combine AI learnings with automated buying platforms to optimize programming, audience behaviors, and data to be better informed about who the audience would be that is exposed.  These can all be gathered using the algorithms associated with AI technology.  By combining both of these tools, we can be much more efficient, user-friendly and intelligent.

AI allows for better insights too. We can make better predictions, better decisions, more focused messaging and relevant copy.  Audience targeting is the most basic and easiest of the learnings we will be able to lean on. It is also the most quickly adaptable. Having the right message at the right time to the right consumer has always been what we strive for as buyers.  But now, we can use machine learning to move towards more succinct targeting – individual users, individual offers, etc., while maintaining scale based on the format used.  Now, once you know whom you want to reach and the message they should have, you can now create content and messaging geared towards them.  With further AI technology, the messaging can be rotated quickly as different audience members are exposed.

Efficiency is the next piece of the puzzle.  Programmatic and Real-Time Bidding (RTB) allows programs to move smoother, quicker and smarter. By tying in AI technology, there will be even quicker programs, better targeting, smarter learnings, enhanced efficiencies and focused targeting, all automatically delivered.

So what can we see in the future?  We are already seeing efficiency and smarter planning. The future will bring more technology to our daily routines.  We will have more audio-controlled appliances and data collections through Siri, Alexa, etc.  We also will see self-driving cars. We will have image-driven searches and smarter keyword results. We will be able to be more relevant while keeping scale. We will continue to improve our storytelling. We will have more hands-on experiences.

This all sounds great.  So what is the down side?  We are setting ourselves up for extremely high expectations. Self-driving cars is the perfect example.  Will it really be better than having a human drive?  Is it safer? Marketers will also feel the pressure.  With all the learnings and data, people will expect so much more from brands.  Everyone always talks about personalization (the Minority Report effect). Are we near that yet?  Will privacy laws allow this?  Will consumers welcome it?

My feeling is AI will be a good thing.  How can it not be?  Basically, you are using data to learn. You are using data to find patterns. You are using data to improve your communication. You are reaching an audience you never thought to reach or never could. It is exciting and eye opening.  It is coming. We all need to be prepared to welcome it.

About Author

Managing Partner
MacDonald Media

Advertising & Brands Council

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