The Media Buyer And The Bot

“Creative without strategy is called art. Creative with strategy is called advertising” – Jef I. Richards, Professor and Chair of the Department of Advertising + Public Relations at Michigan State University

Since the advent of the internet, it has been promised that digital marketing and advertising was going to be the savior for directly linking ads to sales.

And instead, we got cookies (the online kind).

Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember stateful information or to record the user’s browsing activity. But cookies had problems. A marketer never knew how long cookies lasted. Whether a cookie expired or was manually cleared by a user, it would disappear at inopportune times. Sometimes, cookies were never kept at all, such as when people turn on ad blockers or do not hit the GDPR compliant accept button when a site acknowledges cookies are present. And finally, cookies are device focused and not reliable on mobile – specifically in apps.

Then cookies became controversial. Cookies seem to stalk the general web public. But for years it truly was the best way for marketers to identify and reach targeted audiences. Billons of US dollars on ad spend were because cookies told media buyers so.

But now, cookies will die by 2022. So does that mean general online population data will die with it? And if not, how will you be able to:

  • Measure the true value of advertising media without reliance on cookies?
  • Provide continuous line-of-sight into behavioral lift post-ad exposure?
  • Measure the impact of ad exposure even when users are anonymous?

Or is the appropriate question to ask: do any of the bullet points above even matter?

The value of advertising media gets its true worth by the revenues that are generated. Or line-of-sight post-ad exposure is just mumbo-jumbo for “I have no idea how many people bought your product after spending $1 million dollars on an ad campaign?” And isn’t user-generated content about your ads or ad associated products never anonymous? An ad’s exposure is revealed in harvesting reviews on eCommerce sites, YouTube videos, Facebook comments, hashtags on Twitter, or parodies that show up as memes?

The job of media buying won’t change after the death of cookies.

Media buyers will still have to take a commercial either in an image, video, written copy, or other sales message form and get it viewed by the intended audience. Then find a way to show it was effective or better yet, it created sales.

Will media buyers just now start throwing more things against the proverbial wall to see if they stick? Or become stuck in an A/B testing hell?

The answer is no. What if the death of digital crumbs gives way to the making of digital dough?

Welcome to creative guided artificial intelligence.

Since 1994, when cookies were invented by a 24-year-old programmer named Lou Montulli, who also claims to have invented the <blink> tag, people have been engaging with websites, purchasing products, embedding a music player with all their Top 10 songs on Friendster, MySpace, and now Facebook.

What if you could use A.I. to use first-party data to do sandbox testing around what images, and videos that attract the audience that loves your product or service? What if you could be offered hints around the words needed in writing advertising copy that appeals to the demographics of the audience or your existing customer base?

Now with Artificial Intelligence, humans can stay creative but also keep their audience in focus.

Junction.AI provides Artificial Intelligence which helps digital marketers determine if their creative work will perform well on Google, Facebook, or Instagram.

Junction.AI is able to perform various audience models to simulate the results so that digital marketers would be able to tweak and optimize their marketing strategy. And it requires no coding or no special understanding of the neural net algorithms that work behind the scenes.

With the integration that Qualex is providing JunctionAI with our iQ Data Models around Gaming, Sports, Retail, and Healthcare, we can show the direct linkages between awareness and purchases that advertising birthed.

Moreover, with Qualex’s AQUI (augmented query user interface) we can make your print advertising become real-time, personalized videos targeting the correct audience regardless if it’s on a hotel keycard, in a magazine, in a newspaper, on a highway signpost, or billboard.

The bot and the media buyer are together at last: linking ads to sales.

And the cookies are chocolate chip (warning: they only feed the humans).

Guest post by GS Jackman, Executive Director of Innovation & Learning, Qualex Consulting Services

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