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The state of AI for sales, marketing and advertising in 2018

Posted: 20 November 2017 | By Ryan Steelberg

As we begin to wrap up 2017, what does the near future look like for consumers and companies in the world of media and advertising? Here are three predictions:

  1. Sales and Marketing leads need to now apply their knowledge and take action

Businesses that neglected to spend time educating themselves on the benefits are going to begin seeing the rise of a digital divide

While once something more akin to sci-fi, AI has become a booming business opportunity. This means that brands who have done their due diligence in learning and researching can make the shift to investment and application.

A recent report by market research firm Vanson Bourne and data analytics provider Teradata found that 80 percent of surveyed organizations (260 large enterprises) are now investing in AI. In 2018, more companies have the power to unlock previously unattainable business intelligence. The same research study notes some of the reasons why companies have not yet invested: lack of IT infrastructure (40 percent), lack of access to talent (34 percent), lack of budget for implementation (30 percent), complications around policies, regulations, and rights (28 percent), and impact on customer expectations (23 percent).

Businesses that neglected to spend time educating themselves on the benefits are going to begin seeing the rise of a digital divide.

  1. Interruptive or spot-based advertising will shift to native and organic methods

The current state of advertising falls primarily in marketers purchasing ad spots from sales representatives for interruptive or spot-based slots, like midway through a television show or after a collection of songs on the radio. While this was the traditional model, consumers are flocking towards different types of media consumption and native or organic advertisers will continue to grow as an offset to interruptive and spot based advertising.

With AI, all media, in all formats, will be very quickly indexed down to second and frame, so we will have truly packaged, on-demand content

To illustrate this, in 2010 we saw the emergence of on-demand media: it went from linear environment to DVR to streaming. Right now, it’s about on-demand selection, but with AI, all media, in all formats, will be very quickly indexed down to second and frame, so we will have truly packaged, on-demand content. AI will swiftly verify ad placement, efficiently monitor competition, and repurpose media – such as pushing  content quickly and simply from broadcast spots to social media profiles.

Overall, we predict an acceleration in native and branded integrations because it’s no longer predicated on distribution. Old school sponsorship models may become premier strategies for awareness, where a whole compilation is sponsored by one brand.

  1. AI will augment, not replace the roles of employees

No one wants to lose their job, so the prospect of having their role eliminated at the hands of a robot is terrifying. Thankfully, this is a misconception.

We’re already seeing positive examples of AI becoming more prominently used in the advertising and marketing industry. This means that the technology hasn’t decimated a workforce, but enhanced it. For example, iHeartMedia, the leading audio company with the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America, uses AI to seamlessly and automatically process, transform and review audio data in near-real time.

The key to adjusting in the midst of a paradigm shift is versatility. Gartner claims that by 2021, 40 percent of IT staff will be “versatilists” holding multiple roles, most of which will be business- rather than technology-related.

Ryan Steelberg is the President of Veritone, a technology company building purpose driven AI.

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