Exclusive Insights from State of the Nation 2024 – Emerging Media Tools and Hacks

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the media landscape, and its impact is being felt across the marketing industry. The Emerging Media Tools and Hacks panel discussion during the State of the Nation Toronto 2024 brought together experts from the industry to explore how they are leveraging this technology to deliver greater value to advertisers. 

The discussion, moderated by Maryann Rusnak, SVP Planning at Spark Foundry Canada, featured Michael Colson, Chief Product Technology Officer at Locala, Saad Uddin, Co-Founder and CEO of Native Touch, and Stacy McInnis, Chief Operations Officer at Cluep. 

AI Augmentation for Advertising Success 

The panel discussion kicked off with a focus on how each company leverages AI as a core component of their advertising solutions. 

Locala, a leader in location-based advertising, uses AI to streamline every aspect of a campaign across various channels. Their machine learning models predict performance and identify the best ad placements to maximize impact. Colson shares that “Machine learning isn’t just about showing the right ad at the right time, it’s about predicting the future and getting there before your competition.”. They’re also exploring large language models to personalize recommendations and gain deeper audience insights. 

Cleup tackles a different challenge – connecting brands with consumers on an emotional level. Their AI analyzes text, image, and audio content to understand user sentiment. This allows them to tailor messaging that resonates with emotions and interests. McInnis highlighted AI’s role in uncovering hidden consumer preferences and crafting truly empathetic marketing campaigns. She emphasizes that “AI isn’t a replacement for human empathy, it’s a tool to help us understand customers on an even deeper level.” 

Native Touch operates as a DSP (Demand-Side Platform) and DMP (Data Management Platform), and utilizes AI for campaign optimization, targeting, and resolving discrepancies. Uddin underscores the need for a strong data infrastructure, “Garbage in, garbage out. The quality of your data determines the quality of your AI results.” 


Despite the exciting potential of AI, the panelists acknowledged several challenges: 

  • Data Quality – The panelists stressed the importance of high-quality data to train effective AI models. Inconsistent or low-quality data can lead to inaccurate results and hinder campaign performance. 
  • Privacy Regulations – The evolving privacy landscape requires careful consideration. Companies need to ensure their AI practices comply with data privacy regulations like GDPR. 
  • Upskilling the Workforce – As AI becomes more integrated into marketing, there’s a growing need for professionals with the skills to understand and utilize this technology. 

Ethical Considerations 

The discussion also explored the ethical implications of AI in marketing. Panelists highlighted the importance of: 

  • Transparency – Be transparent about how AI is used in advertising solutions and campaigns. 
  • Bias Mitigation – Train AI models on diverse data sets to minimize bias and ensure fair representation. 
  • Human Oversight – Maintain human oversight and control over AI decision-making processes. 

The Future of AI in Marketing 

The panelists concluded with a glimpse into the future of AI in marketing. Key takeaways include: 

  • AI will automate many mundane tasks, freeing up marketing teams to focus on creative strategy and analysis. 
  • AI will enable increased personalized and targeted marketing campaigns, leading to greater engagement and ROI. 
  • The responsible development and implementation of AI will be crucial for building trust and ensuring a positive impact on the marketing landscape. 

As AI continues to evolve, marketers who embrace this technology and navigate its challenges will be well-positioned to succeed in the ever-changing media environment. 

State of the Nation Goes Regional Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax

Be ahead of the curve with cutting-edge advertising strategies. There’s no substitute for hearing directly from the experts. Join us for our State of the Nation regional shows! The next stop is Vancouver on June 27, followed by Montreal on July 9, and finally Halifax on July 11. Don’t miss out – register now to secure your spot