How Marketers Can Leverage AI to Unlock the Full Potential of Data at Massive Scale

Last week the house was packed at our annual State of the Nation. Bringing together our fantastic community and an agenda packed full of industry experts, we discussed some of the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing our industry. One of our featured speakers, Quantcast co-founder and CEO Konrad Feldman, provided some context for the use of AI in media. We wanted to continue the discussion so sat down with Konrad to delve into some of the key concepts he brought to the surface.  

IAB Canada (IABC):  AI is going to deliver on greater efficiencies when it comes to bid management and day-today logistics – what will be the evolved role of the media planner in this scenario? 

Konrad Feldman (KF): Today, the complexity of operating programmatic campaigns means that marketers don’t have the time to evaluate new campaign strategies even if they wanted to — their ability to innovate is limited by commonly used technology.  

But with AI now able to make sense of large-scale real-time data, turn backward-looking data into forward-looking predictions, and continuously and autonomously optimize throughout the course of any given campaign, media planners have more bandwidth and headspace to focus on creating, crafting and evaluating new media strategies, collaborating with their colleagues to refine and experiment with new creative messaging, and leverage the advanced tools now at their fingertips (literally!) to turn incredible insights into action and innovation. 

IABC: You pointed to signals vs. segments and that appears to open up enormous opportunities to reach the right individuals with relevant ads. Do you believe we have the scale to deliver on this new mode of addressability? 

KF: The scale is as great as the online ecosystem itself. With the right AI-powered programmatic tools, platforms, and solutions, marketers can create much higher levels of relevance for consumers — and performance for clients — across every connected device. The factors limiting the ability to achieve this relevance, and to do so at scale, comes down to the data available to make decisions and the sophistication of the machine-learning approaches deployed to make sense of such data.  

IABC: Looking forward what are some of the considerations that advertisers and publishers will need to take into account when developing their tech stacks and capabilities? 

KF: Marketers need access to real-time data that connects the digital world to real everyday lives, providing a holistic view of consumer behavior across screens big and small, whether those audiences are watching entertainment, shopping online, booking travel, working out, socializing with friends, or more. 

Because the amount of data available is enormous — think of signals from hundreds of millions of online destinations daily — marketers need sophisticated AI and machine-learning capabilities (or a partner that can provide them) that can responsibly analyze and organize these vast amounts of data and iterate to drive the best outcome. 

Marketers will also need to activate their first-party data to build advanced lookalike models, and retarget audiences with maximum efficiency, supercharged by the most advanced AI and machine learning. 

Lastly, marketers must ensure that they retain flexibility with respect to identity and measurement. Everyone knows that cookies are going away. Far fewer recognize the extent to which they are already gone. Systematically evaluating alternative approaches to addressing digital media, creating relevance for consumers, and measuring marketing outcomes — all without third-party cookies — is not just about getting ready for 2024; it represents a huge opportunity right now for growth by fully accessing the 50 percent of all digital audiences for whom third-party cookies are already a thing of the past.  

If you are a regional member and would like to attend a recap of the State of the Nation happening on Monday, June 12th at 2pm register here.