Supposedly, Google started the trend of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 2015 using it to optimize its algorithm and RankBrain. Today, digital marketers are making use of AI to make their life a lot easier, with a focus on process automation and personalized search results. Marketing dazzling AI pullulates in the industry since then since the potentials are simply breath-taking.
In terms of search engine advertising, Google already offers many features that include automation and machine learning, but how much is AI really changing marketing? Well, let me anticipate that AI makes the search result better, but human account managers by no means expendable.
The dream of customized advertising
The triumphant advance of intelligent systems is unstoppable and promises scenarios that marketers have hardly dared to dream of: a tailor-made and thus perfect customer approach, based on a wealth of information. These data include socio-demographic information such as gender or age, interests, day of the week and time of day, behavior on a website, browser and device information, and geographic references. All this information is used anonymously to calculate the likelihood of success of the advertising.
This development towards user-centered marketing is driven by the fact that there is more and more data available for processing. At the same time, advances in artificial intelligence are making it constantly easier for machines to process and use this data and data-driven marketing promises of knowing the perfect timing for spreading advertisement. And since algorithms can generate content that is precisely tailored to the respective target person, the data-driven marketing dream is about confronting the right person with the right ad at the right time.
Data: The gold of the digital world
It all starts with the collection and evaluation of user information since data is the central asset of digital advertising. Google is one of the players who benefits the most with its huge data pool. The search engine giant has undoubtedly more user information than any other player on the market and with the help of AI manages to understand the consumer needs at its deepest level. Evolution in the world of digital marketing will be driven by data research and tools like machine learning, since digital marketers realized that each data input can bring change. Just keep in mind that Google considers "exclusive signals" such as information about the user's operating system, browser, language setting and of course the search query itself, to optimize the advertising impact and to stand out from the competition.
Machine Learning in Google Ads
In its core business, search engine advertising, Google already offers several technologies that use machine learning through its recently renamed Google Ads platform (formerly AdWords). One is the ‘Smart Bidding’, where Google optimizes a campaign according to given goals, such as conversions, by automatically changing bids. According to Google, millions of signals are considered in an auction. For example, the end device, the browser or the day of the week, are currently being used for a search query to calculate the purchase probability of a specific user. If the conversion probability is considered high due to the context signals, the bids are raised automatically, and lowered with a low probability.
Automated content creation
While Smart Bidding controls the delivery of advertising, some functions are dedicated to the automated creation of advertising material.
For the creation of so-called Dynamic Search Ads (DSA), Google is currently crawling a search query and creates the appropriate headline based on a dummy ad. In addition to the existing product campaigns, dynamic search ads make sense, especially for resellers with a huge number of products. If the assortment changes quickly, DSA can ensure that all products are mapped in the campaign.
For content creation, Google recently started to offer ad suggestions, too. This campaign type uses texts, deposited by the account manager, to generate additional ads. The different ads compete against each other. Depending on the goal set by the account manager, Google selects the most successful, quasi the best of the creative creation. For some campaign types, Google even handles the entire process, from creating the ad to bidding, targeting and the time of the playout.
Human tasks are shifting
Quite obviously, smart technologies and campaign types are taking over operational activities that were previously performed by account managers, right? Well, that’s just partly true.
Although AI can handle and analyze big data and deliver personalized reports based on it, helping digital marketers to stay up-to-the-minute and easing their workload, the use of AI and automation has given rise to new tasks that still need people. Strategic decisions, that are at the basis of any advertising campaign, are getting more complex and demanding.
The number of campaign types and features in the Google world has exploded in recent years. When does which campaign type make sense, what objectives do I specify, how do I react to incidents and problems that occur? Only those who use the right technology in the right place can unleash the power of AI. Hence, the operational SEA craftsmanship is still required. After a smart setup, automated campaigns need to be monitored and handled with great flair.
The know-how about new technologies and the operative experience and expertise merge into the marketing-skill of the future. It needs marketers that know how to use AI properly and effectively for making search engine advertising better and better.
By Daniela La Marca