Are creativity and technology at odds?
Shruthi Chindalur, Executive Managing Director EMEA at Criteo, asks whether creative intuition and artificial intelligence can work in unity.
When thinking of creativity, artificial intelligence [AI] isn’t usually something you would associate with the unpredictable and experimental world of creative thinking.
Often pitched against one another, technology and creativity are seen by many as polar opposites, seeking entirely different outcomes from entirely different methods.
Artificial intelligence is actually one of the most creative and dynamic technologies that exists today.
Machine learning in particular can often, at first glance, be considered as something at odds with creativity. However, in my experience, artificial intelligence is actually one of the most creative and dynamic technologies that exists today, and here’s why.
Machine learning benefits creatives
Machine learning is not one technology but the science behind a whole suite of different cognitive tools that use data to help make predictions. It accelerates the adaptability to consumer behaviour changes, and helps marketers modify their creative strategies to the right user, with the right message, at the right time.
Although machine learning relies on technology to make decisions, the way it learns how to make these predictions is, in itself, a creative process. It is creative technology being used to create modern and ground-breaking marketing strategies.
How do we make AI relevant to creative marketing strategies?
In order to have a successful marketing strategy it’s no secret that you need to think outside the box. This year we have seen huge change where, within the space of a few months, years of developments have occurred all across the world. We’ve all moved online, businesses across the country have had to quickly adapt to living life virtually, from their marketing to their daily team meetings - everything is different.
Personalisation in advertising is going to become increasingly inevitable.
Because of this, consumer behaviours are also evolving constantly, meaning everything the marketing industry previously thought about our customer bases has become redundant almost overnight. And, unless you’re monitoring that customer base constantly, you could very quickly find yourself out of touch. In response, we’ve got to start getting comfortable with customer data and learning how best we can use it responsibly to inform everything we do. Nobody wants to be targeted with advertising that isn’t relevant to them, but by using artificial intelligence we can provide consumers with personalised advertising that is actually what that customer wants to see.
Creative marketing strategies are meant to set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd, and a sure-fire way to do this is by using the most up-to-date data available to give your customers a truly personalised experience. Personalisation in advertising is going to become increasingly inevitable. The need for smarter audience management strategies and increased segmenting, targeting and personalisation will become the most important part of digital marketing.
Smarter audience management strategies and increased segmenting, targeting and personalisation will become the most important part of digital marketing.
Creative customisation in artificial intelligence is on the rise too, letting advertisers offer highly relevant, personalised messaging to their target group. This is achieved by using highly targeted advertising, and personalised data, to create multiple types of advertising for single campaigns, ensuring success across all audiences.
Because of the amount of data that is available to companies now, we can create dynamic creative ads that can change as per user relevance. They can adopt metrics like location, time, demographic and even the type of device they are using.
Thanks to AI and creative, we can now not only optimise advertising spaces with programmatic ad tech, but measure and improve upon it in real time. We are constantly adapting and improving advertising to suit the needs of the consumer. Although this is heavily technical programming at work, what could be more creative than technology that can grow and change itself independently, in order to improve? As the customer evolves and adapts, so does your advertising.
Technology isn’t at odds with creativity
At Criteo, our team of Creative Designers come from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from agencies, start-ups, client-direct, and bigger corporations. These diversified backgrounds ensure that creativity is not happening within a vacuum. While an AI engine optimises performance and scales the creative personalisation to cater for individual shoppers and context, the Creative Services team is simultaneously optimising feedback over the course of the relationship with clients. It’s a symbiotic relationship, where the two co-exist to maximise creative output.
In reality, [AI] increases the creative output, not the reverse.
The application of this powerful technology has created a vast amount of opportunities for designers to pair aesthetics with high-performing elements that have been proven to engage shoppers. This ensures clients are in control of how their brand is represented in-market while achieving great success with their creative campaigns. AI allows clients to deliver highly effective and personalised creative campaigns. So, in reality, the technology increases the creative output, not the reverse.
Technology has been a creative driver during lockdown
During the Covid-19 lockdown, AI was able to spot an instant shift in consumer behaviour and, in response, feed the engine with more tailored creative ads and messaging. AI allows clients to have creative solutions to emergency situations, like the national lockdown, where a quick response is needed to keep up with the pace of change.
In these challenging times, creative solutions are vital. Artificial intelligence will give you the tools to navigate this new frontier.
You don’t need to be a huge corporation to start feeling the benefits of AI adoption and digital marketing. AI technology is readily available for companies of any size, including ones that have no digital footprint themselves. It’s as simple as driving online traffic to a physical shopfront by using geolocated targeting for consumers in the surrounding area.
As an industry, we want to build confidence in AI, and show that this technology is and should be accessible to most businesses. In these challenging times, creative solutions are vital. Artificial intelligence will give you the tools to navigate this new frontier, and you can be assured that it will be in the most creative and ground-breaking way possible.