The festive season has long been the most competitive retail period, and this year is set to be no different. Competition is fierce and advertisers are most likely looking to take advantage of increased consumer confidence. This, coupled with the overall level of saturation in the digital ecosystem, has meant that consumer attention is at a premium and significantly more effort is required to capture it.
With this in mind, brands need to be prioritizing attention metrics and optimizing toward driving the highest possible levels of engagement. That’s why more than a third of U.S. buy-side decision makers reported that they plan to focus more on attention metrics this year.
In order to do this, marketers have to begin looking beyond their tried-and-tested strategies. While these may have worked well in previous years, more sophisticated methods are required to ensure campaigns cut through in 2023 and beyond. Specifically, a combination of advanced technology and bespoke key performance indicators that are uniquely suited to the needs of the business, and how it should be measuring return on ad spend (ROAS), will serve marketers well this quarter.
Intelligent Solutions Are Here
The time is right for marketers to make the change, with the industry’s shift away from viewability and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) having perfectly coincided. While generative AI may have been the technology that has managed to capture the minds of everybody in 2023, predictive AI is the subset that will provide the basis for the success of marketers during the "Golden Quarter" and beyond.
Generative AI is a useful tool for creativity. However, the more probabilistic, machine learning-based solutions are the ones that are taking media buying and measurement to the next level. Indeed, predictive AI offers a valuable solution for brands looking to supercharge their ad campaigns by determining outcomes based on both past and present data and ensuring that only the best performing media is activated. It also doesn't require the use of any personally identifiable information (PII), prioritizing consumer privacy and brand safety, without ever sacrificing media quality.
In the privacy-focused digital advertising ecosystem, predictive AI provides marketers with a comprehensive solution to the deprecation of third-party cookies, while having the malleability to fit the specific needs of each brand. As the retail industry aligns with this programmatic evolution, the technology provides a future-proofed solution. This is increasingly important as digital marketers across verticals must all now wean themselves off third-party cookies ahead of their imminent disappearance.
Gaining Control of the Objectives
Fundamentally, predictive AI provides marketers with more control over their media activation by enabling them to go beyond the traditional capabilities of demand-side platforms (DSPs).
Making the DSP work in the way that’s most appropriate to the business, retailers can pursue brand-specific outcomes that wouldn’t have previously been possible by driving towards their own definition of ROAS. Moreover, as a result of this customization, advertisers can explore buying against attention and engagement, focusing on enhanced metrics such as time-in-view to measure the true effectiveness of ads. The AI can then harness this information to maximize the efficiency of future campaigns as well as those that are ongoing in real time, creating an environment where ads are consistently focused on achieving the maximum attention and ROAS for brands and retailers both throughout the holiday season and into the foreseeable future.
Unlocking Real Success
With the festive shopping period well underway, marketers need to ensure they're exploring AI-powered solutions as soon as possible so they can deliver the most effective campaigns into the end of the year and 2024.
The traditional KPIs that marketers have long relied on don’t reflect the actual outcomes that matter most to brands and retailers. With the right AI technology, marketers can shift their businesses towards metrics that do reflect their goals and establish a more accurate picture of how engaged consumers are with their ads.
The difference between a successful and a dismal Q4 2023 will be the implementation of these AI technologies, but the same will also apply to the quarters going forward into the new year. Predictive AI is the key to overcoming the challenges facing marketers and coming out on top over the competition.
Eric Schwartz is the managing director of North America for Scibids, a company that uniquely develops customizable AI that grows ROI across all addressable paid media.
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Based in New York City, Eric Schwartz is the Managing Director of North America for Scibids. He joined Scibids from MiQ, a leading global marketing intelligence company to launch the North American business in February of 2020. Scibids is a cutting edge artificial intelligence which substantially reduces acquisition costs of real-time bidding (RTB) campaigns. They work hand in hand with the leading DSPs and major ad agencies, brands and managed services to bring AI and customized bidding logic into the world of media optimization.