AI making moves to dominate PPC advertising

Despite the tremendous demand for PPC advertising talent, there are already signs that smart machines are moving in to take over this lucrative business. The Drum published an article titled “IBM starts using Watson AI to buy online media in the UK” that provides a preview of a machine-driven future for PPC, SEM and other paid marketing activities:

Sitting within The Trade Desk – its media planning platform – Watson over time learns how effectively a campaign is performing for different audiences at different times, locations, devices and browser.

Based on this information, it will then only bid on inventory that aligns to any given audience, and even then will consider the size of an ad and how effective it will be in relation to those other factors.

In the US, IBM claims this has reduced its cost per click by as much as 71%, although the average hovers around the 31% mark.

This should give performance marketers something to think about. I doubt the demand for SEM or PPC advertising professionals will diminish in the very near future but I can definitely see a time when smart machines like Watson will take over paid media and put a lot of people out of work.

Postscript: Take a look at how Watson is starting to impact influencer marketing too in the Drum’s article titled “The Movie Marketing Blog: IBM Watson-powered Hollywood influencers“.

Image credit: Robot Mural from MMT

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