Man Versus Machine: The New Conundrum of Web 2.0 Advertising Automation
Format: David Kidder will present the thesis, and Max Kalehoff with moderate discussion with esteemed panel of stakeholders.
Description: When computers first arrived at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in the 1950s, scientists immediately started programming them to play chess. Since then, one of the most prominent narratives in computing and artificial intelligence has been a machine capable of beating the world champion. Thanks to Web 2.0 technologies, a similar man-versus-machine debate is emerging in the advertising industry. It’s called advertising automation.
Creativity is just as important as ever, but the notion of “everything advertising is digitally connected” creates several cognitive intersections not unlike chess. Wherever numbers, chance and skill are involved, you can guarantee a quest for automation, connected enhancement, and artificial intelligence to achieve advantage. Where manual, repetitive human labor bred inefficiencies and frustration, the age of Web 2.0 is heralding a computing and algorithmic transformation.
This Web 2.0 transformation is underscored with Google’s contextual ad-auction system, the mother of all automated advertising systems. It’s led the path for a new breed of automated systems that auction, broker, target, and optimize. Consider Tacoda, Revenue Science, Rubicon Project, Turn, and Clickable among others. These varied systems increasingly deliver sophisticated analytics and action-oriented recommendations that yield smarter, more profitable outcomes. Some systems are designed to first benefit publishers, while others are designed to benefit advertisers. Regardless, with over 300 ad networks (or more depending on how you count them), any system to make advertising in the digital age more manageable, efficient, and effective is welcomed.
But can machines really beat or replace humans? There is some speculation that they can in some areas, but they certainly will transform the game. First, media buyers are struggling to scale on a manual basis, as well as optimize. Meanwhile, technology is proving instrumental to targeting and delivering on goals. Finally, automation is removing grunt work and introducing efficiencies that enable humans to deliver more premium value. In other words, machines are making humans bionic. This mix results in market expectations for higher standards and better outcomes.
Panel will address critical questions around the arrival of Web 2.0 advertising automation:
How is automation addressing the overwhelming complexity of the online advertising landscape?
What is the correct balance between man versus machine? How are humans and advertisers embracing automation?
How are Web 2.0 technologies driving transparency and accountability to an industry suffering from a lack of trust and credibility.
How is Web 2.0 automation redefining metrics and performance? Is it possible for analytics to transform staid data into actionable insights and even recommendations?
What Web 2.0 advertising automation systems are successful today? Which will be successful tomorrow?