Marketers today are forced to use AI-powered media buying on platforms while being skeptical if AI truly does what is best for the campaign goal. They are constantly faced with the question if digital advertising truly delivers as promised by Google, Meta, etc.
Now with AI in the mix, the question is popping up all over again.
Marketers are concerned that they must trust AI with their most valuable data but they have no control over how their campaign goals must be met.
Today, several platforms and ad tools use AI to handle several aspects and facets of campaign management. Everything from budget allocation to targeting is done by AI. And everyone from Google’s Performance Max, Meta’s Advantage+, and even TikTok’s Smart Performance Campaigns (SPC) use AI.
The marketer only shares the data, the assets and the campaign parameters with the AI, which then takes over the whole process of optimization. They don’t know how it works. But it does – and they don’t know how!
Trust is the main issue. How can you know if the AI is doing the best that it can, for the campaign to achieve its goal?
Google has announced several features that increase transparency. Not as much as marketers and advertisers would like, but it is a step in the right direction. But with the emergence of TikTok’s SPC, marketers are skeptical all over again.
TikTok’s SPC started to prioritize engagement at the expense of conversions. This was picked up by Ignacio Vanzini, founder of TikTok and Facebook specialist agency 598 Los Angeles. He saw that the AI algorithms were not doing a great job of choosing and optimizing the most suitable ad creatives. So he scrapped the SPC campaigns and used the AI tool Mid Journey instead, to develop higher performing creatives. The result was four to five times higher conversion rates.
Normally, in a perfect situation, he might have just had to look at the algorithm closely and figure out why it was doing that and tweak it. But here, he had no idea what was going on because of the lack of transparency surrounding the AI system.
And he is not alone.
Marketers don’t know what is or isn’t working and why! And so they find themselves working around the situation where they want full visibility and control over the workings of these AI tools.