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Artificial intelligence: Why does it matter?

This post is sponsored by Media Prima Digital.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a buzzword in almost every industry these days, thanks to the rapid evolvement of technology. Not only does it help consumers make better day-to-day decisions, it also improves efficiency in organisations.

Data-driven decision-making is the way to go for any organisation to achieve its business goals. In a study conducted by the MIT Center for Digital Business, researchers found that among the companies surveyed, the ones that were mostly data-driven had a 4% higher productivity and 6% higher profits than the average and this should come as no surprise because decisions that are made by these companies would have been supported by verified and empirical data instead of pure guesses and assumptions.

AI gets the most out of data

The decision to use AI as part of Media Prima’s initiatives is closely linked to its vision as a group to move towards a digital-first and data-driven organisation. It acknowledges the use of AI/machine learning can help drive informed marketing decisions (internally for stakeholders and externally for clients) as it is concentrated on mimicking the human decision-making process. As such, it made a conscious choice to invest significantly in big data.

The digital arm of the Media Prima Group, Media Prima Digital has traversed an arduous journey to establish quality digital content for its users and it has managed to collect valuable data and insights based on its users’ journeys.

However, organising the data and adding context to it was not an overnight task, but it was a necessary investment, especially for an organisation that has a mass audience reach. It had to invest in the right tools, hire the right talent and equip itself with the right resources to harvest and make sense of the raw data to cater to its audiences’ interests.

Organisations in Malaysia have also begun to realise the importance of tailoring their products, services and marketing initiatives and prioritising data to reach mass audiences. Therefore, to help advertisers market to the right target audience and keep up with current advertising trends, it introduced its audience product to the market – audience+, with 16 carefully hand-picked premium audiences that matter to advertisers.

Finding a needle in a haystack

The adoption rate for technology is relatively high in the media industry. Media Prima, being an organisation that creates content for the mass market, has an abundance of data that can be collected and analysed to better understand its consumers.

International digital conglomerates within Malaysia already have a scalable audience data, as they are the first movers in AI adoption within the country.

As such, for Media Prima’s product to achieve a higher adoption rate, there is a need to differentiate itself with similar brands and educate advertisers about audience+, which is a niche and premium audience platform that allows advertisers to market their products in a more controlled environment.

Apart from that, it also puts an emphasis on ad verification in terms of brand safety, digital ad fraud and viewability, when implementing digital campaigns for advertisers.

With sufficient data collected, it aims to provide suggested content that is better suited for different audience groups via predictive analytics and machine learning. For example, recommending content that fits users’ personal tastes while they are browsing a particular article or video. Essentially, Media Prima wants to be able to provide its users/viewers with a personalised experience.

The importance of getting it right

Back in the day, the collection of data used to be a tedious and difficult process, but with the introduction of AI and business intelligence software, advertisers and publishers are now able to analyse and gain insights from the data gathered in a simpler and automated manner thus accelerating the decision-making process.

As an example, imagine yourself being constantly targeted by ads related to infant milk powder. If you’re a parent with toddlers in the family, this ad will probably appeal to you, but for individuals who are not parents, this ad will be irrelevant and perhaps even annoying to a certain degree.

The advertiser will also be wasting its marketing budget by serving these ads to individuals who are not part of its target market. This further emphasises the importance of data-driven decision-making, which is something that can be done through the use of AI.

As part of the digital arm, Media Prima Digital’s audience has no boundaries and it does not see the need to limit its reach. On top of reaching out to users in the digital sphere within Malaysia, some of our apps have also expanded their reach to audiences across the globe.

Weighing the benefits of AI

This is an ongoing initiative, and as technology continues to advance, Media Prima will also be tweaking certain features or pivoting to constantly stay updated with the current trends in AI.

For example, it is currently working on an image/audio recognition feature to identify TV/print/radio ads so that users can get more information regarding a particular commercial/ad shown. The image recognition feature can also have the capability of identifying an object in an online video (for example, a cooking show) and display an ad similar to the object to encourage users to purchase that product.

For the most part, its involvement in AI at the moment is towards machine-learning. The top three immediate benefits of AI usage would be:

  • Targeting accuracy: With the use of AI, data collected can be used in marketing decisions which will better suit marketers who will want their marketing budget to be used as efficiently as possible by targeting the right audiences.
  • Content tagging: The application of AI technology will also allow us to automatically tag and organise content by labelling keywords to make it easier for users to find the content that appeals most to them.
  • Personalisation: AI helps create individualised display ads that website visitors/content consumers will want to see, and comes in handy when we run our re-targeting campaigns. In fact, with AI, marketers are able to perform automated A/B testing to see which ad works best for different target markets. Also, similar to how tonton implements its suggested content section, we can recommend relevant content to users.

The benefits of AI are endless for all parties. For the end users, with the proper application of AI in Media Prima’s products, they will be able to consume content they are interested in and have a highly personalised experience.

For Media Prima’s advertisers and clients, they will be able to reach out to the audience that matters most to their product and increase the conversion rate as they will no longer be targeting mass audiences. From a cost-saving perspective, the use of AI and data will also allow advertisers to optimise their marketing spend and ensure their consumers have meaningful engagement with the content.

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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