On our Peer Network briefing, IBM Watson Advertising’s Jeremy Hlavacek discusses how IBM leverages its emerging technology for the good of human kind and how COVID-19 has positively changed technology’s perception.
It’s been a wild year for businesses all over the world. The COVID-19 pandemic shook the world and many marketers were stuck, unsure how to move forward. There was no playbook on how to operate in such a situation, as the event kept unfolding rapidly in the US and the world.
On our latest PeerNetwork briefing, we interviewed Jeremy Hlavacek from IBM Watson Advertising to talk about the advertising technology and its role in the post-COVID19 world.
Watson Advertising uses the world’s leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) to unlock data, bring insights, and help marketers make better decisions. In this article, we will share some of the key takeaways to give you a few ideas on how to proceed.
The impact of COVID-19 on advertising
We’ve seen a lot of pausing during March and April, as a lot of marketers tried to figure out how to proceed forward. There was a lot of emphasis on health and social issues, and brands that followed this approach saw good results.
Understanding and explaining the COVID-19 and its impact on businesses was a difficult task, but IBM worked around the clock to provide solutions.
IBM Watson built a COVID-19 hub to help consumers track the spread of the virus and make smart decisions in their area. The Watson ad section allowed consumers to get informed, ask questions, get updates, and it was a large success supported by many media outlets.
As an example, many consumers switched to ordering groceries online. There’s a lot of data that supports incredible growth in this area, and that’s a big change in consumer behavior that brands should be aware of.
Watson Advertising provided solutions that helped brands track behavior changes like this, which had a big impact on their advertising success.
The role of AI during COVID-19
The goal of AI technology is to provide data and insights so that brands can understand what’s working and what’s not.
It can help marketers understand and predict which kind of messages work and how they should be served. With the help of AI, we can achieve a strong level of confidence that a certain message, served at a certain time, will be successful.
AI uses machine learning to adapt and make real-time changes that impact advertising. It’s hard to predict the exact impact of events like the COVID-19 pandemic, but AI can help us track and expect such situations, as well as give us the needed data to proceed.
After all, we’re only halfway through the year, and who knows what will come next.
Marketers can access solutions such as the Advertising Acceleretaor directly from the IBM Watson Advertising website. Marketers should be prepared for change at all times, and real-time tracking powered by AI gives us the flexibility to prepare on time.
Advertising technology in a post-COVID-19 world
As we already mentioned, marketers all around the world were forced to pause their campaigns and wait for the events to unfold. This is an area that’s likely to change in a post-COVID-19 world, as the AI technology gets even more integrated into advertising.
Such technology is already capable of tracking things like the weather and its impact on businesses, and we can expect a lot more support in the upcoming years. Whatever happens, the way we do marketing will certainly change after the coronavirus pandemic.
The future of advertising powered by AI looks bright, adaptable to any events that may occur. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have only accelerated trends that were already happening.
We’ve been on the path of using more and more data and automation for years, and marketers will continue to adopt flexible technology in the years to come. Ten years from now, all marketers should be relying on machine learning to make the right advertising decisions.
Ensuring a bright future with advertising technology
There’s a lot of talk about the ethics of AI technology and its impact on personal lives. Machine learning can detect patterns and provide data that can be used for both good and bad purposes. It’s in our best interest to ensure that the advertising technology is used for good purposes only.
Recently, IBM made a bold move to pull out of facial recognition technology. Technology such as this can be very malicious, leading to mass surveillance, racial profiling, and violations of basic human rights and freedoms.
We don’t want to live in a world where AI can be used to harvest our personal data and sell it to the highest bidder, and it’s something that every marketer should be aware of.
As governments all around the world debate on how to proceed with the ethics of AI, all of us should commit to keeping our personal information safe. One of the ways to ensure privacy is to use a VPN solution to stay safe and protected.
The COVID-19 pandemic shook the world, but it also helped bring many of the flaws in our advertising to the surface. It’s now up to us to make sure we’re flexible and ready for anything else that may come our way.