Are you putting too much faith in machines to decide your ad strategy?

Too many brands today are placing their faith (and budget) in machine learning. Find out why they’re missing out on one essential ingredient of successful ad campaigns.

Machine learning has revolutionised the ad industry over the past few years. Thanks to machines, today we can bid for and run any one of thousands of versions of ad in a split second, and ensure your brand and offer is seen across the world by as many people as your budget will allow.

But machines aren’t infallible. And increasingly they are lulling advertisers into a false sense of security that they can just plug their campaign into a machine, turn it on and just watch the sales roll in.

We call this a ‘fire and forget’ strategy, and it’s a common but expensive mistake. Here’s why.

Machines are brilliant – and advertisers are relying on them more and more

Automated bidding and budgeting have transformed advertising. In a programmatic ad campaign, machines can manage your budget and decide the right ads to bid on. They can also optimise your bids by calculated, viewable impressions, and will evaluate online space and place bids on ads that will maximise your impressions.

Thanks to machines, your ads have a higher likelihood of reaching the right audience. Machine learning is being used to derive audience insights and to facilitate data collection. Algorithms can create groups of audiences that relate to consumer patterns, preferences, and online activity.

When used in programmatic advertising, machine learning algorithms can analyse enormous volumes of data from various sources and derive conclusions from it. Indeed, machines have got so good at predicting, planning and optimising media that many advertisers are relying on it completely for their decisions.

But machines can’t work (as well) without humans

But as clever as machines are, this is a mistake. Because machine learning alone is limited: as clever as the programmes we build are, machines just can’t think like a human.

In order to drive the best possible ad performance, you need both machines and humans.

Machines have the power to gather and process data, make split second decisions based on that data, and serve the perfect ad for the right person, at the right time, with the right message.

And humans can ensure that machines have everything they need to serve those ads. They’ll build relationships with the right publishers. They’ll ensure you’ve got the right campaign assets. They’ll understand where a customer is in your lifecycle, and know how to use your data to segment and target those specific customers at the right time, with appropriate consent.

Together, machines and humans are a powerful team

Building a brilliant ad campaign that delivers on your KPIs – and even beats them – doesn’t happen by accident. And it doesn’t happen on automation using a sausage-factory style machine-driven process.

It happens with the magic of human input. With human thought and insight that is then applied using the power, scope and speed of machines.

So if you’re currently firing and forgetting there is a very big chance that your campaigns are underperforming. That you are paying to serve ads to people who are at a very different part of your lifecycle or who just aren’t interested in what you are selling to them right now.

If you want to maximise the performance of your ads, you need machine learning working in tandem with the right human team. It’s this combination that is enabling us to continually beat our clients’ KPIs and deliver industry-beating results.

However you run your ad campaigns, it’s important that they’re dynamically optimised to show the right creative for where each individual person is in your customer lifecycle. However, too many companies get DCO wrong – and miss out on valuable sales as a result.

To help you avoid the common pitfalls, we’ve created a one-pager with the six biggest mistakes to avoid when creating your first DCO campaign. Download your free copy now.