Home Content Studio Harmonizing AI: Ensuring Transparency And Control In A Performance-Driven World

Harmonizing AI: Ensuring Transparency And Control In A Performance-Driven World


In today’s evolving digital landscape, the absence of third-party cookies presents new opportunities, and harnessing AI has become indispensable for marketers striving to maximize their budget and performance.

However, while AI holds immense potential, it’s not enough for marketers to rely solely on simplified campaign metrics to grasp customer insights and marketing effectiveness. What’s more, marketers are also not satisfied with models that operate in the dark, obfuscating their inner workings.

Today, marketers crave the power of AI to simplify ad tech complexity, but with the transparency and control they need to understand how AI aligns with their goals and helps them reach their desired business objectives.

The full potential of AI

AI is a promising marketing partner that has already demonstrated its value in many ways. Marketing leaders report that AI has improved sales productivity by an average of 6.2%, and customer satisfaction by 7%, while decreasing marketing overhead costs by 7.2%, according to the 2023 CMO Survey. Despite those promising results, only one-third of marketing organizations use AI for these purposes.

Yet there’s so much more that AI can do. AI streamlines budget allocation by automatically directing funds to the most effective areas, which reduces manual labor. This efficiency allows marketers to focus more on strategy and creativity, from understanding consumer insights and refining brand messaging to exploring innovative campaigns.

From an outcome perspective, AI-driven targeting also enhances how to reach audiences likely to engage in specific behaviors, uncovering patterns less obvious to human analysis. Plus, AI can analyze campaign outcomes continuously, using insights to refine future efforts and establish a positive feedback loop of improvement and success.

The need for AI transparency

Though powerful, AI can also be dangerous when misused or misunderstood. Imagine AI as a new form of magic at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You’d want Harry and Hermione to use AI as a charm to do good, save time and harness its amazing capabilities that couldn’t be done before.

Placed in the wrong hands, AI could also be deployed by Voldemort and used for the Dark Arts, such as hiding the truth about magic and harming enemies. Similarly, when used to conceal data, hide detailed value drivers and extract value out of the value exchange between advertisers and publishers, AI can be dangerous in marketing.


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That’s why the digital advertising industry is transitioning away from opaque ”magic box” solutions – systems or models whose internal workings or decision-making processes are opaque. The lack of transparency makes interpreting how the model arrives at its conclusions or predictions challenging.  This is particularly problematic in areas like brand safety, inventory management, creative optimization and audience overlap analysis.

That’s why advertisers are increasingly advocating for solutions that provide transparency and offer controls that incorporate human expertise into the implementation process.

Best of both worlds: AI-powered knowledge and control

When we built our solution, Performance+, we kept these challenges in mind. Marketers gain access to a customized AI magic wand to “do good” and optimize performance while providing visibility and control over behind-the-scenes operations.

Advertisers start by bringing in their first-party signals – which are enhanced with Amazon’s unique signals and predictive AI – for automated campaign setup, audience creation and optimization. Advertisers establish the start and finish line, and our AI helps them win the race. At the same time, the DSP preserves advertiser control over key elements like inventory selection, block lists and audience suppression, effectively balancing automation with strategic oversight.

Across industries and verticals, advertisers consistently witnessed 30%-90% lower CPAs, which we consider proof that the solution caters to all advertiser profiles, from those who aim to drive high-value actions on their website to those who sell on Amazon. Plus, Performance+ works across Amazon-owned-and-operated inventory and third-party inventory, including display, online video and streaming TV ads.

As advertisers continue to adopt AI-powered solutions that support a wide variety of brand and performance goals, the future of advertising holds endless possibilities for innovation, efficiency and success.

For example, SMARTY, a mobile telephone brand in the UK, started using Performance+ and noticed a 48% reduction in its CPA for web signups, a figure it expects could further improve as the AI learns. “We look forward to seeing how efficient this activity ends up,” Eyup Celik, senior performance marketing manager at SMARTY said.

Beyond just improved CPAs, the agency PMG is observing “broader relevant audience reach,” with impressive results with clients across different industries, noted Mary O’Brien, head of programmatic at digital agency PMG.

 By combining AI’s analytical prowess with human expertise, advertisers can confidently navigate the evolving marketing landscape.

For more articles featuring Brian Tomasette, click here.

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