With artificial intelligence against the lack of qualified labor in media agencies – ADZINE

At the beginning of the year, the General Association of Communications Agencies (GWA) sounded the alarm: The agency industry has too many vacancies and too few applicants. 2,500 positions should not be filled by 2022. This does not only affect creative service providers, media agencies also suffer massively from this development. You can clearly see that when you talk to media decision makers these days. The industry is already fighting a battle on several fronts: the umbrella organization for the media agencies OMG has just predicted a further redistribution of digital advertising money to Google, Facebook and Co. for 2022. And with the elimination of third-party cookies, there is a lot of work to be done. All in all, this means for the media agencies: too few employees, too many tasks and falling margins. Not an easy situation.

In order for media agencies to cope with this in the future, they should rethink their human-machine relationship. Media planners are caught between several tasks in their job: on the one hand, developing creative strategies, on the other hand, buying media services efficiently. On the one hand, you must implement the media planning solidly, on the other hand, track down the target groups in new environments and channels. Automate marketing on the one hand, and continuously optimize campaign performance manually on the other.

In an advertising world where digital marketing is becoming the dominant element, technology as a foundation for automation is imperative. Humans are just as important as strategists, creative initiators and optimizers. The question “man or machine?” has long since been answered with “man AND machine”. In the current situation, it is more about finding the optimal human-machine relationship.

Artificial intelligence can always do more

In order for media agencies to cope with this in the future, they should rethink their human-machine relationship. Media planners are caught between several tasks in their job: on the one hand, developing creative strategies, on the other hand, buying media services efficiently. On the one hand, you must implement the media planning solidly, on the other hand, track down the target groups in new environments and channels. Automate marketing on the one hand, and continuously optimize campaign performance manually on the other.

In an advertising world where digital marketing is becoming the dominant element, technology as a foundation for automation is imperative. Humans are just as important as strategists, creative initiators and optimizers. The question “man or machine?” has long since been answered with “man AND machine”. In the current situation, it is more about finding the optimal human-machine relationship.

Artificial intelligence can always do more

Artificial intelligence plays an important role in this process. While human receptivity is limited, AI takes the guesswork out of this process because it can process and anchor insights into nearly infinite data. However, many marketers are still reluctant to include artificial intelligence more in their strategies. The reason for this is a lack of trust, too little knowledge and understanding. Agencies and marketers should understand that this is not magic, but an indispensable tool. It frees up marketers to focus on the value-creating activities they are meant to do as humans – strategy, creativity and ideation.

The key benefits of AI are that it helps digital marketers achieve speed, scale and accuracy. It determines who to address and where, and takes optimization to the next level. Countless more data points can be processed this way, more than a human could ever do. But the purpose of AI is not to replace media planners, but to relieve them. Find patterns, uncover preferences and make predictions to truly understand customers and predict what a company’s next best customer looks like.

More productive, more efficient, more lucrative

In times of a shortage of skilled labor but a growing workload, media agencies have the opportunity to break new ground with artificial intelligence. In a world with limited resources, why not automate the routine robotic tasks? Employees who are already overwhelmed are relieved and given time to invest in the aforementioned more creative tasks.

Of course, media agencies have often been accused in the past of being too deep in the engine room and of neglecting creativity. Now is the chance to set new priorities. AI can make us smarter: it gives us more nuanced insights and enables us to run campaigns on a larger and easier scale than ever before. For example, if we let the machine do the “boring” tasks of data reconciliation, we humans can develop the more creative aspects of marketing. Conversely, this in turn attracts workers who want to be creative and experiment rather than just doing repetitive tasks.

So AI is not a cure for the lack of skilled labor in our industry, but a means to help media agencies that suffer from it.

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