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Every industry will be dramatically disrupted by artificial intelligence (AI) applications in the very near future—if they haven't already been. By 2020, businesses that use AI to uncover new insights will take $1.2 trillion each year from competitors that don't, according to Forrester.

For digital marketers, AI brings many advantages, including help in understanding data more quickly and acting more immediately to improve customer personalization.

But, AI and machine-learning (ML) on their own are not panaceas.

Although these revolutionary technologies have already disrupted digital marketing and advertising, and will continue to do so, it's still vital to maintain the human touch in order to sustain creativity and fully understand the nuances of human behavior.

Understanding the 'Explore vs. Exploit' Dynamic

In the AI world, there's the notion of exploring versus exploiting: To explore is to delve into the unknown, trying to find the general boundaries and developing initial definitions; to exploit is to refine and drill down, making the most of known resources.

Though AI and ML are ideal for exploiting, humans are much better suited for exploring.

Ad creative is a great example of how this dynamic plays out. Although AI, through things like computer vision and dynamic creative optimization, can help you exploit existing assets and make them more powerful through personalization, it's not great at coming up with initial ideas that really resonate.

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image of Rajiv Bhat

Rajiv Bhat is senior vice-president of data sciences and marketplace at InMobi, a mobile intelligence and technology platform.

LinkedIn: Rajiv Bhat

Twitter: @rajivbhat