Remember when artificial intelligence (AI) and digital automation systems only existed in sci-fi movies, narrating the fictional and distant future? Of course, you do. It wasn’t that long ago.

Twenty years ago, advertising and promotion services were functioning on a wave that is nearly unrecognizable in today’s digital landscape— where each segment of marketing offers a dizzying array of complex, ever-increasing quantities of data, left for marketers to adopt into their visual communication strategies.

As consumers, there is an endless stream of data popping up on all corners of the (several) screens we own. As marketers—trying to house content at the center of those screens has become increasingly challenging. Unless of course, AI and automation tools are optimized avant-garde.

Inspiring this blog post is the recent panel discussion GMD attended; a segment of the Business Excellence Series hosted by Business in Vancouver: AI and How it Will Transform Your Business. During this discussion, notable leaders in the tech industry got together to discuss the past, present and future of AI and the insinuations associated with integrating AI and automation into businesses.

There was an underlying theme throughout the night, where panellists unknowingly circled back to indicate that AI and automation systems are here to stay and will continuously grow and evolve. It’s a matter of discovering the right time to implement AI and automation into business practice, rather than questioning whether it’s necessary.

The AI and automation systems currently being used by GMD to fulfill tasks ranging from simple and repetitive duties, all the way to dense data-processing, have helped put time back on our side. The systems free up our teams to apply mind power and creative resources to more strategic components of client campaigns. That’s the thing about AI— it helps people break out of repetitive jobs, allowing them to tap into their creativity and ingenuity as part of their role in the organization instead.

Here is a brief list of where GMD has found AI and automation to be useful:

1. Programmatic Targeting
Automated ad placement and real-time ad bidding occur in a split second. Whether you’re buying google ads or social ads, platforms are also using deep learning algorithms to better connect your message to your target audience.

2. Content Curation
Ever noticed how your Instagram Explore page or TikTok’s ‘For You’ page seems to know what types of content you’re interested in? Well, these platforms have algorithms that work to find content that you might enjoy, based on how you engage with other content.

3. Batch Automation
Design tools have built-in batch automation features to minimize the need for humans to perform repetitive tasks, such as resizing the dimensions of 300 image files. Or perhaps you want to apply a cool filter to them. No problem. Set up some commands and go for coffee. By the time you come back to your desk 15 minutes later, the automation will have done a job that would have taken you many hours to do manually.

4. Data Merge
A common use for this occurs in email marketing, where you might have a mailing list of 10,000 customers and you’d like to send each member a personalized email. Data Merge makes this possible in an efficient and timely manner. We also use data merge tools to create custom visualized data for your campaign reports. It’s a highly versatile method, as long as we label data in ways that are relevant to the desired output.

AI + Human collaboration = Dream Team

At this point in time, machines cannot beat humans at what makes us human. If we can accept this fact, we should also accept that humans cannot compete with the execution capabilities that machines have, either. Instead of viewing AI as the job-stealing enemy, it’s important to see the value in collaborating with such systems to hack our daily workflow and achieve optimum results. This doesn’t mean simply layering AI onto existing platforms to assist with tasks (while you closely monitor). This means adopting automated AI, known as Robotic Process Automation tools, which fully automate and mimic human activities to efficiently complete rule-based actions that are simple, repetitive and currently boring you in your day-to-day job.

Think about it like this: creative campaigns with uniquely emotive components draw our attention and spark immediate engagement, but they require a lot of research and effort. Marketers go into a project with the mindset of creating that kind of campaign, but it’s hard to achieve when administrative tasks cloud the creative process. This can result in creative burnout. By adopting machine-learning systems to mimic human behavior, a creative team has more brainpower and enthusiasm to make individual campaigns flourish. For these reasons, we embrace developments in AI and automation and are looking forward to new ways to help you get more done.