20 Feb 2019 / 11:19 H.

    Advertising meets technology

    SilverPush, chief revenue officer, Kartik Mehta on how technology is transforming and impacting the ad industry

    by Mark Mathen Victor

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    As we move forward in the bilateral evolution of businesses, careers and technology, the lines between contemporary professional job fields and their integration with Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly blurred.

    Recently writing on “adtech”, or advertising technology, Mehta divulged insights on areas that will be impacted due to the merging of brands and advertisers, considering the internet ecosystem in 2019.

    An AI-driven marketing-tech platform that specialises in multi-screening advertising, SilverPush recently launched Mirrors, the world’s first AI-driven context detection technology that identifies brand logos, faces, emotions and objects in videos to deliver contextualised and relevant ad experiences to consumers.

    Mehta, when approached by theSun shared his thoughts on the presence of adtech in Malaysia and advertising positions that will be at the forefront in this sophisticated era of technology and automation.

    Q: In “What’s on the horizon for adtech in 2019?”, you spoke about the state of adtech in the United States. What about the state of the industry in Malaysia?

    A: Considering more than 80% of Malaysian internet users on Facebook are also active on other social media platforms and Malaysians have 1.6 times more friends than the global average these highlight the penetration of internet and smartphones in the region. Besides social media, on-demand video consumption is also set to soar in the region with reports predicting 78% of mobile data traffic expected from video content by 2021. This robust growth in digital media consumption paves the way forward for cutting edge, nextgen marketing innovations, to be employed by leading regional and global brands, facilitated by ad-tech pioneers (like SilverPush).

    Q: Are there education programmes/training that teach the skills required when it comes to the convergence of advertising, artificial intelligence and technology?

    A: A lot of leading universities in India, USA and Europe have full-time degrees in the field of AI, robotics and machine learning, with an option to acquire advertisement expertise with elective courses. A number of companies have also partnered with universities to offer executive programmes for working professionals in the advertising industry to be equipped with the latest developments and trends needed to stay ahead of the curve. Tech giants such as Google and Microsoft also offer beginner AI courses for free, apart from the domain-specific learning programmes available by digital learning platforms like Udemy.

    Q: What kind of qualifications and certifications are recognised for those interested in getting into adtech and marketing strategies centreing around machine learning?

    A: A professional degree in AI is a good stepping stone in the field, which could be further bolstered by specialty domain specific courses. Besides the formal education, a relevant experience in the industry is also vital for becoming a specialist adtech marketing professional.

    Q: In regard to the growing discussion on AI replacing traditional labour, is the same bound to occur in the field of advertising? And if traditional advertising job roles are axed and replaced by adtech-reliant jobs, what professional roles do you think will be in demand by the market?

    A: The far-reaching impact of AI will be about raising the efficiency of key processes and people handling the same. For example, media planning and buying is seeing a growing shift towards a programmatic mode versus the manual planning and buying. Still, the fact is, it does not matter how advanced AI becomes, it’ll never replace marketers. They will always be needed to control the direction of their campaigns and oversee results. Only a human can truly understand the motives and behaviours of another person. Roles that are aligned with AI empower processes like programmatic buying which will be hugely in demand in the coming future. Broadly the companies will plan to align their resources to newer requirements and developments in the industry. Essentially there will be a growth in multifaceted profiles, needing an overlapping of specialisation across fields like marketing, AI and machine learning.

    Q: What are the jobs and roles available now for the adtech qualified?

    A: There are many amazing opportunities in our field for professionals with degrees in AI, machine learning and deep learning. Starting with entry level profiles like account executives to mid-level project managers and roles like account manager to multiple roles in the field of media planning and buying, campaign managers, etc. We are at a have many interesting profiles being created for specialists of the field who have exceptional grip on data science, and the need for these skills is ever increasing.

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