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Teboho Rasoaisi. Picture: Supplied
Teboho Rasoaisi. Picture: Supplied

Digital performance marketing is critical for businesses to generate leads and drive sales in today's digital-first world, as it allows marketers to optimise campaigns in real time, target specific audiences and measure return on investment more effectively. With the advanced data processing capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) marketers can more effectively analyse and interpret user data to optimise campaigns, improve targeting and drive better results.

 The effect of AI on digital performance marketing is particularly relevant in South Africa, where the digital landscape is rapidly evolving. According to the “Digital 2023: South Africa” report by DataReportal, there are 43-million internet users in the country, and internet penetration stood at 72% of the total population at the start of 2023. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and TikTok have grown significantly in the country, with over 25-million social media users.

 In this thought piece we'll explore how AI is affecting digital performance marketing and what the future might hold for this rapidly evolving field.

AI and personalisation

According to a study by Google, people are 40% more likely to spend more than they planned when they identify the shopping experience as highly personalised. With AI, marketers can deliver personalised content, offers and recommendations at scale, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

 AI and predictive analytics

By analysing historical data and user behaviour, AI can predict future outcomes, such as which users are most likely to convert or churn. This allows marketers to allocate resources more effectively, optimise campaigns in real time and make data-driven decisions.

AI and optimisation

Rather than relying on manual testing and optimisation, AI can be used to test and optimise campaigns automatically in real time. This allows marketers to identify the best-performing ads, audiences, and channels quickly, leading to more effective campaigns and better results. According to a study by EAJMR, after implementing AI-based software marketers are experiencing increased conversion rates, a better grasp of consumer data and the ability to make more informed marketing decisions, resulting in an enhanced return on investment.

 AI and fraud prevention

Digital ad fraud continues to be a major problem for marketers, and AI can help detect and prevent fraudulent activity. By analysing user behaviour patterns and identifying anomalies, AI can help identify fraudulent clicks, impressions and conversions. This leads to more accurate reporting and also a better return on investment for marketers.

The future of AI in performance marketing

As AI continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more significant effects on performance marketing. Some of the emerging trends include AI-powered chatbots and voice assistants that provide personalised recommendations and support to users; AI-powered content creation and optimisation that can generate high-quality content at scale; and AI-powered attribution modelling that can more accurately attribute revenue to specific marketing channels and campaigns.

Teboho Rasoaisi is the senior digital marketing manager at Discovery.

The big take-out:

AI is transforming the digital performance marketing landscape, providing marketers with powerful tools for personalisation, predictive analytics, optimisation and fraud prevention. It's essential for a marketer to stay up-to-date with the latest AI trends and technologies to remain competitive in this rapidly evolving field.

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