The Trade Desk brings AI to adtech to optimize online media buys | Tech News

AI continues to work its way into all aspects of marketing, advertising, and the myriad technologies that help us attract new clients. When it comes to working out trends, figuring out the best time to react, and conducting repeatable tasks, artificial intelligence trumps humans every time.

A company that manages display, social, mobile, and video advertising campaigns, the Trade Desk has today announced its new AI-powered tools to optimize online media buys.

The suite includes three new devices: forecasting product Koa, a set of media planning tools dubbed the Trade Desk Planner, and a something called Megagon. While the latter sounds like Godzilla’s latest foe, it is actually a real-time optimization platform.

“With the Trade Desk Planner, we’re bringing the data we have from trading and execution to enrich the planning and strategy process,” Trade Desk CTO and cofounder Dave Pickles told me. “This ultimately benefits the brands, because they are getting a data-driven media plan that’s already optimized. There’s no wasted ‘learn budget’ to test and tweak performance. Today, a brand could spend significant budget to figure out what’s working. Now, they can use AI to model their plan before spending a single dollar on the market. This is especially impactful when planning for new channels, like audio and connected TV, where there are fewer traditional planning tools available.”

So how do these work in unison?

Koa works with data from 9 million queries per second, determining patterns in that data to work out how media buyers can perform more efficiently. The Trade Desk Planner gathers insights from large sets of data to help advertisers and marketers plan their strategy. And Megagon turns everything into real recommendations that the company claims will help buyers save time through real-time decisions.

“This ensures that programmatic campaigns are at maximum performance, leveraging these insights for smarter planning and buying strategies and the ability to quickly and easily test hypotheses before (and during) campaign execution,” Pickles said.

So is the AI making ad buying decisions across these three solutions, or is the user still doing the buying but basing decisions on the system’s recommendations?

“The Trade Desk’s platform gives buyers recommendations, which they can either manually approve, or they can choose to let campaigns run auto-optimized,” Pickles said. “Advertisers on our platform always have full control and transparency to view any changes in their activity log.”

Ultimately, making the right decisions starts with understanding the best strategies and working out the optimal approach. Koa does the heavy lifting, in this respect.

“Koa is an incredibly powerful predictive engine,” Pickles said. “We’ve always thought about AI a little differently at the Trade Desk. We build AI for clients to partner with, augmenting their expertise rather than abdicating control to the machines. We are not ‘black box’. We build our technology to capitalize on what both human and machine do best. Humans excel at making complex, intuitive decisions, while machines are very good at processing vast amounts of data and automating simple tasks. It’s about building transparent solutions that empower people and machines to work together, providing advertisers and their agencies the ability to see all the data and the control to decide a strategy based on those insights.”

While most of the data processing is done in real time, or as close to that as possible, the Trade Desk Planner does require time to complete its work.

“Planner takes a few hours to run algorithms and model a plan, given the vast amount of data being crunched, but compared to traditional planning, which takes days or weeks, this is a monumental leap forward for the industry,” Pickles said.

The Trade Desk’s new AI-powered solutions are available today.

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