Yes. That is me – out in the middle of nature. Don’t ask. I can’t find my sofa or my bad.

Anyway. The tip. It may be time to start trusting AI/ML (artificial intelligence and machine learning), at least when it comes to audience creation in the walled-gardens….

“All of the major platforms today make it possible to place a buy without ever specifically defining your audience. Instead, they all auto-optimize to your top-performing customers. 

Google has Optimized Audience in Google Ads for display, discovery and video campaigns. Meta has Lookalike Audiences, Custom Audiences (people who have shown interest in the product) and Special Ad Audience (people who have exhibited similar online behaviors as customers). And TikTok has Automatic Audience in Ads Manager. Instead of defining your audience you just click “auto-optimize.”

With digital accounting for 63% of global advertising spend, per Statista, and these platforms representing more than 70% all digital ad spend, according to Ebiquity, nearly all of which can occur in the absence of a defined audience — we’re looking at a complete paradigm shift in the media-planning process. ” (From Auto-Optimized Audiences: 3 Things You Need To Know).

So, in the past I may have taken the ‘purist’ stance – that (somewhat) manually researching and building audiences based on several data sources was the way to go. But today with the sophistication of AI/ML and the volume of FPD (first party data) these walled-gardens, I have to say, it may be time to trust the oligarchs.


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