IPA Agenda: “The machines are coming.”

A few months ago, we blogged about robots in digital marketing: it was and continues to be a ‘hot topic’. Robots are no longer a futuristic dream, but more of a progressive reality, and exactly how they’ll change things is unforeseeable. But, it’s easy to believe machines will ‘replace’ humans, and forget that they could, perhaps, bring with them plenty of opportunities. Particularly in marketing and advertising.

Interestingly, we’re not the only ones that believe in the future of AI in our industry. The IPA Agenda, for the next two years, has been recently unveiled as, ‘The Magic and The Machines’.

The machines are coming and we are going to be ready.

Newly appointed president, Sarah Golding, explained her chosen agenda in an enthralling speech, describing that many believe we should fight against robots, not embrace them. But, now’s the time to do the latter.

She highlighted that we as an industry should feel enthusiastic over these innovations; that we shouldn’t ‘fear’ machines; that they can actually make us digital agencies ‘magic’.

And, we agree.

To quote the new president: “We change beliefs, behaviours and businesses. We can create crazes, challenge conventions and empower causes. We can sell more boxes and save more lives than almost any other industry on the planet.

“We have magic powers. We’re all magicians, and the machines represent a new box of tricks for us to use.”

So, what exactly does she mean by a new box of tricks?

The machines are coming

Already we have seen machines in marketing. From data to algorithms, AI technology has shaped the success of our campaigns, and this will continue.

Machine learning

Machine learning will become ever-more influential. Before now, we’ve seen it building and shaping audiences on social media, and identifying a maximum bid for impressions without us having to specify one. Machine learning is what gives us our ad performance predictions, and enables us to select lookalike audiences. Machine learning will continue to grow, giving us a better picture of our audiences and ad costings.


Currently, we as advertisers specify the set of rules to determine at what point our audiences are contacted, using automation. This will evolve, where AI technology will identify, using behaviour and data analysis, when the best times are to communicate to our lists and by using what format, enabling us to achieve optimal results.


The more obvious use of AI in marketing is chatbots. We’ve already seen Facebook launch their Messenger bot, creating a virtual brand ambassador that can help with customer queries. Many brands have already included chatbots in their advertising campaigns, and this is something we can expect to become more popular as technology advances, and the development of chatbots becomes easier.

Exactly how machines will shape advertising will be a topic we’ll be exploring over the next coming months over in our blog.

The machines are coming, and it’s time to find out what that means for you. For your brand. For your campaign. For your customers.

Speak to us about the IPA Agenda, and how this will completely transform the future of advertising, as we know it.