Why AI Isn't Enough: The Human (and Agency) Edge in Paid Media

June 07, 2024

3 Minute Read
Why You Should Trust Your Paid Media to Humans Not Just AI

No one will argue that Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing marketing, offering valuable tools for paid media campaigns. This said, C-suite executives and decision-makers should be cautious about relying solely on AI for success. It’s the human touch, developed by experienced agencies, that remains the most crucial component of paid media management.


AI's Limitations

  • Strategic Thinking: AI struggles with the bigger picture. While it excels at rapidly analyzing data and optimizing based on its findings, it cannot grasp the nuanced complexities of marketing goals, brand messaging, and offline/real-word data. Leading me to my next point…
  • Data Dependence: AI relies on historical data. If data hasn’t been fed into the algorithm, AI is unable to make strategic decisions based on it. In addition, this dependence isn’t just limited to hard data. The opportunity to miss new audience trends, cultural shifts, and evaluate emotional data in regards to a brand’s reputation, as well as societal opinions, is far too great to rely on machine-learning.
  • Nuance and Creativity: AI lacks the human spark of creativity. Creating visually and emotionally compelling ad copy that resonates with audiences requires an understanding of emotions, cultural references, and historical insight  into a brand’s story.
  • Unexpected Events: The (digital) world is full of surprises. Human oversight is crucial to managing paid media campaigns, as humans will always be better equipped to adapt and respond to unforeseen situations.

The Agency Advantage

  • Strategic Direction: As Paid Media Managers it is our responsibility to define goals, identify audiences, and set guardrails for success. We use AI to analyze data and recommend optimizations, all the while we’re steering the ship while the machine powers us along.
  • Creativity & Storytelling: In crafting compelling narratives, visuals, and persuasive copy that resonates with your audience, humans implore users to open their hearts, minds, and wallets to engage with your brand.
  • Agility & Course Correction: Since AI relies on historic data, it’s not equipped to adjust strategies on the fly and in real-time. Your agency, through human expertise, interprets campaign data, assessing changes to audience behavior, and adapts your campaigns to drive results.
  • Vertical & Platform Expertise: Every agency structure is different, but based on your brand and goals, your agency team is established based on who is best equipped to drive success for your brand.
  • Human Relationships & Collaboration: Agencies talk. Not just within their organization, but with their peers. This allows us to collaborate with each other, share success stories and stories of loss, to grow and win together.

The Winning Combination

There is no denying that AI is a powerful tool for data analysis and automation, but it should be seen as an assistant, not a replacement for human expertise. Agencies utilize AI tools while applying human creativity, strategic thinking, and relationship-building skills to craft and manage winning paid media campaigns. In combining the power of data with the strategic thinking and human touch of an agency, you can achieve superior results and maximize your return on investment.


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Curtiss Gulash - Director, Paid Media

Curtiss Gulash

When Curtiss is not being a Brewmeister, brewing amazing craft beers at Big Cat Brewing Company, in Cedar, Michigan, he is BFO’s Paid Media Team Lead with a specialty in marketing automotive brands. Curtiss is known for his super-human energy and loves taking a project from start to completion. He understands the world of digital media through and through and manages to juggle multiple curveballs, be a terrific team player, and a super coach to his staff.