Telecom Advertisers Have Strong Interest in AI, But Not for the Reason You Might Think

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is the most important consumer trend cited by those responsible for advertising for telecom providers, according to new research from advertising technology provider Mediaocean. Almost two-thirds of respondents (64%) cited generative AI, compared with 54% who cited the next most important trend — CTV/streaming.

But while generative AI is best known as a way of creating written and visual material, that’s not the main purpose that survey respondents envision for it. Instead, the most popular uses for the technology are market research (cited by 42% of respondents), closely followed by data analysis (41%).

Telecom Advertisers and AI

No more than a quarter of respondents are using AI for creating written and visual material. A quarter said they use it for copywriting and 18% said they use it for image generation.

The researchers offered their take on why use cases such as these aren’t more popular.

“AI, despite its prowess, struggles with understanding context and tone, impacting the quality of generated content,” the researchers wrote. “Instances of misinterpreted context, inappropriate tone, or cultural insensitivity underscore the limitations for advertising.

“Further, the output of AI-generated content also lacks the nuanced creativity and emotional depth characteristic of human created-content.”

Other ways that telecom advertisers are using AI include SEO (cited by 18% of respondents), customer service (15%), classification taxonomies (9%), software coding (8%) and website development (8%).

The “2024 Telecommunications (Telecom) Advertising Outlook Report” was based on research done last November. It also explored respondents’ ad spending plans for 2024:

· Retail media (10% decrease spending level, 57% maintain spending level, 33% increase spending level)

· Social platforms (5%, 27%, 68%)

· Search (5%, 35%, 60%)

· Digital display/video (7%, 28%, 65%)

· Out-of-home/digital out-of-home (19%, 57%, 24%)

· Radio/audio (6%, 76%, 18%)

· Print (54%, 44%, 2%)

· Connected TV (12%, 39%, 49%)

· Local TV (40%, 49%, 11%)

· National TV (34%, 47%, 19%)

Mediaocean said that the results suggest “a wave of optimism is sweeping across the telecom industry for 2024” and points out that print and TV are the only channels in which more respondents indicate they are decreasing their investments compared with increasing. The frontrunner platforms for telecom, the company found, are social media, digital display/video and search.


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