According to recent research by Gartner, two forms of developing artificial intelligence (AI) — emotion and generative AI — are at the pinnacle of the digital advertising hype cycle. This is due to AI’s development in targeting, measurement, identity resolution and even content creation.

Mike Froggatt, the senior director analyst in Gartner’s marketing practice, says he believes one of the most important elements is that the alternatives for marketers have been increasing.

He adds that when it comes to digital media fragmentation, a decade ago, there were display, search, video and rich media, which changed to NFTs, blockchain, podcasts and over-the-top platforms over time.

Google continues to keep third-party cookies alive

AI is assisting marketers in targeting, measuring and identifying customers, as well as developing content to be displayed in those channels, and inventing entirely new assets to give marketers a platform in those channels.

According to the Gartner research report (Hype Cycle for Digital Advertising 2022), traditional techniques of client targeting are depreciating as the media and advertising economy shifts from an implied quid pro quo to an unambiguous consent-driven media and ad economy.

Although Google persists in pushing back the date on which it will stop using third-party cookies that digital advertisers traditionally relied on for ad tracking, online marketers have to learn how to change as consumer data becomes more limited and targeting gets more challenging.

The future

For the time being, marketing professionals can still use traditional tools such as third-party cookies. However, with trends such as media fragmentation and the deprecation of customer data sources showing no signs of abating, they will require the appropriate tools to adapt to emerging forms of measurement and targeting.

Froggatt says he thinks that’s where AI will really start proving its worth. While generative and emotional AI may not avoid the Gartner Hype Cycle’s “trough of disillusionment” after hitting the top, they’ll be finding their own way through the hype cycle, Froggatt added.