Ready for your close-up? How virtual make-up aisles are making the future of advertising more attractive.

Woman tries out the Sephora Virtual Artist at the beauty retailer’s store
Credit: Karsten Moran for The New York Times

The global cosmetic skin care market is set to reach $185.5 billion by 2027.
Since the start of the pandemic, the use of online platforms to communicate has forced us to take a good look at ourselves…literally.

How many times during a Zoom call have you found your eyes drifting away from the person you’re talking to, to the small image of yourself in the corner of the screen? It’s happened to me more than I care to admit, and there was me thinking the digital age would allow me to look virtually perfect at all times!

It’s therefore no surprise that beauty consumers are changing their buying habits, gravitating towards items that allow them to replicate the salon experience at home and shield them from the possible impact of an increasingly webcam-centred lifestyle.

Foundation in particular is one of the most sought after products and even the sale of skincare fridges has seen a considerable rise.

I’ll be honest, I had to look up what a skincare fridge was (it turns out it’s pretty obvious). People are also adding in more steps to their skincare routines to avoid that washed-out online look. Serums in particular are on the up, with a 20-40 % increase in searches since the start of the pandemic.

So what is Beauty tech and how is it changing the cosmetics industry?

With people unable to visit make-up experts, digital algorithms and online quizzes have stepped in to help deliver that camera-ready look.

Augmented Reality (AR) allows for ‘try-on’ face scanning tools, which takes a picture of your skin to create your perfect shade match. MAC Cosmetics was one of the first to rise to the challenge and its virtual try-on allows you to scroll and click on swatches, making it possible to experiment with 800 different shades.

A new type of customer interaction

As advertisers, we are always looking for ways to make the customer journey more immersive.

Contextual ads combined with AR technology are a step in a more productive direction. This type of content integrates into the customer’s own physical environment, creating an absolutely unique experience – a suspension of disbelief that leads to an interaction with the object in a completely novel way. A key part of advertising is to create relevance, and augmented reality certainly does that.

Digestible advertising

Research by eMarketer found that global Augmented Reality ad revenues are expected to reach $2 Billion by 2022. AR bridges the gap between the physical and the digital. It offers people an immersive experience…perhaps the closest we can get to the outside world at present. The novelty of the experiences makes them pay close attention and stay hooked to the content.

Have you ever tried a smart beauty mirror or a web aisle from the comfort of your sofa or will you be waiting for stores to re-open?

How is machine learning impacting digital advertising?

Machine learning systems are made up of algorithms that are intelligent enough to comprehend data in a way that leads to a “diagnosis”, prediction and organisation.

The more data they are exposed to the more they are able to improve. They can also teach themselves to become smarter over time as they are increasingly exposed to data.

Machine learning and AI

Machine learning allows us to “imitate” the mental process of the buyer “optimising” the choices just like a normal buyer would. This system has the ability to learn over time and generate more accurate results applying its “knowledge” to different campaigns, making those associations that can be challenging for the human brain to pick up on its own.

Machine learning is now everywhere when it comes to digital advertising and is being applied to different aspects of it:

  1. Data measurement (What is Tom’s pattern of algorithms?)
  2. Prediction of device association (Based on IP info is that Tom’s ipad AND iphone?)
  3. Intent prediction (The likelihood that Tom will buy those new shoes in the next month or so)
  4. Response prediction on an ad impression level (Will Tom click on the ad, or view the whole video?)
  5. Fraud detection (Is Tom real?)
  6. Audience insights (Can I extract some of Tom’s behavioural patterns for instance to inform creative design?)

The next steps for machine learning
Machine learning will only improve as the years go by. As technology advances, computers will be able to make more adept correlations, and as we move into an ever more mobile world, advertisers need to rely more and more on the multiple platforms in order to deliver their message.

How will AI change digital marketing and advertising?

Designed to understand consumer preferences and deliver relevant customer experiences, in today’s world, AI (artificial intelligence) influences many aspects of our everyday in the form of smart devices, chatbots, and self-driving cars, for instance.

AI has been a hot topic for a while now, especially when it comes to digital marketing. Why? Because when it comes to improving customer experiences and saving time & money, AI is your technology!

What is Artificial Intelligence?
AI enables machines to “think” about, respond to, and perform tasks in the way that humans would. It also helps machines learn from experience and adjust to new input.

Why is Artificial Intelligence becoming so popular?

  • More work efficiency- lower margin for errors
  • It performs an analysis for high volumes of data without overseeing the most important insights.
  • It is a valuable addition to the capabilities of devices though its algorithms: GPS trackers, voice assistants, and home automation systems are just a few examples.
  • Its constant adaption to new input through progressive learning algorithms.

AI is revolutionizing industries with its astounding ability to adapt and analyse data- exceptionally useful for digital marketing. Let’s take a look at how.

How AI is impacting the landscape of Digital Marketing?
Because of the way AI is able to identify marketing trends and analyse data, the world of digital marketing, in particular is able to save money and time through AI:

  1. It helps understand audiences: AI can use the way it analyses data to predict what users are most likely to buy.
  2. It improves user experience: AI data can help you give your audience what they actually need.
  3. A more impactful type of marketing: AI helps to create a more effective marketing strategy for your company, because of the way it handles data.
  4. It can increase productivity: AI algorithms can increase productivity and this will save your budget and eliminate time wastage.

Artificial intelligence really is a technology that can add value to your brand.
Using AI digital marketing strategies will help brands deliver improved customer experience and do more effective marketing. It will also ensure faster problem-solving for consumers.

AI: the relationship between human and machine intelligence

Humans and information processes, or A.I, have already been working together for a long time. Predefined algorithms are becoming ever more efficient and sensitive to consumer choices, creating spaces that are able to fit into the user flow, unobtrusively and usefully.

A report on emerging technologies carried out by Gartner (August 2018) predicts that AI technologies will be virtually everywhere by 2028, forming new ecosystems that bridge AI and humans.

We live in a world where there is an excess of data available and this ongoing relationship between human and machine intelligence can assist in simplifying lives by channelling the right products to the right people in an effortless process for the end user.

Vertis Media builds intelligent spaces by using technology that respects the user’s boundaries of interest. This contributes to the creation of a more efficient use of funds and information that gets straight to the heart of the matter. Though no personal information is utilised in the process, the campaigns produced become personalised through a system of contextual insight that makes them accurate and profitable. This is possible as they are based on an AI system of optimisation that is able to provide opportunities for scaling and personalising capabilities.

The rules of business are changing as the processes within organisations adapt to a time where being intelligent involves the embrace between humans and machines. Companies favourable to this are becoming increasingly profitable.

However, when we talk about machine intelligence we are not referring to cold hearted, undiscerning automation: it is about the creation of a space where human ideas are passed on and executed by a machine process that is able to, via its constantly refined processing, update information in a way that makes it possible for businesses to transform every aspect of the way they work.
Through AI, Vertis Media creates such a platform that takes you on a journey to simplicity, versatility, and profit.