Shawn Lim
Apr 2, 2024

'Centre on people': Meta's monetisation lead on the rise of generative AI tools

Meta's John Hegeman explains to Campaign how the platform is automating creative processes to produce a range of images or videos to enhance campaign efficiency and cost-effectiveness for advertisers.

'Centre on people': Meta's monetisation lead on the rise of generative AI tools

Meta is enhancing its advertising tools with new AI-driven features and video options to help retailers globally engage consumers more effectively within their feeds and through short-form videos.

Introducing product videos in Advantage+ catalogue ads allows advertisers to showcase their products dynamically, using branded or demo videos instead of static images based on user interests. Additionally, integrating a "hero" image feature in these ads, powered by Meta's AI, aims to optimise product visibility and performance.

Furthermore, Meta is expanding its advertising capabilities with Reminder ads on Instagram. These ads enable advertisers to link directly to new products or sales and provide notifications about upcoming events or promotions. This feature is soon to be extended to Reels.

The platform also simplifies the promotion process, allowing for the application of alphanumeric promo codes directly within ads.

For example, Castlery, a Singapore-based furniture company used an Advantage+ shopping campaign on Facebook and Instagram. It achieved a 2.3 times higher return on ad spend and a 59% increase in conversion rates.

Campaign speaks to John Hegeman, vice president of monetisation at Meta while he was in Singapore to find out how the platform integrates generative AI into its tools for advertisers.

Elaborate on how Meta's AI-driven tools, particularly the Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns and Advantage+ Creative, are evolving to meet the dynamic needs of advertisers aiming to optimise their lower-funnel marketing strategies.

Advertisers continue to look for ways to maximise the value of their ad campaigns. They can use Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns to achieve higher performance from online sales campaigns with minimal effort or management.

Based on a meta-analysis across 15 campaigns, Advantage+ shopping campaigns have helped drive a 17% improvement in cost per conversion and a 32% increase in return on advertising spend cost.

Similarly, Advantage+ Creative bundles a set of creative optimisations into a single entry point, making it easier for advertisers to improve ad performance without manually testing and optimising different creative elements.

For example, an advertiser could easily add music from our library for ad placement in Reels or automatically resize an image or video for mobile viewing. Using these AI-powered tools, advertisers can focus on what matters mostgrowing their business and reaching their target audience more effectively. 

How do you see AI-powered recommendations shaping the future of consumer discovery and shopping experiences? Furthermore, how can advertisers leverage these advancements to create more personalised and effective campaigns?

AI is changing how marketers approach their campaigns, allowing them to move beyond traditional assumptions and unlock new opportunities. By adopting AI-powered tools, marketers can create more effective campaigns tailored to individual customers. 

Rather than relying on rigid funnels that guess shoppers' actions, AI enables marketers to create adaptive journeys that meet shoppers where they are. Personalised ad creativity can speak to unique individuals rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Finally, AI has transformed the way marketers buy advertising space. While traditional methods involved buying space such as posters or pages, programmatic advertising enabled buying audiences. Today, AI-driven platforms allow marketers to buy outcomes, ensuring their campaigns deliver the desired results. 

As a marketer, it's essential to focus on maximising efficiency, growth, and the impact of your message. One way to achieve this is through end-to-end automation, which can help streamline processes and improve overall productivity.

Audience automation can help you reach untapped customers and expand your reach. And creative automation can help ensure that your message is relevant and impactful, ultimately leading to more effective campaigns and better results. 

The Castlery case study highlights the benefits of using AI-powered advertising solutions, such as the Advantage+ shopping campaign. Based on this success, what advice would you give to retailers looking to harness Meta's AI capabilities to boost sales and efficiency, especially in highly competitive markets?

It's been exciting to see how Castlery, a digital-first furniture retailer founded in Singapore, has expanded into Australia and the US. They exemplify the test-and-learn approach.

The Castlery team tested the Advantage+ shopping (ASC) solution for two months. Castlery's campaigns included image and video ads that showcased their furniture offerings and were delivered to people in the US.

Since testing ASC  across Facebook and Instagram, the Castlery team learned that the solution consistently provides higher sales more efficiently. It also helped streamline Castlery's ad operation processes and reduce the time and resources invested into creating multiple campaigns with segmented audience targeting and ad creatives.   

With the introduction of product videos in Advantage+ catalogue ads and the ability to use Advantage+ creative with catalogue campaigns, how should advertisers rethink their content creation approach to maximise the impact of these new video options?

The first step is for advertisers to go beyond static images and create engaging videos showcasing their product or service's key features and benefits.

In addition to product videos, consider using other video formats, such as how-to videos, customer testimonials, and behind-the-scenes footage, to showcase your brand and products. Finally, optimise your videos for mobile by ensuring that they are vertically oriented and less than 15 seconds long to increase engagement.

How does Meta envision the integration of generative AI in advertising strategies enhancing the creativity and performance of campaigns? How can businesses prepare to adopt these technologies to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving digital marketplace?

Generative AI enables new forms of expression and creation—from AI assistants to creative features that help advertisers drive more results more efficiently.

These time savings come from creating multiple asset variations with the click of a button, reducing the time creative and media teams spend on onerous editing tasks and allowing for more strategic work. Nearly all advertisers also agreed that the products tested in the AI Sandbox would eventually help drive campaign performance by enabling quicker development of more ad creative variations at scale. 

The natural transformation of generative AI is its ability to free us from our most tedious work, unlock better performance and enable us to spend time on more meaningful work. 

I do want to emphasise that this story is ultimately about people. However impressive the technology may be, we must centre on people and solve problems or enrich the world for them. Businesses need to plan for an evolving AI journey and consider short-term and long-term goals when considering their strategy.

In the short term, focus on maximising performance through automation solutions and testing new products as they become available. This will set you up for success in the long term—finally, champion next-gen creativity by embracing experimentation and encouraging your teams to expand their skills.

Campaign Asia

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