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Borrell: Local Advertisers Are Warming Up To AI.


Radio stations aren’t the only ones in the local advertising ecosystem trying to figure out how they can use AI to be harder, better, faster, stronger. So are local advertisers. More than four in ten are either actively using AI (14%) or looking into it (29%). Not everyone is on board, however. Almost one in four (23%) say they “doubt we’ll ever use it” and 35% say it’s either not relevant or they don’t know.


These findings come from Borrell Associates fall 2023 survey of 1,866 local ad buyers. Asked by the firm’s researchers for their personal opinion about using AI in marketing, just over three in ten said they’re somewhat enthusiastic (24%) or very enthusiastic (7%). But more than four in ten are not in the AI camp just yet – 21% are very hesitant and 23% are slightly hesitant.


Where do local advertisers foresee AI having the greatest impact? According to the Borrell survey, there are five use applications in advertising:


  1. Content creation or recommendations

  2. Writing advertising copy

  3. Identifying/profiling target audiences

  4. Optimizing creativity (headlines, images, etc.)

  5. Audience targeting & segmentation


“Local advertisers are warming up to AI, this is no surprise,” says Elizabeth Bernburg, Senior Director of Business Development at AdCellerant, which provides digital marketing services to local businesses and sponsors the Borrell Chart Of the Week where this data first appeared.


She suggests local media companies come up with an AI action plan for their business. “Get smart on how to use AI for marketing and develop a go-to-market strategy,” Bernburg. “AI should be definitely used as a resource, as a tool to help make better, smarter business decisions so you can further support your local advertisers.”

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