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Advertising gets academic

Artificial Intelligence is the way forward in digital marketing according to top advertising company, Crimtan, which is pairing up with experts from Brighton University, via the TSB

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships scheme (KTP) to develop cutting edge techniques in the field.

Brighton academics will apply advanced mathematics, data mining and computer modelling techniques to develop the new systems for Crimtan. The focus is to enable brands to benefit from real-time, cluster-targeting advertising systems that protect user privacy. The emergent technologies will automate the online advertising processes and decision-making by mirroring human expertise and experience. 

The project – which has a value of £125,372 – will be led by Professor Miltos Petridis and supervised by Dr Roger Evans, both from the University of Brighton’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics. 

Of particular interest, is the use of negative modelling techniques. At present online ad campaign decision-making is primarily governed by user actions, such as clicks, online purchases and hover-overs. To date, the value of inactions has not been effectively incorporated into online ad systems. Negative modelling techniques will help to define decision-making rules based on inactions, non-occurrences and non-events. At a basic level, this relates to data regarding users not clicking on an ad, not purchasing after entering an online store, or not hovering over an expandable rich media advert. The resultant new systems will limit wasted ad displays.

Dr Evans praised the stance taken by Crimtan:

“Forward thinking companies like Crimtan are looking to technological innovation to improve responsible online advertising,” he said. “In particular this partnership will be investigating how AI can be used in online marketing targeting systems using negative and lookalike profiling as well as other innovative techniques.

“Advanced mathematics has helped the Internet to evolve into what it is today but there’s a great deal of room for improvement. We will be using advanced mathematics to define logical rules that underlie both predictable and surprising behaviour of Internet users, brands and online advertising experts. The University of Brighton’s partnership with Crimtan will help to break new technological boundaries for the digital marketing industry. These technologies will offer vastly improved services for innovative 

Paul Goad, CEO of Crimtan explained the reasoning behind the company’s innovative take on marketing: 

“The digital advertising industry is increasingly driven by data, and regulation is growing increasingly severe,”he said. “Digital marketing needs to evolve and use new techniques and technologies to adapt to customer concerns. Crimtan sees this KTP as a further step that will enhance the ongoing efforts of its large development team to keep the company at the cutting edge of this extremely fast paced industry. The University of Brighton’s world class expertise will help Crimtan to develop the kind of technology that will enable the digital marketing industry to innovate, evolve and improve.”

Professor Petridis agreed that the KTP scheme has great value for both industry and academia: 

“Having been involved with KTPs before joining the University of Brighton, I know that they are a great vehicle for working with companies and feeding that experience back into teaching and research,” he said. “I have also witnessed the catalytic-transformational effect a KTP project can have on companies like Crimtan – their growth, business portfolio and confidence.”

About Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

KTP– Knowledge Transfer Partnerships – is Europe's leading programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness by enabling companies to work with higher education or research and technology organisations to obtain knowledge, technology or skills. The UK-wide programme is overseen by the Technology Strategy Board and supported by 16 other public sector funding organisations.

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