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Greetings Readers! During this week’s PPCChat session, host Julie F Bacchini discussed how experts are utilizing artificial intelligence in their PPC efforts, the most problematic AI in PPC,  What AI tools experts have either used or want to try and more.

Q1: Are you currently utilizing any AI (artificial intelligence) in your PPC efforts? If so, what are you using? If not, why not?

I’d say we utilize ML (machine learning) but not AI (artificial intelligence). Lots of Google’s automated approaches are ML: PMax, bidding etc. But we don’t use anything outside of that. @gilgildner

Not sure what exactly counts as AI, but I have a lot of automation enabled in platforms, and several platforms are using lists to look for lookalike audiences. Ads still written and approved by people, keywords still researched by people in the tools. @JuliaVyse

We don’t use any AI in our PPC efforts. We didn’t find the wonder tool to convince us, yet. @DianaAlinaAldea

I am going to agree with @gilgildner here in that we use some ML functions in Google. I have not used any AI – like ChatGPT – for any aspect of PPC to date. I’m interested in testing what it can do but behind the scenes, not auto used/applied. @NeptuneMoon

Yes and sometimes it is simply in communication to the client, aka sentence rewrites and other times ad copy. #ppcchat look at me forgetting hashtag. @runnerkik

Using plenty of Google’s automated bidding, but that’s probably more machine learning than true AI. I’ve experimented with ChatGPT to see how it works for ad copy and it gives some interesting inspiration if you are struggling. @HarrisonJHepp

I froze on this q as well because from seeing a few answers i thought…”wait, what IS AI in PPC” then I thought – probably ChatGPT & the like I assume right? @TheMarketingAnu

Utilising some in-platform automation features, but staying away from anything to do with ad copy and keywords at the moment. @marketingsoph

I did run a test with AlbertAI several years ago, remember them? It was a quasi success? not perfect, but very interesting. @JuliaVyse

Looking forward to testing this tool that uses ChatGPT to screen search terms… at this stage I just want to test things & see what sticks. @rory_mg

We have looked at some AI tools and test stuff. Nothing comes to mind where we use AI in our day to day. Most use automation which is more machine learning and that jazz. @duanebrown

Yes, for ad copy ideas. It’s been really helpful when you’re just not feeling creative. @marksubel

Like most, we have been using ML within Google Ads for a while. I’ve had a play around with ChatGPT for creating ads etc, but mostly to experiment and see how good it really is. @ryanscollon

Yeah, I would say. I use a lot of it. Copies, Topics search, Brand research, USPs and many more. I literally put a prompt in #chatgpt to write USPs for a clothing brand and it did and I tweaked a bit, showed to client and he said, “We didn’t noticed these point.” @1tagupta

We test automated bidding (if that counts as AI) in various accounts & keep it active if it performs well. Other than that, all of our processes for keyword research, ad copy, etc. are still done by people. @adclarke10

Also landing page headlines and copy ideas. @marksubel

Yes, but for brainstorming, getting ad copy ideas from #ChatGPT . But the ad copy still needs revisions, it’s not a good “cut and paste” tool for Google Ads, or blogs, etc. @onlineadacademy

I think almost everyone is using some form of machine learning in their PPC campaigns – if you use “smart” or “automated” anything, you use ML. IMO, one of the biggest issues in the industry is the conflation between “ML” and “AI”. @DigitalSamIAm

A1: Aware that it will play a big role in how we work but at the moment a lot of the work we’re doing is more ML-based. I swear though if I see the words ‘chatgpt’ anymore I’m just gonna retire. @PPC_Fraser

We use machine learning (smart bidding, pmax, etc.) but not a lot of AI. I am still of the mindset that a human can write better than a computer. I wouldn’t be against using ChatGPT to get copy or keyword ideas, though! @shepzirnheld

G “Smart Campaigns” with some of the budget. Lack of transparency with these accounts drives me nuts. @BRAVOMedia1

I tested ChatGPT for PPC strategy, keyword research, audience targeting, competitor research, etc. Interesting results. I’d say about 50% of it was helpful (some of it was wrong). DM me if you want a Google doc transcript w/ brand info redacted. @timmhalloran

#ppcchat gave me feature which share almost everything on my why. But overall, I had no options while I was starting and now I have no options as I am totally hooked with this. @1tagupta

Q2: What type of AI do you think has the most promise for use in PPC and why?

I think there would be a place for a tool that optimizes Shopping feeds in a less-annoying manner. But I’ve seen too many weird edge cases to be super confident in how well it would do. @gilgildner

I think ChatGPT-like applications as an assist to a good PPCer are great. For instance, in thinking up new headline ideas, or even in creating landing page content. But it has limitations, and the devil is in the details & still needs someone to finalize the result. @PPCKirk

As I’ve been sitting here thinking about it, I wonder if AI could work well for initial keyword research. At least to generate an initial list for review. I think it has the potential for creative assistance too. Over time I imagine the use cases will grow. @HarrisonJHepp

I guess ideally it’s how AI spots things that we haven’t. Obviously, as humans, we have the context that AI doesn’t so the combination between the two is where I can see AI come into its own. @PPC_Fraser

I think we will see tons of AI solutions pop up this year. Initial usage for PPC is on keyword research, categorization. Then it will move towards ad analysis and copy text and finally landing page drafting. @soanders

The AI that helps with Ad copy I definitely think has promise. I do think it gives a clear help for those who embrace automation and want to cut coming up with creative time by a lot. @TheMarketingAnu

The idea of something like ChatGPT that can generate a ton of ideas for ad copy, landing pages, etc. is intriguing. The models being up to date is a concern though – ChatGPT’s data only goes up to 2020 (or maybe it’s 2021?). That’s a huge gap! @NeptuneMoon

Hot-take, I don’t know if the type of AI with the most promise has come out yet. The way people search – audio, with potential for AR results – tells me that the most promising AI is the deepest surveillance…ahem…learning tools that platforms can devise. @JuliaVyse

I’ve been playing around with ChatGPT & it’s pretty impressive. Definitely shouldn’t be used as the end-all-be-all (i.e., I wouldn’t just copy/paste the output and deliver it to a client), but it could be a great tool to start brainstorming copy & keyword ideas. @adclarke10

I’d probably say keyword research, but with how loose keywords are getting nowadays, I’d still say it would need a fair amount of human guidance. @marketingsoph

The most obvious AI tools would be around keyword research and ad copy creation as I think those are quite simple. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some really cool and advanced tools out by the end of next year. @ryanscollon

One of my clients recently sent me a list of keyword ideas that were generated by chatGPT &I thought that was an interesting idea! I would hesitate to rely on AI tools to write my ad copy, but using it during the research phase seems like a safer approach. @shepzirnheld

Products like that supplement tools in the PPCers belt—anything that will automate/compile/create/eliminate manual work few more levers for us to pull, but end of the day the value will be in the advertiser’s brain (and gut!) @rory_mg

The ad copy and landing page suggestions from ChatGPT have been ok, but not great. We use it more as an assist mechanism right now to give us ideas we haven’t thought of, and then tweak it a bit to make more sense. @marksubel

Depends. For copies, I use #chatgpt itself. For creatives, I try tools which scrape creatives for similar brands (kudos to @ProductHunt) For topics, keywords, interests and audiences, I use some APIs. And for automation. @1tagupta

I think imagery? But I don’t know it’s almost hard to perceive where we will be with regard to this, I do think Google will lean in and promise less data more automation. @runnerkik

Programmatic paid search is gaining much traction. I’m seeing high exposure, med CTRS, & high CPC – if it leads to a sale – then it’s good. @BRAVOMedia1

From an advertiser standpoint, an AI that can assess the relative value of impressions across ad units + customers in a way that maximizes value to the advertiser. That’s (sort of) what Google claims to be thinking with PMAX, but the reality is somewhat different. @DigitalSamIAm

If AI can understand humans and context. Data analysis could be super interesting. Person meets machine. @duanebrown

I think PPC strategists have been thrown so much AI it isn’t so new to us. I like it for reporting applications and ease of making data-driven decisions. @digitalceo5

Q3: What type of AI do you think is potentially most problematic for PPC and why?

Anything that involves Google and budgets. @gilgildner

Well if you have used ChatGPT some answers are just factually incorrect so incorrect copy, claims and then the legal aspect could def be a concern and factor. @runnerkik

As a few people have already mentioned, I think it’s more problematic when people take the output from AI and apply it without checking it over first. These AI tools can be great to give you a headstart, but it still needs a human to check things over. @ryanscollon

I mean, replacing keywords with audiences + predictive behaviour. niche searches and built-in nuance are going the way of the dodo. @JuliaVyse

I think creative could be hugely problematic. AI can pull images from other artists & use it in their outputs, but they (and anyone using that generated image) don’t actually have the rights to use the artist’s work. @adclarke10

Faulty datasets containing false data. I am sceptical of types of AI or ML that claim to scrape data in X Y Z and provide you with niche audience information for better targeting I think there will be an opp for tools to be created that audit the quality of data. @rory_mg

I think AI will always have a bias problem. It could be coming from the data set, or from assumptions made in development, etc. They’ll work to minimize it, but it will always be there. @robert_brady

I think the concept in general could be problematic for agencies. If business feel comfortable using all these AI tools and automation options, then they might feel it’s best to just do it themselves. @marketingsoph

See my responses to A2. Tech is bad at understand humans and context, which is why it struggles right now. @duanebrown

Anything within a black box. Operating without oversight or without us being able to understand processes is concerning. This is why I don’t like Google’s automated creative option. You can get some really problematic combinations if it’s not watched. @HarrisonJHepp

I think the biggest issue will always be that what is best for the platforms and what is best for its advertisers can never align 100%. So when you bring AI (or even ML) into the equation, that bias is very much baked in. And, it all sucks at nuance currently. @NeptuneMoon

AI is a tool. Usage of AI gets problematic when someone else is using it and you are not in control IMO. @soanders

Anything that can get into competitors’ insights or AI that can degrade others brands (done out of market competition, ahem), is absolutely problematic. Then with copies or creatives as well, it will need human touch until it becomes AI x ML x Human Emotions. @1tagupta

Q4: What kind of AI would you like to see developed and/or deployed in PPC?

To be fair I’m more in the – work on the automation/AI that has been currently dispatched that still needs a lot of improvement first before looking to deploy anything new. @TheMarketingAnu

AI which helps us identify granularly which keywords our campaigns show up for… nice start? @gilgildner

I would love an AI for PPC competitor research. Input your client/brand and then have options to input known competitors or have it find competitors in search/social. Some tools have parts of this, but not across everything. @NeptuneMoon

I’d particularly like to see the same stats/manual intervention with G-Smart Campaigns as we do with regular G-Search Campaigns. @BRAVOMedia1

I would like to see AI in smart reporting where it can quickly pull up analysis on any major metric in PPC at a given moment. @digitalceo5

I’d love placement recommendations based on industry. “Oh, this is an HR SaaS product? Consider adding bid modifiers to these websites/YT channels/apps that have the highest CVR for your industry.” @timmhalloran

Competitor research. Although at the same time, I wouldn’t like my client’s competitors having more insights about them. @marketingsoph

Research takes a lot of time and can be expensive. Whether that’s competitor, keyword, creative, etc. AI that can assist in those areas and then provide information for a human to analyze would be great. @HarrisonJHepp

I’d love to develop a tool that allows small businesses/local services to create their own campaigns (for those who can’t afford hiring PPCers) – add keywords, budget, few pieces of ad copy discussing business – tool compiles + launches – tool provides weekly report. @rory_mg

Competition & keyword research would be great use cases for AI. ChatGPT can help generate KW ideas, but the volume & CPCs aren’t accurate because the data they use only goes up to 2021. Asking about competitors can also give inaccurate answers for the same reason. @adclarke10

Q5: Do you have any ethical concerns about the use of AI in PPC? Or even AI in general?

I think the most problematic is the fact that anyone could use AI for creating ad copy and think they will succeed without any background in PPC. It could hurt them. @digitalceo5

Yes. It can be a helpful tool if used carefully, but people are biased, which means that the data AI uses will be biased as well. Plagiarism & using other people’s work w/o their consent is also an issue. @adclarke10

It is just a matter of time before our AI overlords take over, lol. The truth is AI is going to be huge and probably quicker than anyone wants to hear. The writing is on the wall. The investments companies are making are for a reason. Change is coming. @lchasse

AI poses a lot of ethical problems. It is bringing us intonthe post-truth era. Answers are no longer scientific, they are probabilistic. Copyright is gone Powerful tools can and will be misused. People will get lazy. Idiocracy and conspiracy will rise. @soanders

My concern is that some agencies are going to but everything through AI and do very little in terms of bringing added value, strategy and consultation for their clients, especially their smaller contacts. @marketingsoph

Nah I guess. I would rather be some of the first ones to run toward it like you run towards water on a beach. @1tagupta

I think with any new tool or development, there can be questions of ethics. It usually falls upon the human user as opposed to the AI instead. If the user is unethical they will find a way to be unethical with AI. @digitalceo5

AI in PPC can be complacency with agencies with the set it & forget approach to PPC AI in general is like the Matrix on steroids & mindboggling. @BRAVOMedia1

There are a litany ethical + legal implications to the proliferation of AI + ML tools: 1. Copyright needs to be fundamentally re-imaged 2. Ditto for Patents + Trade Secrets 3. Misinformation + Disinformation will accelerate exponentially. @DigitalSamIAm

Q6: What AI tools are out there that you’ve either used or want to try? (been trying to capture them as you’ve shared earlier in the chat too)

I have experimented a lot with ChatGPT, but to be honest it’s started to feel like I’m talking to a lobotomized politician. @gilgildner

ChatGPT is the main one I’ve experimented with. I haven’t seen anything else that was compelling enough to really put time into. @HarrisonJHepp

A lot as already mentioned here in other answers. But here is one just for our lovely #ppcchat Credits to @JuliaVyse You look programmatically query data for @facebook ads using this. You can check out how to use it or I can help, DM. @1tagupta

ChatGPT may be “meh” for content where you are already the expert. But the speed/ability to create content in other languages has impressed some of my native speaker friends so far (albeit small sample size). @Galliguez

ChatGPT is the darling of the moment, but we have been exposed to ML since the beginning of Google Ads via the quality score and later with smart bidding. I think tons of AI applications will emerge in 2023. Hold on to your hats! @soanders

ChatGPT is really the only one I’ve tried. Another tool I’ve heard about is SheetAI, which can supposedly help automate things & bring AI functionality into Google Sheets. Haven’t tried it or looked into it much more though. @adclarke10

I like testing the image based tools but that’s mainly just for personal interest. I’ll try anything that seems interesting it’s it’s free! @marketingsoph

PPCChat Participants

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