Can Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Make Us Smarter

In September, the Swoop Team attended the Google Partners Summit as part of our commitment to be the best Google Ads agency in Australia to discuss Artificial Intelligence (AI )and Machine Learning. With some fantastic insights provided by Elizabeth Fox, Director of Google Marketing Solutions, and the great Dave Booth, Founding Partner of Cardinal Path.

It may be surprising to some, but machine learning has been occurring for many years, however the rapid speed of technology has this happening in our daily lives without us even realising it.

This is something our team have been watching evolve over several years now.

Take the relatively new voice activated ‘Google Home’ and similar products as an example – the more you speak to these machines, the more they learn and understand and provide better results.

This can be a difficult adjustment for those of us who can remember a world pre-internet, but consider a 5 year old child – growing up in a world where all they need to do is speak and the TV will turn on, or the lights will turn off, or they order a meal or make an appointment – it’s quite amazing to think how machines are changing the way humans behave.

So let’s assume that all of this is a good thing (others may have a different view), how can we apply machine learning to drive business and, in our case, enhance advertising and marketing results?

For some time, I have been of the opinion that the abundance of data in our world is largely useless because we as humans can’t consume it all, let alone know what the key metrics are to look for.

It’s common for us to get asked questions about metrics that really don’t matter. Metrics that don’t really help a business but get focused on because someone thinks they are important.

So how can one make good business decisions based off of it.

Guess what? – The Machines Can!

The machines can analyse this data, identify trends and predict with relatively high accuracy what is likely to happen in the future, given similar circumstances – and they can do it almost instantly.

Can this assist us in ultimately increasing the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns and provide a better return for the businesses we work for?

Can machines make our advertising smarter, identifying those most likely to purchase our product at any given time and providing the near perfect advertisement to these people at the most cost effective price possible?

Absolutely they can. However, according to David Booth, it’s still acting like a drunk teenager! Artificial intelligence has improved but it’s still got some way to go. The machines cannot simply do it all.

They need human intervention to provide the maximum results. Machines can do the heavy lifting, at increasingly rapid rates, but they require humans to make sense of it all and provide the right strategy and framework.

For example, a machine can’t understand if you want to split budgets equally between your business locations.

A machine can’t understand your individual business goals and a machine works well with recent past data but it struggles with data that is highly seasonal.


Agencies that understand this and do not simply rely on the machines will be the agencies that provide the greatest results for their clients.

We’ve seen humans fail to fully utilise technology before, it’s happened in recent years with marketing automation systems – remember that buzz word ‘Automation’?

Automation was the next big thing a few years back, yet few businesses have mastered it for the greatest efficiency and benefit.

Why? Because few understood how to apply it. Automation fails if there is:

  1. Lack of strategy
  2. Lack of understanding about the customer
  3. Lack of understanding how it works

It will be the same with AI and Machine Learning – the key is to take the benefits of what the machines do well and blend it with what we as humans do well and what machines can’t do well.

Get that mix right and the cake will rise

Google understands the future and has identified agencies it can work with to create and deliver that future – I am excited that we are one of those agencies.

Whilst there are quite a lot of boxes you need to check to be considered as an elite agency in the eyes of Google (yes, almost another secret algorithm), the great thing about being a Google ‘Premier’ Partner is the acceptance of your expertise & Google’s commitment to providing Premier Partner agencies the very best cutting edge training.

Swoop is fortunate to have achieved this highest level of accreditation available from Google.

Feel free to reach out and discover how Swoop is applying this now, and how our unique approach and marketing formula can be applied to your business.