If computers are good at one thing – and they are good at many – it’s automating tasks we used to have to do manually. This seems obvious now but it’s only since the 1980s that this capability has been in the hands of the average person. The speed of technological development since then has been astounding. In 1985 a Cray-2 supercomputer – the fastest in the world – was about as powerful as an iPhone 4. We are all wandering around with supercomputers in our pockets, and connected via the internet to much more super ones.
In the world of advertising and marketing, technology has made an enormous mark. The internet, at first, a way of academics sharing information and geeks geeking – has become the most ubiquitous and expansive advertising medium ever to exist. Much of the innovation in the past 20 or so years has focused on the delivery of the right ad to the right person at the right time – and then profiling and tracking that person for future ads. While faster internet speeds have slowly moved ads from boring blocks of text to rich multimedia experiences, there is much more that computer power can challenge, improve and add to the advertising world.