At dentsu Benelux, our commitment to securing the best outcomes for our clients is fundamental. This commitment inspired the creation of "The Process," a comprehensive five-step guide for crafting powerful media strategies. Throughout this article, Lars Majoor and Martijn Lindeman will showcase how generative AI takes centre stage in these 5 steps, offering valuable insights for your own media strategy development.

Martijn Lindeman


thought leadership

Generative AI, here to stay

Last year, we, Lars Majoor and Martijn Lindeman, both Strategy Directors at dentsu Benelux, saw firsthand the transformative power of generative AI within the marketing landscape. While it has only been more than a year since we began exploring this technology, it is clear to us that its impact is here to stay.

Just like the recent Deloitte survey (with 2,835 respondents) found, we see efficiency and productivity as the top draw of generative AI (56%). It is already freeing up our time and resources, allowing us to focus on strategic initiatives and creative breakthroughs. Cost reduction comes in at a strong second (35%), followed by the exciting potential to improve our offerings and drive innovation (29%). But the real magic lies in the growing trust we have in this technology. A HubSpot study revealed that 53% of marketers now make minor edits before publishing AI-generated content. That is a significant leap of faith, and it speaks volumes about the quality and relevance AI can deliver. 

The infusion of generative AI into advertising strategies has introduced a fresh perspective to marketing and advertising for businesses. This shift has empowered us personally to delve deeper into understanding our target audience, craft more impactful communication strategies, and fine-tune our media planning and activation processes. 

At dentsu, our commitment to securing the best outcomes for our clients is fundamental. This commitment inspired the creation of "The Process," a comprehensive five-step guide for crafting powerful media strategies. Throughout this article, we will showcase how generative AI takes centre stage in each of these 5 steps, offering valuable insights for your own media strategy development. The 5 steps include: 

  1. Business Analysis
  2. Consumer Discovery
  3. Communication Strategy
  4. Media Planning & Activation
  5. Study & Evaluate

Image generated by Adobe Firefly

Step 1: Business Analysis: The Power of Deep Insights

To create a fully comprehensive media strategy, we always start with the business analysis. The crucial question is: "How can we change the client’s business outcome, not just the media output". To answer that, it is important to understand the client’s business, and that takes time.

This is where generative AI comes to play, by giving us the possibility to sift through vast data sets from social media interactions to purchasing patterns, within moments. It offers us a profound understanding of clientele, market dynamics, and the wider consumer landscape. Empowering you to grasp faster target audience's preferences, actions, and motivations more deeply than ever before.

These insights are only expected to increase. For example, we see that various companies are increasingly seeking cooperation on the intersection of AI with other stakeholders, including clients, consumers, publishers, technology providers, and universities. This cooperative approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of the market's needs and the ability to develop and implement effective AI-driven solutions, contributing to the actual wants and needs. Examples such as Artefact who recently launched an AI Research Center focusing on real-world AI challenges, or tools such as Perplexity, Research Rabbit, Valona Intelligence Platform and Gemini, which can provide valuable insights and technologies augmenting our capabilities. Combining data support companies such as Databricks, Hugging Face, and IBM (with WatsonX) aids in setting up, tuning, and rolling out owned Language Models (LLMs) built on client data.

In short, by leveraging these tools and insights from these parties, you not only answer the question, "How can we change the client's business outcome?" faster, but substantively with more value for the client.

Step 2: Consumer Discovery: Uncovering Hidden Truths

In the first stage of The Process, we have identified the core business challenge; now, the focus is on uncovering the opportunity. This involves understanding which consumers the client should target to overcome the obstacle to buying your product or service. To achieve this, we must grasp the current thoughts and feelings consumers associate with the brand. True insight into the consumer allows us to craft experiences that genuinely enhance their lives.

Generative AI algorithms play a pivotal role in detecting concealed patterns and trends, enabling the creation of targeted marketing campaigns that resonate more effectively with the target audience's needs. It empowers us to develop sharper, more refined understandings of consumers. Take personalized advertising, for instance, where generative AI analyzes individual customer profiles, accurately predicting future actions. This capability enables us and every business to deliver highly targeted messages that resonate on a deeper level.

To give an example, we at dentsu have combined consumer insights from our Consumer Connection Survey (CCS) & audience research agency Motivaction, which enabled us to create 'synthetic generative AI-produced personas’. This strategic approach allowed us to harness available data effectively, generating insights from our potential clients into brand experiences. A comparable avenue involves utilizing tools such as Microsoft Co-Pilot, ChatGPT or Perplexity

Step 3: Communication Strategy: Data-Driven Insights

We understand the business, we know the (potential) customer, and now we need to understand which channels, placements, and timings work best to reach and resonate with the target audience. Generative AI tools like Microsoft Co-Pilot can summarize, evaluate, and bundle all relevant information points within briefs, marketing insights, and analyses, and present them comprehensively in an easily interpretable format such as PowerPoint, Word, or e-mail. This integration results in increased speed, efficiency, and quality of outputs, benefiting both clients and internal operations.

In our case, CCS powered by generative AI, along with innovations like dentsu’s Share of Voice Forecaster (built to interpret competitive market spend on historical data), contribute to optimizing visibility and market impact through predictive modelling. Other companies such as Nielsen, Recast, and Sprout Social, as well as tech giants like Google with its "Think with Google" platform, also are at the forefront of enriching AI-powered insights. The combination of these resources guides us in navigating various aspects, including audience segmentation and creative optimization enabling us to create tailored marketing campaigns that have a higher likelihood of engaging and converting their intended audience.

Step 4: Media Planning, Creation & Activation: Optimizing Campaign Impact

In step 4 it is all about optimizing our campaign impact. With Generative AI as a partner, it enables us to recommend the optimal channels, placements, and timing, faster and ensure maximum impact for advertising campaigns.

From a planning perspective, Dentsu Quality View is a notable tool, supported by Google for YouTube advertising in the Benelux region, which leverages AI and data to achieve contextual quality views. Similarly, Dentsu Copy employs AI to streamline SEO copywriting, enabling us to personalize content, optimize SEO, or pre-fill websites with tailored material.

From a creation perspective, we can eliminate guesswork with our very own Dentsu Attention Lab (neuro-marketing department), by leveraging AI to predict the performance of campaigns, images, and videos. Additionally, a combination of creative tooling platforms, such as Leonardo, PikaLabs, Midjourney, Runway, and Adobe Firefly, further amplifies the potential of AI in bringing our concepts and creatives to life. These innovations exemplify the collaboration of AI and advertising. Both in planning and creating.

Step 5: Study & Evaluate: Continuous Improvement

And, last but absolutely not least, Generative AI possesses the capability to constantly learn and adapt. It helps us at dentsu to examine the outcomes of each campaign, extracts insights and enhances its comprehension of consumer behavior and media performance. In pursuit of measuring the impact of various channels, for instance, Marketing Mix Modeling solutions play a crucial role in our daily work.

We as dentsu and other companies such as Gain Theory, Nielsen, Recast and Measured Inc., along with indirect big tech providers like Google and Microsoft, contribute to the evaluation of campaigns across paid, earned, and owned media channels. This continual process of evaluation and refinement empowers us to optimize our advertising endeavours and attain increasingly favourable results over time.

Image generated by AI in Adobe Stock

So, from beginning to end, from step 1 to step 5, you see that Generative AI is already here as a working partner for us in our choices at dentsu. By combining the analytical power of AI with our expertise and creativity, we are unlocking new possibilities and insights. With that approach, we can answer the first question of our process: "How can we change the client’s business outcome, not just the media output" in the best possible way.

Our white papers

Browse through our whitepapers

Link to Our white papers

Our blogs

Discover our latest blogs from across our network

Link to Our blogs