MIAMI — What would you do with advertising if you had one of the world’s leading large language models at your fingertips. Amanda Richman would balance AI with humanity.

The former Mindshare North America CEO joined Microsoft Advertising as VP, Global Media Sales, in March 2024, just as advertising interest in AI was piquing. Microsoft, of course, has a significant position in OpenAI.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Richman says: “There has never been a better time to be in advertising.”

Diversified Offering

Richman emphasizes Microsoft’s unique positioning at “the center of generative AI,” with a range of capabilities from Bing search to CTV networks that could redefine audience engagement.

Richman outlines a vision where Microsoft’s integrated ecosystem, which includes a variety of platforms and technologies, is leveraged to deliver exceptional value to marketers.

“Having an operating system, a DSP, an SSP, a data marketplace, CTV networks, partnerships across the whole ecosystem,” she enumerates, “but with the opportunity to really bring that all together and connect it in a more powerful way that helps marketers reach the right audiences with all the signals and the right first-party data.”

Nothing Replaces Humans

Despite AI excitement, reflecting on the POSSIBLE marketing gathering in Miami, Richman highlights the irreplaceable value of in-person interactions.

She sees these physical meetings as essential not just for direct communication but for fostering a shared understanding of the transformative shifts in the business, such as the rise of AI.

“Nothing replaces human contact,” Richman states, stressing the importance of “amazing speakers on stage, and everyone really wrapping their heads around the change that is coming and already in place with AI.”

Richman also touches on the sentiment shared by IAB CEO Greg Stuart about the need for the industry to slow down to innovate effectively. “Are we too busy to be better?” she recalls, reinforcing the notion that the industry must take moments “to connect with people and get better together.”

Meeting the High Stakes of ROI and Branding

When quizzed about brand expectations in relation to investment and results, Richman acknowledges the heightened pressure for demonstrable ROI.

“The focus and relentless focus on earnings and results…has amped up over time,” she observes.

Yet, she sees an opportunity to balance the demands of short-term results with the long-term objectives of brand building. “It’s really moving all the way through this kind of compressed consumer journey,” she says, underscoring the necessity for strategies that “have a short-term impact and payoff, but also a longer-term building of the brand and building of our client’s business.”

You’re watching ‘Anything Is Possible: The Rising Tide of Programmatic Streaming,’ a Beet.TV Leadership Series at POSSIBLE 2024, presented by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.