How AI can transform your digital marketing efforts

Companies are exploring how AI can change, transform, and disrupt the digital marketing industry, and seem to be pleased with the results.
2 August 2018

How do you use AI in digital marketing? Source: Shutterstock

In recent times, we’ve seen the potential and impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace, be it in the supply chain, analytics, or finance division.

However, when it comes to real-world applications of AI in the field of digital marketing, not much is known.

Companies, big and small, have just started exploring how it can change, transform, and disrupt the industry, and from what IAB Europe and Xaxis’ study has revealed, it’s making quite a splash already.

Their survey revealed that AI is currently being utilized within digital marketing and with good results.

Respondents say it’s proving successful in driving and delivering innovation. All respondents recognize that AI can help them better understand the audience, which allows them to better target their ads.

With the delivery of more relevant advertising, there are improved business outcomes and ultimately growth.

Here’s how AI has affected different stakeholders in the digital marketing space:


According to the report, almost a third of advertisers think that AI helps identify better qualified users/audience and therefore allows for better targeting.

Advertisers in Norway said that AI in digital marketing helps drive business growth just as much as it helps deliver better targeting (both objectives scoring 44 percent). Nearly two-thirds of advertisers in Spain said they use AI to deliver better targeting (64 percent).


Agency respondents seemed to be more confident about the power of AI in delivering better targeting.

Over half of the respondents felt it provided more qualified users/audience and enabled the delivery of more relevant advertising.

A half of the agency respondents in Norway (54 percent) and Portugal (50 percent) also said they use AI in digital marketing to enable the full optimization of their media buys (54 percent). Half of the agency respondents in Portugal (51 percent) said they use AI to drive innovation in digital marketing.


The most common uses of AI for publishers was similar to buy-side respondents: To deliver better targeting and identify more qualified users/audience.

Almost one in three publishers reported a better business growth as a result of using AI.

In Italy, however, 80 percent of publishers reported that AI isn’t being used for any digital marketing purposes.

Germany, on the other hand, seems to have two-thirds of publishers using AI to drive more profitable acquisitions from marketing spends (60 percent) and identifying more qualified users/audience (60 percent).

The primary use for AI among publishers in Spain is to enable the delivery of more relevant advertising.


Across Europe, just over a third of intermediaries cited better business outcomes as an area that AI helps to drive.

Just over a half of intermediaries said that AI helps them deliver better targeting, with 42 percent agreeing that AI identifies more qualified users/audience.

Over two-thirds of intermediaries in Poland use AI in digital marketing to enable the full optimization of their media buys (67 percent).

Meanwhile, over a half of the intermediaries in Portugal use AI to drive more profitable acquisitions from their marketing spends (57 percent).