From Automation to AI: The Evolution of Ad Tech


by - Gopi Krishan Garhwal

Dec 18, 2023

The ad tech industry is constantly revolutionising the way businesses and brands communicate with their customers online. This has significantly impacted the growth of the ad tech industry, which is further fuelled by the rising consumer demands and the evolution of ad technologies in recent times.

From Digital Automation to Insights

Robotic Process Automation has been a significant player in the automation of digital advertising campaigns, especially with the modern-day ad platforms available these days. These platforms are the perfect automation solution for advertisers and publishers alike and require virtually no coding. Such marketing automation platforms take care of the simple and repetitive tasks involved in the ad creation process as per an advertiser’s instructions. In addition to that, they help increase production speed as well as the relevancy of the ads being served to users.

One of the biggest reasons why publishers and advertisers are focusing on marketing automation today is because of the integration of AI/ML in marketing automation. With this, it is possible for advertisers to ensure that their advertising budgets are utilised in a better manner with almost no monetary wastage. After all, advertising is about spending money to improve visibility for your products and services.

Combining AI and Machine Learning Models with Robotic Process Automation is known as Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), which brings together the capabilities of digital automation and analytical insights that can help advertisers build more successful ad campaigns than ever before.

Factoring in all this, it isn’t surprising to see how automation has become an integral part of the future of digital advertising.

The Need for IPA

  • Personalisation & Relevance: AI algorithms can help provide deep insights into user behaviour, interests, and motivations, which can be harnessed to deliver highly relevant ads that are tailored to individual users. This can be achieved at scale by utilising AI to personalize ad campaigns for larger audiences. AI can be used to factor in the past performances of ads with users who have had similar online interests to create headlines, descriptions, and creative combinations that resonate with the target audience.
  • Advanced Targeting: AI and data analysis can be utilised to identify characteristics, patterns, and online behaviours of target segments, which can enable advertisers to employ advanced targeting capabilities to reach the right audience at the right time with the right communication.
  • Automation: Building ad campaigns using AI and ML is much simpler and more streamlined. Automation can easily take care of processes like keyword research, bid management, ads scheduling, asset creation, and targeting which, in turn, helps save time and costs. It also frees up advertisers from having to do repetitive and tedious tasks, allowing them to focus on more important aspects like strategizing and brainstorming. Automation helps ensure high production quality, easy scalability, and is also time-saving, removing the need for downloading bulky sheets, data curation, insight derivation, manual testing, etc.
  • Enhanced Signal Collection: The availability of an increasing number of consumer data signals enables creating more detailed consumer profiles. This is done for audience segmentation for hyper personalisation of advertising and brand communication, thereby leading to better overall customer experiences. The collection of these varied data signals can be conveniently simplified using automated data collection.
  • Real Time Analysis: Automation significantly reduces the time required from the point where data is downloaded to the point where stakeholders can take a decision for better optimising future ad campaigns. What earlier used to take days when it was done manually, can now be accomplished within seconds using automation.

Popular AI/ML-Based Smart Campaigns for Digital Marketing Strategies

Google-Based Automated Campaigns

Demand Gen Campaigns

Designed to make it easier for advertisers to connect with their customers and to drive mid-funnel demand, Demand Gen campaigns integrate a brand’s best performing video and image assets across Google’s most entertainment-focused and visual touchpoints - Discover, YouTube, and YouTube Shorts. Demand Gen campaigns are AI-powered and can help advertisers expand their reach while ensuring relevance by pairing tailored ad creatives with lookalike segments – this is based on your audience lists.

  • Demand Gen campaigns offer advertisers a variety of ad formats to choose from, like square images, short videos, carousels, and portraits, all under a single campaign.
  • Performance can be segmented by formats to help advertisers identify where their creative optimisation efforts should be focused.
  • Advertisers can choose a bidding strategy, like clicks, website actions, or conversions, based on their campaign goals to maximise performance.

Performance Max Campaigns

Performance Max is a goal-based advertising campaign for performance marketing that offers advertisers access to their entire Google Ads inventory from one campaign. These campaigns are designed to complement keyword-based campaigns and help increase conversions from across Google’s channels, including Maps, Gmail, Discover, Search, Display, and YouTube.

Performance Max campaigns drive performance based on conversion goals and optimise campaign performance in real-time.

  • Performance Max uses Google AI’s capabilities across budget, bidding, audiences, optimisation, attribution, etc.
  • These campaigns can help advertisers reach a wider audience across channels and networks by Google.
  • They can significantly simplify campaign management, steer campaign automation, and provide transparent insights.

Universal App Campaigns

App campaigns allow app advertisers to reach more and more paying users and help streamline your app promotions across Google channels like YouTube, Discover, Google Play, etc. For App Campaigns, advertisers do not need to design individual, personalised ad units, as App Campaigns automate this aspect of advertising by using ad text ideas, assets, videos, and images from the app’s listing at Google Play to design a range of ads using various networks and ad formats.

  • App Campaigns make it easy to promote apps at scale across a range of Google properties and partner apps and sites, thus allowing advertisers to conveniently find users who are most likely to convert.
  • Once an advertiser has put in the required information about target audiences, budget, desired user actions, and creative; App Campaigns employ ML to automatically re-engage the right users.
  • Using Google Analytics for Firebase for the measurement and bidding in these campaigns enables better performance by unlocking privacy-first conversion data and reporting tools that can be used by advertisers to optimise their ad campaigns.

Meta-Based Automated Campaigns

Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns

Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns are an automated setup that utilises Meta AI for the optimisation of campaign targeting, creative, budgets, and ad placements in real-time. These campaigns use AI to eliminate the need for manual intervention in ad creation processes, automating the production of 150 creative combinations in one go.

  • Advantage+ enables the creation of campaigns that can efficiently connect with new and existing customers, serving relevant ads. These campaigns utilise ML to optimise and deliver high performing ads.
  • Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns have a simplified setup that combines ad sets. The lesser number of campaign inputs allows for automation that maximises performance by ensuring the relevance of the right ad combination to the right audience.
  • These campaigns automatically test and deliver high-performing ad creatives across placements.

Meta Advantage+ App Campaigns

Meta Advantage+ App Campaigns replace the need for manual adjustments with ML for the optimisation of your campaigns. The automated system of these campaigns utilises app install ads to drive more installs at scale and also helps sustain the high performance of live campaigns.

As compared to conventional app ads, these campaigns require a lesser number of inputs from the advertiser for campaign creation. They significantly streamline the creative management process and allow for the optimisation of app installs using app events as well.

  • These campaigns have a simplified setup that requires very few inputs from advertisers and only a single ad set for bulk creating up to 50 ads in one go.
  • Meta Advantage+ App Campaigns have built-in placements that serve your ads to audiences across as many platforms as possible, including the Meta Audience Network, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
  • Advertisers can upload up to 50 images, playable ads, videos, etc. at a time to automatically create ads in bulk, with no duplicates. Advertisers can also upload up to 5 headlines and descriptions, choose catalogue images, and do much more to create a campaign ad set.

The utilisation of artificial intelligence and machine learning in digital marketing campaigns is crucial for brands today, especially if they wish to get noticed in an increasingly competitive online marketplace. Therefore, integrating AI and ML across your advertising strategies is pivotal. However, to ensure that AI and ML integration turns out to be a smart move and not a pitfall, it is best to opt for custom marketing automation solutions that align well with your organisation and brand’s goals.

BIo: With over a decade of rich experience and expertise in performance marketing and analytics, Gopi Krishna Garhwal is an accomplished performance marketing leader. His acumen lies in optimising marketing ROI and data-driven decisions, and strategizing, planning, and activating result-oriented performance marketing campaigns that consistently deliver measurable results for clients. As a digital transformation strategist, Gopi leverages his proficiency in performance marketing platforms for success. His passion, experience, and commitment make him a trusted partner for building performance marketing strategies, and delivering exceptional value and success, every time.


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