Personalization is more than just a nice-to-have in digital advertising. It’s now a requirement, and customers will ignore you if you don’t immediately appeal to their interests and needs. Learn how using AI can help with advertising personalization.

What does personalization mean when it comes to digital advertising?

In general, it’s when a customer feels like your brand is speaking directly to them and their unique needs. Marketers accomplish this by using data points to garner insight into who a customer is – and leveraging the insight to create relevant messaging. 

Unfortunately, most personalization efforts fall short. This is due to the heavy manual lift that personalization (used to) require. For the busy small business marketer, it’s impossible to really scratch the surface of the power of personalization, because it’s simply too much data to meaningfully sift through.

That’s where artificial intelligence comes in. 

AI has transformed our ability to personalize by allowing marketers to keep up with their audience in real-time. AI can deliver historical user data, the impact of ads served, the user’s reaction to that ad and more, allowing us to dig deeper and use that information to form a real connection and deliver a better, more personalized experience.

So, with all of this data at our fingertips thanks to AI, how much more personalized can we get – without being creepy or inauthentic about it? Here are three specific ways artificial intelligence is changing advertising personalization.

#1. Using AI for Better Audience Targeting

What would normally take a digital marketer hours to dig through takes AI seconds.

By examining a variety of metrics, AI can help you home in on what works with your audience and what doesn’t. Some of these metrics include:

  • Past audiences
  • Ad performance
  • KPIs & performance data
  • Location data
  • Past purchasing behavior

With AI, you know more about your audience. This means you can craft hyper-personalized ads for each component of your target market. AI can also help you identify audiences you might not have considered before. 

It’s important to note, though, that we aren’t recommending you make your audience too small in order to be more personal to them. If your audience is too small, you’re bound to miss outlying opportunities and your campaign won’t see results. The key here is striking a balance between a broad audience and knowing more about who makes up the audience so you can personalize better.

If you’re not currently using a platform or tool to leverage AI in audience targeting, here are few in the marketplace right now:

  1. Trapica: Analyze real-time conversion events from your active ads to help you better understand the audiences that convert
  2. Build better audiences for your campaigns by leveraging this database of information about audiences and what they care  about
  3. Lightning AI: Automatically create new Facebook interest groups and Google keywords

#2. Using AI for Better Sentiment Analysis

You know who you’re targeting, but what are they actually feeling or talking about? On paper, your audience may seem like the perfect customer. They’re the right demographic – they have to click, right? In reality, people are more complex than this. Context is important, and AI can help you get it.

Artificial intelligence allows us to go beyond the raw numbers of impressions and engagements by tracking qualitative, subjective customer sentiment. With this context, you can create unique campaigns based on what your customers are actually feeling.

There are several brand monitoring tools on the market today with built-in AI-powered sentiment analysis. Brandwatch helps you understand how consumers talk about you online with a data library of 1.4 trillion conversations. Brand24 and Unamo — two different media monitoring tools — use advanced sentiment detection to segment positive, negative and neutral mentions, alongside other valuable monitoring and analytical features.

#3. Using AI for Better Imagery

Photos are the single most influential factor in a successful ad. This makes imagery one of the most important pieces to personalize.

Photos are compelling when the audience can identify with them. What better way to identify with your audience than by reflecting the community they live in? As a small business marketer, your community matters. You want people to connect you with it. That’s why personalized, localized imagery works. 

But often, deciding what image-based creative will drive your audience to action is left to our human bias. We might like the way a certain image subjectively looks, but is it objectively the right one? We wouldn’t know. Not to mention how time-consuming it is to actually find the right stock imagery.

Luckily, AI is changing advertising personalization by delivering the best possible personalized image for a given campaign. 

AI-powered image solutions (like Shotzr’s AI) enables developers, platforms, and brands to review, rank, and assess image assets and get the data needed to drive truly optimized, high performance creative.

  • Rank image assets with Shotzr’s AdScore model to automate image selection for higher-performing ad creative
  • Source similar on-brand imagery at scale with Reverse Image Search.
  • Automatically apply location data to imagery with LocationID.

A solution like this enables you to programmatically find the right imagery for every digital campaign.


Marketers can push the envelope of personalization with the support of artificial intelligence. With better audience targeting, an understanding of customer sentiment and how to personalize ads with imagery, you can deliver more personalized and more effective advertising campaigns than ever before (and with less manual effort).

The good news is that AI is no longer out of reach for most businesses. The technology is here, and it’s transforming advertising.

Want to drive 20% better engagement with more personalized imagery? Shotzr integrates with platforms like The Trade Desk to automatically deliver the perfect creative for your campaigns. Learn more.

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