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Which Trends Are Shaping AI’s Role In Advertising Today? 17 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 27 September 2019
  • Sam Mire

Advertising has gone digital, so it only makes sense that advertisers incorporate one of the most powerful technologies on the digital plane: artificial intelligence. Several trends are forging AI's role within advertising today and in the future, and these industry insiders did their best to pinpoint the most impactful trends. Here's what they said:

1. P.K. Kannan, Dean’s Chair in Marketing Science in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland

P.K. Kannan“Using AI to create advertising content. Basically, you have data on what type of content has been effective in getting customer engagement and using the data to create new content automatically that will appeal to various groups you intend targeting. This takes into account the image data, copy data and other features of the advertising campaign and parceling the effectiveness of each in order to create the best copy ad and/or image/color etc.”

2. Peter Bordes, CEO of Kubient

“For advertisers, AI’s cause and response with Fraud Prevention is leading the way.”




3. Laura Luckman Kelber, Vice President of Marketing at Flexera

“Programmatic advertising – using AI to automate ad buying so you can target more specific audiences. It’s not only more efficient rids traditional processes of ad buying such as RFPs, human negotiation and ad tags. Plus, it happens in real-time.

And of course, on the horizon is smart speaker advertising, which will take advantage of the continuing evolution of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.”

4. Herve Utheza, Head of Media, Advertising & Network Operators at  HERE Technologies

“We continue to see a continued focus on the search for improved attribution.

Proving to the buyer that a campaign has produced results is key to advertising. AI can help by improving attribution through better probabilistic algorithms in connecting devices and user ID graphs. This is done by advancing the way location signals are processed against more complex, geometric objects of the world.

Some very advanced players — sometimes start-ups, actually — are starting to focus on predictive algorithms. It’s in the very early days on this front, but the emergence of AI-power predictions will help the marketer send a message to a consumer before they leave the house to go to the store — knowing where a consumer will go, on the basis of the behavioral patterns seen in the cohorts of like-minded, look-alike, same audience segments behaviors.”

5. Matthew Fanelli, Senior Vice President of Digital at MNI Targeted Media

“The biggest trend is targeting based on the data that is being collected due to AI. Take Alexa and Google home, for example. These devices are deliberately made to listen and then target accordingly. It is a treasure trove of data that is highly specific and targetable. This is the holy grail of advertising. As media consumption habits and patterns continue to shift, these devices that are being welcomed into homes will replace the “old” way of reaching specific groups of people and truly give voice to brands.”

6. Laura Mingail, SXSW Advisory Board Member in Advertising & Brand Experience

“The integration of augmented reality is the most important trend for advertisers to pay attention to. AR is disrupting the customer journey for all sorts of products, allowing consumers to sample the products virtually, and also offering an entertaining platform to further engage consumers with the product story.”

7. Luke Taylor, Founder & COO of TrafficGuard

“Accessibility is the key driver of AI in advertising this year. There are more ways than ever to incorporate AI into your tech stack – be that with the development of your AI solutions, incorporation of higher-level commercial solutions, or utilizing any of an increasing array of SaaS products with AI capabilities.

While technology has made infrastructure for AI more economical, there has been a lag in skills development that is closing more and more every year. As skills and tech become more available, it will become easier for businesses to incorporate AI into their tech stacks.

With a greater number of AI use cases, businesses can see the value AI will deliver to their business functions, driving demand for AI solutions. Performance optimization is the number one goal – AI promises to help optimize their ad spend, facilitate content personalization and localization, drive targeting and segmentation, and improve traffic quality.”

8. Humphrey Ho, Managing Director, North America, Hylink Digital Solutions

“AI in advertising this year and into 2020 will definitely be in the space of accurate target audience shaping, automated network automation with AI, and also planning media with AI, rather than via pure human experience or singular client-side DMPs.”


9. Kevin Groome, founder of CampaignDrive 

“In the year ahead, we are going to see existing AI implementations paired with and supervised by humans. The early adopters of “adtech-AI” have seen through the initial hype and now understand that AI targeting and optimization solutions need to be supervised carefully to control a variety of risks. (inappropriate environments for the brand, privacy violations, unintended bias, inadvertent brand-conflict, etc.).”

10. Jonathan Greene, Director of Digital Marketing at LeadCrunch

“The number one trend in AI for the next year is pragmatic application to specific pain points for marketers, specifically those that the unaided intellect has been unable to conquer, such as targeting.  We, as an industry, have done targeting the same way in the B2B space despite relatively little improvement over the years because it's the only way we know of to approach the problem.  Demographics, psychographics, and firmographics avail themselves to us. AI transcends these and ultimately solves those problems by going much deeper and wider in its analysis than the unaided human intellect is capable of going.”

11. R.J. Talyor, founder and CEO of  Pattern89 

“Those of us working in AI find ourselves focusing on ethics lately. We often have to reflect and ask ourselves if the decisions we're making to inform our AI are the right decisions to make.

Developing ethical AI isn't just a trend or hot topic though. It's a critical part of this technology's evolution. Engineers, scientists and thought leaders must always be asking ‘what do our decisions mean for our customers and our company? What will happen if we misstep? Could there legal or ethical issues with what we're creating? And what does our company stand for in an AI-driven future?”

12. Mahi de Silva, co-founder and CEO of

“Digital advertising, which has been largely trapped in the world “click to web” for 25 years is undergoing a dramatic transformation, thanks to Conversational AI. Industry leaders, Facebook and Google, are pushing conversational ad units that open the door to 1:1, personalized, truly conversational marketing. This creates enormous opportunity – and serious challenges – for all involved.”

13. Brandon Gains, Vice President of Marketing at MonetizeMore

“Continuing to speak from the publisher side, a major trend we’re seeing across publishers is the use of automated flooring strategies inside a publisher’s ad server to counteract the bid shading practices being implemented from the advertiser’s side. These automated floors analyze millions of data points across a publisher’s auction history and apply pricing increments to create upward pressure in their programmatic auctions.”

14. Ciprian Borodescu, CEO at

“Personalization is, without a doubt, the #1 AI use-case in advertising.

From Siri/Alexa to the plain old Web, the holy grail of advertising is delivering the right ad at the right time for the right user, based on his/her intent.

This process is called Dynamic Creative Optimization and its specifics are fascinating.

On the same note, another example of personalization is brilliantly demonstrated by video streaming services. Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube already take advantage of AI and machine learning algorithms to deliver a highly personalized experience, including remarkably well-targeted ads.”

15. Michael Harrison, Managing Partner at Winterberry Group

“The #1 trend is the availability and relative ease of implementation of AI. Ad Tech and Marketing Tech providers have invested heavily in integrating AI into their platforms. While technology is working to decrease the reliance on data science and engineering professionals, these individuals are critical to successful implementations of AI. There is a shortage of individuals with analytics and ML skills limiting the adoption of AI.”

16. Steven Rothberg, founder of Job Search Site College Recruiter 

In 2019, AI moved from science fiction to reality in the minds of executives and developers who work for publishing platforms large and small. In College Recruiter's industry — job search sites — AI was hardly discussed a year ago. Today, almost all of the premium sites are either using some form of AI or plan to. We use AI under license from Google, as the job search on our site is powered by Google's Cloud Talent Solutions, so even a relatively small publisher like College Recruiter is able to use AI even if it can't afford to build and maintain its own system.”

17. Sean Byrnes, CEO of Outlier

The most compelling new use case for AI in advertising and marketing is using automated analysis to find hidden opportunities and threats. AI can detect changes that impact how marketers optimize their advertising spend daily. Finding these behavioral changes in mountains of data is too difficult for human analysis but automated analysis, using AI, is designed to do just that.”

18. Stephen Swift, Creative Technologist at Allen & Gerritsen

“Think back to its recent past. As soon as AI became more commonplace and people began thinking about it as more than just a marketing buzzword, what happened? Many were inspired or excited, but just as many were horrified at precisely how AI had already begun to be used.

Privacy. Personal data. Ethics. These are the things that come up in the same breath, lately, as AI itself. Commonly, people are thinking less about what AI can do, and much more about what it is doing; who is employing it; where it is headed.”


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About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.