How Ad Industry Experts Are Putting AI To Work

AI is so hot right now.

Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and DALL-E are dazzling the public, with ChatGPT alone seeing 10 million daily users since its release in November.

No doubt your Twitter feed has been full of people sharing screenshots of their “conversations” with ChatGPT, often in the spirit of fun.

But AI has many business applications, from automating manual processes and monitoring data in real time to targeting customers with greater accuracy. With the pace of digital marketing seemingly approaching the speed of sound, automation may be key to keeping up.

Here are a few ways industry players are using AI in their day-to-day work.

  1. Refining media campaigns

It took digital marketing company Theorem close to two years to train bots to mimic human workflows in AI-powered media campaigns.

“You want to make sure it’s battle-tested [and] the QA is done,” said Jay Kulkarni, CEO of Theorem, which deploys thousands of global campaigns a month.

Bot training involves combining robotic process automation (RPA) with embedded machine learning and deep learning. Whereas machine learning helps teach bots to copy human tasks, deep learning helps uncover trends, commonalities and efficiencies.

As a B2B company, Theorem has seen many benefits from using AI, Kulkarni said, including speed increases of up to 50% in campaign execution, “meaningful” decreases in error rates and effort expenditures and a faster reporting dashboard for clients.

“The savings and efficiencies are huge,” he added.

  1. Fueling personalization and engagement

But the customer journey is only getting more complex from a data perspective.

Consumers are engaging across a growing number of touch points, said Vijay Chittoor, CEO of Blueshift, a CDP that uses AI to tap in to first-party data from millions of customers to generate insights in real time.

Brands can automate their decision-making at an individual level across areas such as paid media, email, SMS, mobile app and website interactions, he said.

As a CDP, Blueshift also helps companies connect their ad tech and martech stacks and create unified profiles, which is critical in the face of ongoing signal loss, as marketers scramble to find new solutions for ad targeting., a DTC retailer of aftermarket auto parts, partnered with Blueshift in 2019 and has since been able to deploy personalized messaging based on click behavior and transaction data, as opposed to sending identical emails to its entire customer list, said Houman Akhavan, CMO of

The company uses Blueshift’s AI to predict customer purchase intent and offer differential discounts, as well as to personalize its email and SMS messaging with data points, such as vehicle names, preferred price range and browsed items.

“People want to be spoken to at an individual level,” said Akhavan, adding that personalization requires a “rock-solid first-party data strategy,” an understanding of what’s relevant to the customer and a place to store and segment customer information.

  1. Automating digital advertising’s “dirty jobs”

Automation often goes hand in glove with efficiency, in part because bots can take over the more tedious tasks from humans.

When Jason White worked at CBS Interactive as the executive in charge of global programmatic marketing and monetization between 2013 and 2020, he saw high turnover among people whose roles required monotonous, manual tasks.

There are certain “dirty jobs” that “human beings don’t really like doing,” said White, who co-founded an intelligent automation platform called in 2020 with former CBS colleague Dennis Colón, now Jiffy’s VP of product and strategy. helps people in the programmatic and ad ops trenches automate core, nonstrategic work, he said.

Typically, publishers need to enter the same information across multiple different platforms, White said. But a bot can take the assets associated with an insertion order and put them into an order management system, CRM and publisher ad serving system, accordingly.

To instruct bots on how to execute automated, repetitive tasks with little or no human input, uses a combination of RPA, machine learning, natural language processing, analytics, cognitive automation and a model called human-in-the-loop (HITL).

HITL blends supervised ML and active learning whereby people train, tweak and otherwise interact with an algorithm in a continuous feedback loop to help the machine perform better. builds schemas and flow diagrams to teach the AI the operational process, then reiterates that training to demonstrate exceptions and “throw every scenario possible at the AI” to teach it how to operate, White said.

The hope, Colón said, is that the bots will “allow folks to really focus on the business-changing tasks.”

“We really just want to support the workflow,” he said.

  1. Targeting audiences and optimizing media measurement

Part of AI’s promise is that it will free people up to think about big-picture matters, like strategy and creative – in theory, at least.

“The vision that everyone shares, but is not yet reality, is that AI will save tons of resources and time,” said Hyun Lee-Miller, VP of media at independent media and measurement agency Good Apple.

Setting up and maintaining an AI solution demands human attention, and plenty of it. Nevertheless, the juice has been worth the squeeze for Good Apple.

“Machine-learning-powered audience targeting has proved quite productive from a performance optimization perspective,” Lee-Miller said.

In one of Good Apple’s early tests using AI to support campaigns, it was able to double the optimizations that could be produced manually during the same period, resulting in a 64% improvement in cost per acquisition (CPA).

In another instance, a custom algorithm drove lifts across CPM, cost per quality visit and CPA. Good Apple also had the ability to optimize, in a day, 20 times more than what would have been possible with manual optimizations.

But there is one area where AI still falls short (at least for now), and that’s in delivering insights, Lee-Miller said.

“[Humans] need to dig in to understand ‘the how’ and ‘why’ the results are great,” she said.

Like many other companies playing with AI and its uses across the enterprise, Good Apple is still in the beginning stages.

“We’re not rushing,” Lee-Miller said. “We’re building slowly [and] we’re building good use cases. We’re doing small experiments.”

You may also like...

Subscribe to Our Blog

Subscribe to receive an email when we publish new content!

    Ready To Empower Your Business?

    We can help you future-ready your business with customized, innovative solutions designed to foster sustainable growth.



    Meto is a tech-based nonprofit intent on making access to quality higher education a reality for all students. We have a special focus on creating scholarships for low-income students.

    In 2018, Meto was founded to connect African students with university opportunities. Along the way, we have learned that all students can benefit from our innovative model, wherein universities make the first move and invite good-fit students to apply. So, in 2023, we opened our platform to students across the globe.


              Nikhil Badlani Foundation

              The Mission of the Nikhil Badlani Foundation (the “Foundation”) is to enhance the lives of underserved children in West Orange, NJ and neighboring communities through music lessons, scholarships, and traffic safety education for all.

              Since the Foundation was established in 2011, Theorem has consistently been an annual sponsor of and team participant in the STOP for Nikhil 5K Run/3K Walk. This event intends to raise traffic safety awareness and to serve as a way to remembervbgfc ≈ and honor those who have been killed or seriously injured in traffic accidents. We recognize the importance of raising awareness and road safety amongst teenagers and parents alike, especially in the local communities of our Chatham, New Jersey office. Learn more about the Nikhil Badlani Foundation at

              Diversity and Inclusion

              Theorem actively aids in the ongoing fight against systemic racism and discrimination, realizing the importance of ongoing discussions surrounding diversity and inclusion.

              By contributing to organizations such as Black Girls Code and the Anti-Racism fund, we aim to be a fundamental supporter of diversity in the workplace and beyond. These organizations specifically speak to Theorem’s role as a leading voice in the technology innovation space and we avidly support their missions. The vision of Black Girls Code is to empower girls of color, ages 7-17 to become innovators in STEM fields and encourages them to be the builders of their own futures. The Anti-Racism Fund serves as a response to the inequities experienced by the African-American community. It provides monetary support to a dynamic portfolio of curated organizations as a way to inject and enable social change.

              Feeding America

              Feeding America is the largest charity working to end hunger in the United States. By partnering with local food banks, food pantries and other community food programs, Feeding America looks to advance change across the country and ensure equitable access to nutritious food.

              As a long-standing contributor and sponsor of Feeding America, we deeply believe in their vision of an America without hunger. The need for and importance of organizations like Feeding America has has become more and more prevalent as communities face more hardships as a result of the pandemic and the current economy. Theorem is dedicated to its continued contributions to Feeding America to do our part to empower and strengthen our communities. Learn more about Feeding America at

              Grameen America

              Grameen America is dedicated to helping entrepreneurial women who live in poverty build businesses to enable financial stability mobility.

              Since their founding in the United States in 2008, Theorem has supported Grameen America’s mission, which seeks to build upon the legacy of Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. Through financial contributions and event participation, Theorem has contributed to Grameen America’s cause. As an immigrant entrepreneur himself, our CEO Jay Kulkarni is especially eager to support the organization’s mission of aiding underserved communities. Learn more about Grameen America at

              Vision Spring

              VisionSpring is making the wonder of clear vision possible for all by helping provide affordable and quality eyeglasses to those in need. For many, lack of access to affordable eyeglasses leads to loss of employment or less educational opportunities.

              VisionSpring partners with organizations who join them in their mission of supporting livelihood initiatives, enhancing potential for all. Learn more about Vision Spring at Theorem has consistently partnered with VisionSpring to organize free events, such as eye check-ups, across multiple villages in the Mysuru, India region, impacting over 3,000 rural residents. We stand with VisionSpring in their mission to increase accessibility to quality eyewear and eye care.

              Covenant House

              Covenant House provides housing and supportive services to youth facing homelessness, helping young people transform their lives.

              For more than 5+ years, Theorem has supported Covenant House with corporate sponsorships, leading career-building workshops at their Newark, NJ shelter facility and participation in the organization’s fund raising Sleep Outs. Covenant House utilizes these Sleep Outs to raise funds and help shine a light on the injustice of youth homelessness, inspiring communities to step up and protect the vulnerable. We are proud to support Covenant House’s programs, which are designed to empower young people to overcome and rise above adversity, today and in the future. Learn more about Covenant House at

              Contract Type



              Job Title

              Contract Type



              Job Title

              Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.