What are personalised ads and how do they work?

Personalisation is a powerful way of influencing consumer behavior, however, just a few years back, personalisation required more effort than today. This meant that marketers would have to process large amounts of data to deliver customers ads specially tailored for them. This was due to the lack of artificial intelligence. Now with the increased availability of Artificial intelligence and marketing automation, this means the processing of data can be made less costly and time consuming.

Learn more about Why You Should Use Digital Marketing Automation In 2020

Personalised ads tend to perform far better than generalised ads because we are not casting our nets randomly in the ocean, instead, we are focused on a specific locale known for specific fish. This process of personalisation is better supported by Artificial intelligence and marketing automation. You may already be questioning what personalisation is, Well, personalisation can be defined as a type of strategy that leverages the data internet users leave on the world wide web which is then later tracked by marketers to offer you products or services more related to your previous search.

It is not a coincidence that you will search for a mobile device and in just a few minutes all the ads you see are about mobile devices and accessories to mobile devices. This is because Artificial Intelligence has the ability to do this in real-time.

Marketers prefer personalised ads as they deliver ads relevant to every individual based on their audience look-alike. This type of ads are made possible due to our behavior online; “You are seeing this now, therefore, you now fall under this ad group” or “If you clicked on this then be served that”; That is were personalised ads start to take shape. From here then Artificial Intelligence then starts to profile and classify all visitors of the website. When all this is complete it will then choose the ads that previous visitors engaged more with and deliver them to you.

The assumption is that if an X amount of people bought a device on website A and further interacted with an ad on website A, you must be served a similar ad as you are an audience look-alike.

Learn more about the Advantages of Artificial Intelligence.

A lot of marketers prefer personalised marketing for these simple reasons.

  1. Return on investment(ROI) – Marketers turn to rely on this type of marketing simply because their ads are more likely to compel the user to take action and consequently drive leads better than generalising.
  2. Better user experience – Internet users all over the globe have collectively agreed that they once have ever made a purchase from the “You may also like” section just based on the fact that it seemed exclusive and tailored for them.


In conclusion, the main purpose of personalisation is to give internet users better customer experience and assist in making a decision e.g You don’t know what to get your partner this valentines? well, Google has got you covered; Don’t know what to eat? Well, Google knows a spot. These are some of the benefits of personalisation.

If you don’t want to leave your digital footprint on the internet you can follow these simple steps:

  1. Control – You can simply click on the ad “I don’t want to see this” thus giving you peace of mind  as you will no longer be served ads with the depicted products or services. This is simple terms denies marketers the ability to offer you personalised ads.
  2. Change – You can change your passwords to avoid data hacks.
  3. Clear – You can clear cookies and cache if you do not want your data tracked, however, don’t expect to find that personalised ad about mobile devices
Sakkie Ngobeni