Digital Advertising Automation

PDG Advertising, an advertising agency in Belfast, delivers adverts for 12 clients across 4 continents to over 500,000 people a week.

Every day, we pick up new trends in advertising. Firstly, we do this by default, overseeing adverts in such diverse industries and parts of the world. Secondly, we do this because we love digital advertising!

The one big trend that we are picking up right now is automation in digital advertising.

What is automation in digital advertising? 

Let’s take a look at what Wikipedia has to say about automation:

“Automation is the technology by which a process or procedure is performed with minimal human assistance.” – Wikipedia

In digital advertising, automation is an assist, enabling the human to do more with less, and faster.

Where are we seeing heightened levels of automation?

Facebook Adverts

Before, when testing out your adverts and targeting, you had to start broadly. Then you would utilize traffic-driving or awareness objectives to get in front of a large scale audience. From there, you could finally drill down into your core audience.

Now, with automation, the Facebook algorithm is more clever than ever. Its objective-based advertising is able to take a group of 1 million people and pick out those who are ready to buy your product or enter their email address into your sign-up form.

The specific advert type here is a conversion-based objective advert. As far as we know (because only Facebook really knows), they are configured based on users’ past activity online, whether they are regular online shoppers, or whether they regularly add their email address to business lead capture forms.



This makes advertising your product or service much much easier and less expensive.

What is the practical application? Before, when you paid £100 to get in front of people who may be interested in your product, you would get in front of a random selection of the 1,000,000 people in your target audience. Now, when you pay £100, you are presented to the people who are most likely to buy your product. It is now less random and garners better results.


Not only can you create conversion-based objective adverts like this, that employ artificial intelligence to find the right person to present your adverts to, but you can also set a rule that says, “If my product is selling for a certain cost per objective met, then increase my budget.” Why wouldn’t you?  If you are meeting your desired cost per acquisition for a customer and you have the stock, why not let the system increase your budget?

Where else are we seeing automation in digital advertising?

Google Shopping

Several of our customers are online e-commerce customers, and we use Google shopping quite a lot. There is such a type of Google shopping advert called a SMART shopping campaign, which is very similar to the Facebook conversion-based objective. The Google Shopping algorithm searches through people who are searching for your product online and presents shopping ads for your product to those most likely to buy. The only limitation is that you can’t really see what’s working with a SMART shopping campaign and maximize on it, and I suspect that there is more spillage than regular shopping campaigns.

Notifications – Mailchimp example

We do a lot of email marketing for customers. Recently, we have been seeing notifications prompting us to take action after campaigns have been posted. Many of these notifications recommend that we re-send to our non-openers. This means is that we sent out a campaign to our list and a bunch of people didn’t open it. We consider that there is likely value in sending this email to our list of those who didn’t open, because if they aren’t opening, why are they on our list in the first place? At first, we were a little wary of this one. We tried it, though, and generated conversions from the second round of emails. Now we do this as standard for customers.

The future

It’s unlikely that we are even scratching the surface of what’s possible with automation in digital advertising. The next step may be getting people to purchase before they even know they need a product! In reality, automation makes it easier to market your product and be a better marketer. This is just the beginning.

What is PDG Advertising? 

PDG Advertising— named after its creator—was founded in 2015 by Peter Doak as “Peter Doak Global.” Today, it continues to be run as a digital advertising agency based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It has taken some time to fully develop our theory, but the main focus of PDG Advertising is to clearly deliver positive advertising at each stage of the customer journey.

Start your journey to a better path to your products by getting in touch. 



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