There has been a lot of discussion on machine learning lately – what is it and how can it help in online marketing? I’ll tell you that much: We have to look closely and differentiate.

What exactly is machine learning?

The terms machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence or neural networks are often used synonymously. But this is wrong! Machine learning is only one part of artificial intelligence. ML is based on “learning” algorithms that can learn from a large number of examples and abstract rules. In the course of time, the respective algorithm becomes more and more precise and better in its task: The computer learns. This is used in many areas, such as chat bots, face recognition, speech recognition or image analysis (which can also be relevant for marketing and CRM).

However, this has little to do with horror scenarios like the (always cited in connection with AI) Terminator films, but also little to do with technology dystopias like the series Black Mirror or AI scenarios like Ex Machina. If ML is neither a terminator nor a miracle cure, how can marketing and advertising benefit from it?

Online marketing and machine learning

This requires a quick look at online marketing: personalization is becoming increasingly important because modern shoppers expect a seamless and individual shopping experience.

Since modern marketing knows many variables – not only design details such as fonts, colors, calls to action or banner sizes. In order to display the right advertising at the right time in the right place (website and terminal), more and more data must be evaluated. And this is how it becomes clear: Machine Learning is the right technology for this. Because the millions or even billions of possible combinations can’t be processed by people in a practical manner. ML, on the other hand, effortlessly analyzes the inform

ation about the buyers, the technical requirements or graphics specifications – and at the same time becomes better and better.


For modern marketing, ML offers various advantages when it comes to personalization: Advertisers can address potential customers more precisely and automatically – i.e. quickly and seamlessly. The rewards are higher conversion rates, more customer engagement, and satisfaction. At the same time, the algorithms take the strain off employees – who have more time for real creativity and can develop new modules or designs. This is something Machine Learning cannot achieve.

– This article was written by Andrej Kornienko, Account Manager at HBI

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