Google Artificial Intelligence Brand Purpose

Powering people and growth with AI: how marketers can embrace the opportunity now


By Debbie Weinstein, Vice President & Managing Director, Google, UK&I

July 6, 2023 | 9 min read

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AI has the potential to solve society’s most pressing challenges, take businesses into a new phase of growth, and enhance human creativity. Debbie Weinstein, VP and MD of Google UK & Ireland shares three steps to take advantage of the AI and marketing opportunity.

Powering people and growth with AI

Debbie Weinstein: a bold, responsible approach is imperative to unlock the power and potential of AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been transforming the way we live, work and experience the world for over a decade. I believe that it is the most profound technology humanity is working on today.

AI has the potential to solve society’s biggest challenges, to power organizations into the next phase of growth, and to rehumanize industries that may be bogged down by things machines can do better. At Google, we see it as the most profound way to deliver our mission: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Bold, responsible progress

While AI feels “new”, the reality is that as marketers and consumers, we have been experiencing AI in Google products for years. Products like Lens and Translate were built entirely using AI. And, some of the most popular features like Smart Compose in Gmail and Google Photos are powered by AI.

But the incredible power and huge potential of AI means it’s imperative we take a bold and responsible approach. For us, responsibility means both mitigating complexities and risks, while aiming to help improve people's lives, and address social and scientific challenges. We believe the only way to be truly bold in the long-term is to be responsible from the start.

The opportunity for marketers

I’ve worked at the intersection of media and marketing for nearly 25 years, and now marketers find themselves in an environment of unparalleled complexity where the choice to embrace and engage with AI can transform their daily activities and facilitate even more strategic and higher value output than ever before.

This is where I believe the AI in Google’s Advertising products comes into its own.

It can help you find the best customers, refine messaging, and tighten the measurement loops so you can invest with confidence. Bold marketers are already leveraging AI to drive profitable growth – generating sales with new customers, lowering costs and saving time. McKinsey analyzed the effects of AI on marketing and found that 70% of companies that have adopted AI saw a revenue increase, and 28% saw a reduction in costs.

The same Google AI that is unlocking people’s creativity and productivity is also powering our Ads solutions. Take Search and the latest iteration of Broad Match. Broad Match connects businesses to relevant queries based on the semantic meaning of the search – not just the exact term. This enables marketers to find opportunities they didn’t even know existed. The results reflect these opportunities; businesses using Broad Match see 25% more conversions*.

Our AI-powered Ads solutions can predict, analyze and deliver the right mix of formats, to the right user, at the right time, delivering on marketers’ objectives. With Performance Max, for example, an advertiser can set their business objectives, share their first-party data signals, and provide a suite of creative assets. Google’s AI will then run the most effective campaign across all properties to ensure you meet your customers wherever they are on their purchase journey.

Advertisers using Performance Max are seeing an 18% uplift in conversion** and as our AI models evolve, that figure is already up 5 percentage points since last year.

Empowering people and performance

As AI-powered tools are adopted more widely, I appreciate it may feel uncomfortable. It’s important to remember that you are not competing against AI, you are competing against marketers who are already using AI.

Let’s be clear: AI is not going to replace the knowledge and experience people bring to the table. AI technology needs to be guided. That guidance, expertise and understanding of your brands comes from you. I see AI as a tool that helps people focus on what they are good at, and do more of what they love. When AI takes care of recutting and resizing videos, human designers can spend more time where their real talent lies – their craft, their ideas.

When marketers don’t have to build keyword lists, they can focus on strategy and testing, and demonstrate the effectiveness of their marketing.

BCG found that when marketers use advanced tech to improve a campaign, it adds 20% to their campaign performance – that’s good. But when technology-driven improvements are paired with human adjustments, it adds 35% to campaign performance – even better.

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3 steps for marketers to take now

Now is the time to move forward on the journey to AI-powered marketing, and while it may be tempting to wait and see how it plays out, I urge you to join the fray. Here are three steps to embrace the AI opportunity today:

1. Start with your business problem: Getting the most out of AI starts with a clear brief. What’s important is having a real understanding of the business challenge you are trying to solve, and how marketing can help. The topic on everyone’s mind in these inflationary environments is driving profitable growth. AI, with its ability to identify new opportunities to engage with consumers, is perfectly suited to this challenge.

2. Differentiate yourself through data: Responsibly sourced first-party data, together with your expert understanding of your brands, and the value of different activities customers take with your business, can make AI solutions even more powerful. The better the data you provide, and the clearer you are on the most valuable online activities for your business, the more AI can do to drive profitable growth for your brand.

3. Test, learn and scale, repeatedly: Develop some hypotheses. Set up some small campaigns to test. Once you’ve provided something like incremental performance, implement at scale. Then test again; moving faster, more precisely, and toward stronger, more profitable growth.

For more helpful advice and insights on navigating the AI opportunity, visit The Responsible Marketing Hub with Google.

*Source: Google Internal data, Global, 7/10/2021 - 7/19/2021
** Source: Google data, Global, Ads, July - September 2021; Google data, Global, Ads, November - December 2022
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