AI helps Klarna cut marketing agency spend by 25% and run more campaigns

Klarna, the AI powered global payments network and shopping assistant, has cut its sales and marketing spend by 11% in Q1 2024 while increasing the number of campaigns and updating marketing collateral more frequently.

AI is responsible for 37% of the cost savings, or about $10 million on an annualized basis.

The key drivers are:

  • Cost Reduction in External Agency Expenses: Klarna has decreased its spending on external marketing suppliers by 25%, including translation, production, CRM, and social agencies, with run rate savings of $4 million.
  • Savings on Image Production: Achieved a $6 million reduction in image production costs, despite running more campaigns and creating significantly more images. Using genAI tools like Midjourney, DALL-E, and Firefly for image generation—and Topaz Gigapixel and Photoroom for final adjustments—Klarna saved $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2024 alone.
  • Increased Efficiency and Creativity: Generated over 1,000 images in the first three months of 2024 using genAI, reducing the image development cycle from 6 weeks to just 7 days. This acceleration includes checks for brand consistency, image quality, and legal compliance.

“AI is helping us become leaner, faster and more responsive to what our customers care about, leading to a much, much better experience,” says David Sandström, CMO at Klarna. “And we’re actually driving more marketing activity while saving tens of millions of dollars a year.”

The streamlined process enables weekly updates to Klarna’s app and website images, reflecting key retail events such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Spring refreshes, Graduation, and Summer Sales.

David Sandström, CMO at Klarna continues:  “Traditionally, it would have been very costly to cater to these occasions with bespoke imagery but with AI that is no longer an issue and we can create relevant imagery to support practically any event. Essentially, we have removed the need for stock imagery.”

GenAI is also driving savings in writing marketing copy. Klarna has built an AI-powered copywriting tool, Copy Assistant, which allows the company to use AI for 80% of all copywriting.

Klarna has a close partnership with OpenAI. Klarna employees across the company have built over 300 GPTs for internal use. There are more than a dozen AI driven projects within marketing alone, and over 100 across the organization.

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