“AI can automate certain tasks and processes, but it cannot replicate the creativity, intuition and unique perspective that individual marketers bring to their work.” – Erica McMillan, Forbes
A fascinating recent survey conducted by Sitecore provides valuable insights into how AI will shape the future of digital marketing and customer experience.
The survey involved responses from over 400 marketing professionals in the United States. The results of the survey reveal that most marketers are adopting a sort of “cautious optimism” toward AI in a rapidly changing digital marketing landscape.
“The recent rate of innovation in marketing technology has been truly remarkable,” said Dave O’Flanagan, chief product officer of Sitecore. “Rather than becoming overwhelmed and exhausted by these advancements, however, we’ve found marketers to be bold and experimental in embracing technologies like ChatGPT.”
Here are 7 key takeaways from Sitecore’s AI and Composable Marketing Software Survey:
1. Marketers are Highly Interested in Experimenting with Generative AI: The survey reveals that 80% of respondents are actively exploring the use of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and Google Bard to enhance their digital customer experience.
Only 3% of the marketers surveyed have tried and rejected the use of generative AI, while 17% have yet to experiment with AI.
Some of the top ways companies are using AI in digital marketing include:
- Data-Driven Decision Making
- Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
- A/B Testing
- Content Creation and Curation
- Voice Search Optimization
2. Customer Experience is the Top Priority for AI: More than three-quarters (78%) of the surveyed marketers believe that generative AI will help them get closer to their customers and deliver more personalized experiences.
Only 7% of respondents worried that AI might have the opposite effect and make them more “distant” from their customers.
3. Automation and Efficiency are Key Benefits of AI: Marketers recognize the potential of generative AI to automate certain tasks and processes. They believe that this frees up time for more strategic initiatives.
4. AI Cannot Replace Human Creativity and Intuition: While AI serves as a powerful tool, 80% of the surveyed marketers agree that it cannot replace the unique talents that individual marketers bring to their work.
When respondents were probed regarding AI’s influence on employment, a substantial 82% expressed optimism that it would contribute to the creation of new job opportunities. Notably, they anticipate the emergence of specialist roles like “marketing AI specialist” (78%) and “generative AI specialist” (71%).
Respondents also held a positive outlook on AI’s potential to generate employment in areas such as content management, content creation and graphic design. Furthermore, an overwhelming 97% of respondents believed that AI would play a pivotal role in addressing skills gaps within their teams, with a particular emphasis on filling analytical and technical skill requirements.
5. Customer Service is Considered the Top Function That Will Benefit from Generative AI: According to the survey, marketers see customer service as the primary area where generative AI can make a significant impact, improving response times and providing personalized support.
To fund AI deployments in this area, 39% of respondents said they planned to invest up to 21-40% of the following year’s budget into AI programs.
6. Content Generation and Personalization are Key Use Cases of AI: Marketers are leveraging generative AI to effortlessly create engaging, captivating content that resonates with their audiences. This technology also enables them to deliver more personalized experiences by tailoring content to individual customers.
7. Ethical Considerations and Transparency are Important: As generative AI becomes more and more prevalent in digital marketing, marketers are increasingly concerned about ethical implications and the need for transparency in AI-driven processes.
According to the survey, 41% of respondents are worried about “legal vulnerabilities and data privacy concerns” associated with AI.