Marketers Are Gearing Up for an AI Revolution 

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Gearing Up for Revolution-min

An AI revolution in marketing is currently underway with no signs of letting up.  

A staggering 99 percent of marketers are currently using artificial intelligence (AI) every day in some way, while 91 percent are currently using AI in their jobs, a survey from AI-driven customer communications platform Iterable has revealed.  

This frees up marketers’ time and efforts toward creative pursuits and creating unique experiences for customers, Iterable noted, emphasizing that AI goes beyond automation and is about “elevation, unleashing creativity, and amplifying brand voices.”  

“The future of marketing lies not in replacing human ingenuity, but in using AI to empower it,” said Adriana Gil Miner, chief marketing officer at Iterable.  

Marketers, however, are yet to tap AI’s full potential.  

Enthusiasm, Optimism Around AI Adoption in Marketing 

Ninety-one percent of those surveyed said they are actively adopting and experimenting with AI, particularly generative AI. A significant majority of marketers – 67 percent – view AI as more than just a tool to make work efficient and productive; they see it as a technological revolution.  

Yet despite the enthusiasm and widespread adoption, nearly half of the respondents (49 percent) find AI intimidating, mentioning heightened expectations (54 percent) and the challenges of compliance or new regulatory guidelines (49 percent) as the main source of their intimidation.  

Concerns abound, too: 89 percent are somewhat concerned about the need to gain AI skills to stay valuable as marketers, with 28 percent remaining extremely concerned.  

How many feel they are sufficiently geared up for the AI revolution? Only 48 percent of marketing teams are fully trained, illustrating a gap between enthusiasm and empowerment in AI technology in marketing.  

Three-fourths of respondents are optimistic that AI will create jobs as well as unlock growth, such as through personalized customer experiences and data-driven campaign optimization. Over a third (37 percent) believe AI is becoming an integral part of their overall marketing skillset. 

From Creative Potential to ROI  

As customer expectations evolve, so does marketers’ tendency to turn to AI to meet the changing demands. Thirty-nine percent will consider AI successful if it improves their creativity, while 37 percent want more free time for fulfilling marketing tasks.  

Asked about the kinds of AI tools that would likely make their jobs easier: 

  • 57 percent of marketers cited optimization 
  • 53 percent picked automation 
  • 50 percent chose predictive tools 
  • 49 percent selected generative AI 

Marketers, though, stayed divided on return on investment. Fifty-one percent of marketing teams using AI every day define the technology’s ROI as focused on improved efficiency, while: 

  • 50 percent cited better customer relations 
  • 47 percent highlighted enhanced data analytics 
  • 46 percent predicted financial gains 
  • 42 percent anticipated increased accuracy in forecasting 

Whether ROI is quick to come or not, 94 percent believed their organizations are likely to continue AI adoption in marketing even with missed goals. At 97 percent, the United States led the charge in this sentiment.  

AI Technology in Marketing: Not Everyone’s on Board Yet 

With the ability to process and analyze large volumes of data, identify trends and patterns, and perform data-driven decision-making, AI in marketing can power real-time personalization, offer relevant solutions, and drive growth.  

Yet barriers to its swift adoption exist, including the dearth of the right talent. “Not having the right talent to maximize GenAI is like having a Ferrari and not knowing how to drive,” said Hiren Desai, head of digital marketing for ASEAN and South Asia at Standard Chartered Bank.  

The overwhelm that comes with processing a technology like AI – perceived to be complex and difficult to implement – makes businesses think they require specialized expertise, thus becoming too cautious to invest in it or get started.  

A separate survey, conducted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) involving 1,000 CMOs in Europe, made a separate warning on the prevalent use of AI in marketing.  

While 47 percent disclosed that they are already actively using AI and 40 percent are delving into the potential applications, CIM chief executive Chris Daly said that the pace of progress in AI adoption “is outstripping professional skills, exposing businesses to a greater degree of risk.”  

In preparing for the AI revolution in marketing, CMOs and marketing directors can follow these five steps to incorporate AI into their marketing strategy.  

Related Readings:

5 Steps for CMOs to Incorporate AI Into Their Marketing Strategy 

Inclusive Marketing: How AI Can Foster Diversity and Inclusion 

AI-Powered Personalized Marketing Fast Becoming a ‘Must Have’

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