It seems the marketing industry is not quite so bowled over by the rise of artificial intelligence tools after all, with the vast majority of CMOs feeling they lack the expertise within their organisation to use AI tools strategically and effectively.
Yesterday, a Government paper warned that AI could increase the risk of cyber-attacks, trigger more fraud and scams and erode trust in online content within two years, but it seems many CMOs are still in the early stages of adopting the technology.
In fact, while marketers unanimously agree that AI can give them a competitive advantage, almost half (47%) are still not planning to set aside a dedicated marketing budget for the technology, while the same proportion (47%) are currently not even actively testing generative AI.
So says a new study by in-housing specialist Oliver, which appears to contradict claims that marketers are gagging for some AI action; one recent report revealed that two thirds of CMOs consider the technology to be an essential part of their creative toolkit.
Other major stumbling blocks are copyright and security concerns, which 84% of respondents to the Oliver study identified as holding them back from a faster rollout of generative AI capabilities. Three-quarters said they were being held back by the unclear regulatory aspects.
Oliver founder and chief executive Simon Martin said: “We’re seeing extraordinary results and positive reaction from brands to all the pilots and engagements that we are deploying with group GenAI partner Pencil but it’s understandable that there are parallel still-drag factors as organisations lean in fully to this game-changing technology.
“AI is disrupting the way all brands and their partners are working, and while it is challenging, disruption can also be hugely beneficial with expert support.”
Despite these concerns, UK marketers do see generative AI as key to finding efficiency gains across their organisations. Nine in ten (89%) marketers associate it with enhancing operational procedures and efficiency, while three-quarters (74%) consider improvements in process efficiency as its main success criteria.
When asked which areas of their marketing operations they saw as most likely to face disruption from AI, 89% of respondents identified content production, and 47% identified social management.
Conversely, just 36% of respondents identified reporting and insights as the most likely areas to face disruption.
Martin concluded: “Our clients’ concerns are an accurate mirror of what UK marketers across the board are facing.
“While they unanimously understand the potential benefits of AI, the bigger picture is that the speed of change with the technology is raising very real issues on whether they have the expertise to fully capitalise on it.
“Staying ahead of the AI curve will be invaluable in helping to embed it effectively into businesses’ marketing ecosystems.”
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