Half of marketing leaders cite two factors a challenge to implement AI

Cost is reported to be the leading challenge experienced by more than half (51.3%) of global marketing leaders when adopting AI and automation techniques into marketing operations, This is closely followed by a lack of trust (50%) in emerging AI, according to research conducted by workforce solutions and marketing operations consultancy, Algomarketing.   

A first-of-its-kind study surveyed over 300 global marketing leaders working in firms with 10,000+ staff about the use of AI and automation in their marketing operations. Results show almost a quarter of firms (23.2%) are seeing a return on investment (ROI) of more than 75% in marketing spend. The majority (68%) reported a ROI between 50%-74%. Not one enterprise team in the study of the world’s biggest companies reported less than a 50% increase in ROI. The research also found that senior marketers save time by at least 50% through use of AI and automation.

When it comes to using AI marketing tools the study found that US-based marketers were less likely to be adopting AI technology than their counterparts in other global regions. Only 26.7% of US-based and 14% of Singapore-based marketers said they have been using AI tools in the last three years. This compares to 54.5% of those based in Australia and 45.3% in the UK.  

These two territories are also leading the field when setting budgets for the next financial year. Two-thirds (65.5%) of respondents in Australia and 62.5% in the UK are committing to increasing spending in 2024. These two territories are also most likely to be hiring additional talent (69.1% Australia/48.4% UK) vs. USA (40%).

Looking at investment at a global scale, more than half (55%) of global marketing operations are planning to increase investment in AI and automation, and 62% are planning to explore new tools in the next twelve months.

The primary reason for adopting AI and automation is for efficiency gains, with two-thirds (64.4%) of respondents stating this to be the reason, followed by cost savings (55.2%).

Findings also show a skills shortage and talent gap is being experienced by marketers. Almost half of those surveyed (44.4%) said they have issues finding people who have the skills in marketing and AI to undertake projects. The study found only 23.2% of the world’s biggest companies have adequate internal resources to take advantage of new technologies with over half (52%) opting for a blended skills approach to AI implementation using in-house staff alongside external suppliers.  

CEO of Algomarketing Yomi Tejumola comments: “This study shows that investment into AI and automation has already begun, with many of the world’s largest enterprises utilizing AI for efficiency gains or planning to do so over the next twelve months.”

“The investment and return on investment of AI implementation is evident, however, some B2B enterprises continue to use traditional or insight-driven marketing approaches. This means that although they may be leveraging data and analytics to inform their strategies, they continue to rely on the interpretation and judgment of their marketers to inform their subsequent actions, and therefore marketing teams may not be reaching their full potential.

“Algorithmic marketing moves brands that are embracing AI and automation towards a future of autonomous marketing, where AI and automation can interpret data, make decisions and execute actions independently, all with minimal human intervention, allowing marketing operations to excel like never before.”

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