Marketers are excited about the potential artificial intelligence (AI) brings to the world of sales and marketing, and believe it has the potential to significantly impact the entire industry—yet there is a clear discrepancy between this enthusiasm and marketers’ confidence in how to implement AI into their marketing programs, according to new research from account-based marketing firm Demandbase. The company recently revealed the results of its Artificial Intelligence survey, issued in conjunction with Wakefield Research.
In fact, 80 percent of all marketing executives believe AI will revolutionize marketing over the next 5 years—but only 26 percent are very confident they understand how AI is used in marketing, and only 10 percent of marketers are currently using AI today. The top challenges marketers are worried about when it comes to using AI technology are the following:
- Integrating AI into their existing technology (60%)
- Training employees (54%)
- Difficulty interpreting the results (46%)
Surprisingly, concern with the cost of implementing AI is lower on the list at 42 percent. Overall, there is a lack of general understanding around AI technologies available, and how to begin using them. Further education and hands on experience will be required to ensure the use of AI technology to support marketing is successful.
“As someone who has been studying AI for many years, I’ve recognized the promise of AI and B2B marketing for some time, which makes it really rewarding to see this vision is now shared by marketing executives,” said Aman Naimat, SVP of technology at Demandbase, in a news release. “This data reveals that in order to be successful, marketing leaders need to lead the charge and present opportunities for AI instruction and experience for their teams, to ensure implementing it into their B2B technology stacks is effective.”
More frequently, customers are demanding a more personalized, tailored experience with vendors. The results of this survey revealed that AI has the potential to help marketers personalize the customer experience at an entirely new level, which allows for one-on-one conversations with marketers who know the pain points, goals and ambitions of their prospects. The top benefits from AI that marketers listed, include:
- Better insights into accounts (60%)
- More detailed analysis of campaigns (56%)
- Identifying prospective customers (53%)
- Expediting daily tasks (53%)
When it comes to measuring the success of AI, the survey found that AI must impact a company’s top line and drive revenue in order for it to be determined successful. While there are major challenges that B2B marketers will face as they develop and launch AI programs, the final arbiter of whether AI will be successful is likely to be the bottom line, and if a company is driving more revenue because of its use. In order to be worth pursuing, marketers stated that AI must:
- Generate a better sales close rate (59%)
- Increase revenues (58%)
- Improve website traffic and engagement (54%)
- Convert more leads (52%)
This survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 500 B2B marketers, manager level to c-level executive, at companies with 250+ employees between November 10 and November 22, 2016 using an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation.
Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel