Brands leading the way in CX are three times more likely to have significantly exceeded their 2019 business goals.

One area that could widen this gap even further is investment in AI, as CX leaders and large organisations plan to further invest in 2020 (potentially leaving mainstream organisations lagging behind).

Large organisations are already using AI

The 2020 Digital Trends report – which generated over 12,000 responses from an online survey – found that 36% of CX leaders and 33% of large organisations (which have a revenue above £150m) are already using artificial intelligence.

In terms of what large organisations are currently using AI for, the main use is data analysis. This was cited by 64% of organisations for 2020, compared to just 55% in 2019.

digital trends 2020

With regards to automation of specific marketing-related activities, what is your organisation currently using AI for? (Organisations with revenues of over £150M)

28% of CX leaders are planning to invest in AI in 2020

Aside from the organisations that already use AI, a further 28% of CX leaders and 39% of large organisations are planning to invest in AI or ML technology this year.

One reason for this investment is the overarching desire to reallocate human resources to what some see as more valuable activities. The report states that “CX leaders are more likely to actively apply thinking technologies to their key challenges and free up their human resources to focus on creative and strategic goals.”

This is particularly pertinent when it comes to creating content at scale, as well as in terms of optimising and testing this content. Indeed, organisations that still use humans to do this could find themselves lagging behind, with CX leaders continuously able to test, learn, and experiment at a rapid rate.

investment in AI

Is your organisation using or planning to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) /machine learning (ML) in 2020?

What’s holding back the mainstream from investing?

While Econsultancy’s research shows that there has been a surge in AI investment from some companies, it also shines a light on the obstacles that many organisations still face.

One of these obstacles appears to be a lack of data, or indeed the technology and infrastructure to properly access it (and apply it to AI or ML algorithms). Econsultancy’s ‘Bridging the Customer Experience Gap’ report found that only half of companies agree they are ‘able to access the data they need across organisational silos to derive actionable insights’.

Elsewhere, the skills gap could also be holding mainstream organisations back, with many still unable to compete for costly and niche AI talent in what is a small and highly coveted pool.

Download the Experience Index: 2020 Digital Trends report, in association with Adobe.