Any discussion about martech or trends and innovation in 2023 has so far been dominated by generative AI, spurred on by the releases of ChatGPT and DALL-E 2 last year, and the proliferation of new generative AI-augmented tools.
Unsurprisingly, AI is one of the main topics covered in Econsultancy’s annual ‘The Future of Marketing‘ report, which is based on a survey of 835 client, vendor, and agency-side marketers, as well as in-depth expert interviews.
So how are organisations investing in generative AI, and where do they believe its value lies? Here are two key charts from the report, highlighting the consensus among marketers right now.
Marketers don’t want to be left behind, as three-quarters are already using or considering the use of generative AI
Generative AI could potentially add an estimated $2.6trn to $4.4trn to the global economy annually, according to McKinsey, with 75% of the value that generative AI use cases could potentially deliver falling across four areas: customer operations, marketing and sales, software engineering, and R&D.
Econsultancy’s Future of Marketing survey found that 32% of marketers say their organisation is already using generative AI tools, while a further 43% are actively considering it (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Is your organisation already using or considering the use of generative AI?
Source: Econsultancy’s Future of Marketing survey | Sample: 421
Marketers do not want to be left behind, even if there is still uncertainty about the technology and its impact. Ben Carter, Global Chief Marketing Officer at carwow, told Econsultancy that “AI is both an opportunity and a threat in equal measure.”
“It is an opportunity because it will deliver significant productivity gains and enable us to deliver even more relevant messages to our audiences. It is a threat, not because it could wipe out humanity (hopefully not), but because there are only a few technologies that could cause real disruption, and this is one of them,” he said.
Written content creation and copywriting is currently the top use case for generative AI
There’s been a lot of hype around the use cases for generative AI. As it stands, much of the value appears to stem from language-based marketing functions that are formulaic and repetitive, with gen AI tools helping marketers to reduce time spent on these tasks, increase productivity, and shift focus onto tasks that require more complex or creative thought.
Indeed, Econsultancy found written content creation and copywriting to be the number one use case among marketers surveyed, with 90% of marketers citing that their organisation is currently pursuing or considering this option (Figure 2).
Figure 2: What use cases for generative AI is your organisation already either pursuing or considering?
Source: Econsultancy’s Future of Marketing survey | Sample: 281
SEO keyword research, and summarising emails, meetings, and actions were cited as the second and third most popular use cases respectively, again highlighting the technology’s value in speeding up repetitive tasks.
Alexandra Willis, Director of Digital Media & Audience Development at The Premier League, explained to Econsultancy how her company has used generative AI.
“I believe that AI is the most extraordinary resource to aid and complement strategic thinking and work. I have been privileged to be part of many examples of that: for instance, using AI to generate match highlights from a football game. It was not the AI creating and publishing the finished article, but it did help to make the process more efficient, performing the tasks that would have taken a human much longer than a machine to do. Ultimately though, you still need to have that human layer on top – to shape the narrative and to ensure the content is going to land in the right way.”
Econsultancy offers a short course in AI for marketing