A new survey conducted by Salesforce and YouGov has found that marketers see generative AI as a “game-changer” that can save them about five hours of work every week — that’s more than a month every year, assuming eight-hour work days.
As part of their Generative AI Snapshot series, the companies polled more than 1,000 full-time marketers in the United States, UK and Australia in May. The results show most marketers are bullish on the technology, with many already using it in their workflow.
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However, even as a majority of marketers see generative AI as transformative to their role, many have also raised concerns about the quality and accuracy of generative AI outputs and the lack of skills needed to get the most out of these tools.
Nearly 75% say ‘yes’ to generative AI
Out of the 1,029 full-time marketers surveyed, 51% said they are already in the process of using or experimenting with generative AI at work, while 22% said they plan to bring it into their workforce very soon. The general benefits, most of them said, would be eliminating gruntwork, allowing more time to focus on strategic work and increasing productivity.
Among those using generative AI at present, the most popular use case is basic content creation and writing marketing copy, with as many as 76% handling those tasks with LLM-driven apps like ChatGPT. The next popular use cases are inspiring creative thinking (71%), analyzing market data (63%) and generating image assets (62%).
More broadly, the surveyed marketers suggested that generative AI is expected to help with multiple tasks in their job, starting from creating groups for marketing campaigns and producing those campaigns and journey plans, and progressing to personalizing content, conducting copy testing, and building and optimizing SEO strategy.
“Generative AI has the potential to transform how marketers connect with their customers by powering more personalized, automated and effective campaigns — quickly and at scale,” Stephen Hammond, EVP and GM for marketing cloud at Salesforce, said in a statement.
It can also help with analyzing campaign performance data, 58% of the respondents said.
Yet concerns remain
While the general consensus remained that generative AI is or will be transforming marketing hustles, the survey respondents also highlighted certain roadblocks that can easily hinder the technology’s adoption in their field.
The biggest challenge, the marketers said, is the accuracy and quality of generative AI tools’ output, with 73% noting that the technology lacks human-specific creativity and contextual knowledge and 66% worrying that its results can be biased. Beyond this, many suggested they feel underprepared to make the most of the technology in their workflows.
Forty-three percent of respondents said they don’t know how to get the most value out of generative AI, while more than a third said they do not know how to use the technology safely (39%) and effectively (34%). This highlights a major gap that can often lead to data leak blunders, much like what happened at Samsung.
To address these problems and successfully use generative AI in their roles, the marketers called for three key improvements: human oversight (66%), the use of trusted customer data for the models (63%), and adequate training (54%) to leverage the said models in the workflow.
The human oversight and trusted data will ensure on-point, use case-specific outputs, while training will ensure marketers are getting maximum value from the tools without compromising on security or efficiency.
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