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5 charts on AI’s role in marketing

Generative AI is everywhere. Business Insider used it to write a story on the stock market, Mint Mobile used it to write an ad, and Microsoft is investing $10 billion in OpenAI, maker of ChatGPT.

Here are five charts on where the technology could be headed this year.

1. AI may be moving toward the bottom of the funnel

Marketers are using AI to help with their more top-of-funnel efforts, but that may soon change.

Marketing operations, analytics, and technology is one of the top areas of investment for marketers in the year ahead, according to Matter Communications. AI could take on a bigger role in measurement and analytics as marketers attempt to optimize their campaigns.

2. CX is one possible home for AI

Marketers will also use AI to enhance the customer experience (CX). Companies often use chatbots to answer routine or frequently asked customer service questions, freeing up human agents to tackle the larger issues. However, it’s unclear if those automations will actually result in more efficient customer service.

3. Forward momentum might be slow

More than half (54%) of executives worldwide feel their companies lack the expertise and talent to implement AI, according to a Boston Consulting Group and MIT Sloan Management Review survey. Other barriers include a lack of training and knowledge among staff members, buy-in from senior leaders, funding or resources, and awareness about AI.

These barriers are unlikely to change in the year ahead as budgets are tapped, margins are tighter than ever, and layoffs continue.

4. Privacy takes priority

For all its benefits, there is risk associated with AI technology, mainly cybersecurity and data privacy.

We believe that 2023 will be the year that the privacy panic sets in as marketers prepare for cookie deprecation and statewide privacy laws.

Marketers will need to figure out how AI fits into their privacy plans and ensure they have protections in place for consumers and their businesses alike.

5. There’s a long road ahead

The use of AI in marketing and advertising will become more widespread in the years to come, with a fifth (20%) of executives worldwide saying that it will be “critical” to their job functions by 2025, according to a MIT Technology Review Insights report sponsored by Databricks. But the amount of resources needed to implement AI solutions (both monetary and human) may mean that its ideal state is quite a few years away.

Don’t wander AImlessly: AI has the potential to transform marketing, but until budgets and resources are freed up, it won’t be doing any heavy lifting.

As a consolation prize, here’s a haiku from ChatGPT:

Silent mind awake,

Thoughts beyond human control,

AI mind at work.

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.