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Five Charts: How Marketers Use AI

Automated ad targeting is on the rise

Marketers’ uptake of artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to grow as more companies invest in the emerging technology.

Two of the most popular ways that marketers are applying AI are for ad targeting and audience segmentation. In a May 2018 survey of 400 digital advertising professionals worldwide conducted by Econsultancy and MediaMath, just one-fifth of respondents said that they don’t plan to use AI for audience targeting or audience segmentation. Nearly half of those polled already do.

Grouping together and reaching users has become a pragmatic way for marketers to apply AI. Cloud conglomerates like Nielsen, IBM and Salesforce have invested millions in AI products that automate the creation of custom audience segments for marketers.

AI also gives marketers additional insights about their customers.

In an April 2018 survey of 200 US marketers conducted by LoopMe and Sapio Research, one-third of respondents said that the most valued insight they get from AI is how their ads impact sales.

AI is also used for data analysis. In a January 2018 survey of 2,665 senior creative and design professionals worldwide conducted by Adobe and Econsultancy, data analysis was AI's most common use case among client-side and agency respondents.

AI-powered chatbots, however, haven’t caught on with most marketers.

In a December 2017 Freedman International and ClickZ survey of 500 marketers from the US and UK, just 7% of respondents said they currently use AI-powered chatbots. While another 27% reported that they’re looking into using chatbots, most of the marketers polled said their company was either not ready or didn’t have the budget to develop them.

For many marketers, the biggest obstacle to adopting more AI products is integrating the technology into their everyday workflow. In a BrightEdge survey of 500 content, digital and search marketers worldwide conducted in February 2018, nearly a third of respondents said that applying AI in their current role was the strongest barrier to adoption. Other survey respondents cited the fact that AI lacks a standard definition in the marketing industry.

Subscribe to the "Behind the Numbers" podcast on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher.

Senior Analyst Paul Briggs explains why Canada is one of the leading countries for artificial intelligence.

He explains some of the initiatives of the major tech companies, Canadian attitudes towards AI and what marketers are most excited about in this space.