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Marketers Struggle to Integrate AI into Their Workflow

AI still faces several barriers to entry

Some marketers feel unprepared to use artificial intelligence (AI), and the biggest obstacle preventing them from adopting the technology is integrating it into their everyday workflow.

In a BrightEdge survey of 500 content, digital and search marketers worldwide in February, nearly a third of respondents said that applying AI in their current role was the strongest barrier to adoption. Other obstacles included the fact that AI lacks a standard definition in the marketing industry, and limited budgets for exploring emerging technologies.

At the moment, AI’s use cases in marketing remain narrow. AI is used in recommendation engines, content marketing and audience segmenting, but other tools—like chatbots—haven’t caught on. Since AI is only being used at scale for a few specific things in the marketing industry, it’s difficult to merge the technology into the workflow of marketers who don’t focus on topics like content recommendation or audience segmentation.

The promise of AI is often hinged on automation freeing up employees to spend more time on complicated tasks. While respondents in the BrightEdge survey indicated that one of the main benefits of AI is more productivity and time savings, the top advantage cited was that it provides a better understanding of the customer.

AI has the potential to revolutionize marketing functions such as ad buying. But if it is to do so, the barriers to entry will have to be addressed. Several emerging technologies, including AI, have low adoption rates. In a PointSource survey of 679 senior-level decision-makers in the US released in March, only about a third of respondents said they had used an AI vendor.