Study Asks Marketers Across Retail, CPG, Financial Services, Telecoms and Others About Their Use of AI, Shifting Relationships with Agencies, and Progress Delivering Personalized Interactions
New York, NY (May 08, 2019) – Albert Technologies (LSE AIM: ALB.L), creators of Albert, the world’s first autonomous artificial intelligence platform for digital marketers, today released the findings of a new study conducted by Forrester Consulting, “Harnessing AI’s Potential.” The company commissioned the study as a follow-up to its 2016 research, which gauged marketers’ early perceptions of artificial intelligence. The 2019 research, which looks at the current state of AI in marketing and the role technology is playing in personalized marketing efforts, is available in full here.
The study reveals that 88% of marketers today have adopted—or are in the planning stages of adopting—artificial intelligence, and that the benefits vary according to both the type of AI they have adopted and their application of AI in their marketing programs.
Of those that have adopted an AI-driven marketing solution, 74% of respondents reported using AI-assisted technology, which surfaces insights for marketers to consider during manual decision making. Only 26% of marketers reported using autonomous AI, which can act on its own insights and work collaboratively with marketers.
Though adoption of AI has increased from 43% in 2016 to 88% in 2019, marketers using AI are still experiencing similar complexities in their processes and marketing technology stacks as they were before AI adoption. Forrester concluded that this was due in large part to their narrow applications of artificial intelligence and its use in an assistive capacity, rather than a collaborative one.
This usage was reflected in respondents’ limited perspective of how AI can be applied to broader marketing operations, beyond supporting tactical campaign tasks. Only 39% believe that AI can play a role in creative development, while just 34% believe it can provide insights into other business functions. Only 22% realize it can serve both needs.
Other findings from the study include:
Marketers are using AI like previous generations of technology. When respondents were asked what impact martech stack complexity has had on their organization, 47% reported it is to blame for their customer engagement tactics not being as relevant as they should be. Another 37% say it’s the reason customer engagement is not delivered in the optimal channel. Furthermore, over a third say it contributes to a lack of flexibility in their ability to innovate and causes campaign development and execution to take longer than it should. This is to be expected when AI tools are primarily run manually by humans, which is the case among the majority of respondents.
Marketers’ relationships with agencies are shifting, as they move toward in-housing. When asked about marketers’ relationships with their digital media and creative agencies, 42% of respondents reported exploring the potential of taking their digital media and creative in house and 24% already intend to do so. Thirty-five (35%) are currently running some part of their digital ad campaigns internally but struggle with scaling those efforts due to limited resources. Twenty-one (21%) have an internal agency but struggle to find, retain and compete for talent to run it.
Marketers don’t feel their technologies support their top objectives well. While 86% of respondents say the success of their marketing programs depends on the ability to deliver personalized marketing across channels, devices and customer lifecycle stages, only 50% or less say they feel “very well supported” by their current technology in meeting their top objectives, including:
Marketers are wasting money and struggling with talent as they try to keep up with shifts in technology and the rapid pace of interactions. Asked about the biggest marketing challenges their organizations were facing today, respondents answered: Wasted marketing spend (30%), inability to operate quickly enough (30%); hiring, retaining and organizing staff (28%), duplication of technology/vendors (28%), lack of integration among technologies (26%), and difficulty translating insights into actionable outcomes (26%).
The survey fielding began in December 2018 and was completed in January 2019. Forrester Consulting surveyed 156 director-level and above marketing executives, decision-makers and decision influencers directly from marketing/advertising (47%), ecommerce (31%) and customer intelligence (22%) roles. Respondents work in Retail (19%), CPG/Food & Beverage (21%), Financial Services (19%), Telecommunications (12%), Software (8%), Travel & Hospitality (6%), Consumer Services (6%), Media and/or leisure (6%) and Electronics (5%).
To download the complete study, visit: https://albert.ai/insight/forrester-report-how-to-harness-ai-potential/
Albert, created by Albert Technologies, LTD. (AIM: ALB.L) is the world’s first and only autonomous artificial intelligence platform for digital marketers. Albert is the self-learning digital marketing ally for some of the world’s leading brands: a thinker, a doer, and a support system; automating, orchestrating and evolving campaigns across search, social and programmatic channels. Always aware of the entire landscape, Albert analyzes the previously unanalyzable, taking purposeful action and flexibly optimizing against business goals. Brands such as Harley Davidson, Natori, Cosabella and Dole Asia partner with Albert to drive better allocation of budget against channels, audiences and tactics. For more information visit albert.ai.
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