Six out of ten marketing leaders used artificial intelligence (AI) in their activities over the last year, study says

Despite the recent emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) in the marketing landscape, a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Survey conducted by Duke University with the support of Deloitte reveals that 60% of respondents, primarily marketing leaders, have already integrated AI into their strategies over the past year. The survey indicates that the adoption of AI has proven effective, with a 6% improvement in sales productivity, a 7% boost in customer satisfaction, and a 7% reduction in marketing overhead costs.

Key applications of AI in marketing include content personalization (53%) and content creation (49%), with a focus on optimizing digital marketing content and timing (37%) and programmatic advertising and media buying (35%). Notably, AI tools are prominently utilized for content creation in areas such as blogs (65%), website content (62%), and social media (55%).

Ruxandra Bandila, Marketing and Business Development Director at Deloitte Romania, highlights that while AI in marketing is still in its early stages, it has already shown positive outcomes. AI addresses challenges such as content management across multiple channels, creating a seamless and personalized brand experience, and ensuring regulatory compliance. Bandila emphasizes that AI serves as an enabler, allowing marketing teams to work more efficiently, understand customers better, and develop skills that complement technological benefits.

Post-pandemic, companies are making progress in their digital marketing transformation, with 24% of marketers indicating full integration of digital investments compared to 14% the previous year. Additionally, 13% of respondents note that organizations use digital investments to drive and evaluate marketing decisions, a significant increase from 7% the previous year.

In terms of spending, the report indicates modest increases, with mobile spending rising by 2% to reach 16% of the marketing budget. Social media spending accounts for 16% of the budget and is expected to remain flat in the next 12 months, with a projected 3% increase over the next five years. However, challenges persist, such as difficulty tracking customer journeys (40%) and weak links between mobile strategies and broader marketing plans (38%).

Looking ahead, the survey identifies the top priorities for future marketing hires, emphasizing the ability to adapt rapidly to emerging priorities, creativity and innovation skills, and navigating ambiguity. Interestingly, financial acumen is regarded as the least prioritized skill. Additionally, organizations are increasingly turning to outsourcing, with marketers currently outsourcing 20% of their activities, a percentage predicted to rise by 5 points in the coming year.

AIartificial intelligencechief marketing officerdeloittemarketing leaderssalesSurvey
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