Marketers are eager to leverage generative AI but lack the understanding to do so

Almost three quarters of marketers plan to incorporate generative AI into their martech stacks but 59% fear they lack the knowledge to fully capitalise on the tech’s potential.

With 72% to prioritise investment in the technology over the next 12 months, UK marketers are eager to embrace generative AI, but many fear they don’t have the knowledge to fully leverage the opportunities it presents.

A study from Sitecore has revealed more than half (59%) of UK marketers don’t feel ready to use generative AI to its full capacity, citing a lack of know-how. This figure comes despite 63% having already experimented with the tech and 93% believing it will make them better marketers.

Almost two-thirds of those surveyed hope additional investment into generative AI will help develop a deeper understanding of it can be best used for marketing, as 67% of respondents plan on putting up to 30% of their marketing budgets towards the tech.

Continued investment unwise or the only path forward?

However, this investment could pose dangers for companies with marketers who aren’t digitally savvy enough to incorporate generative AI into their martech stacks.

In 2021, the Chartered Institute of Marketing pointed to a stagnation in digital skills among marketers. Looking at this today, two-out-of-five (42%) marketers surveyed by Sitecore still feel they lack technical skills.

Despite this potential lack of understanding, 92% of marketers believe AI will actually help plug skills gaps within businesses and 70% predict it will lead to the creation of new jobs. Interestingly, the data found more than nine-in-ten (93%) marketers view AI as a tool for making them both a better and more competitive marketer.

Dave O’Flanagan, Chief Product Officer of Sitecore, said: “Rather than becoming overwhelmed and exhausted by these advancements, we’ve found marketers to be bold and experimental in embracing technologies like ChatGPT.

“Unlike other tools that have been tough to implement, generative AI shows promise in not only being relatively easy to incorporate into composable martech stacks but also quick to have a measurable impact on marketing campaigns.”

Generative AI > Metaverse

Generative AI tools like Bard and ChatGPT have quickly captured and held the interest of marketers, surpassing competing trends from the past 12 months like metaverse. According to Sitecore, in 2022, (56%) of marketers had invested in “metaverse-like technologies” but these projects have now fallen behind AI (72%) and digital experience software (68%) as a top priority, with just less than a quarter (24%) of respondents ranking it as the most important. Additionally, a third (33%) reported reallocating budget from metaverse projects to support the deployment of AI.

With generative AI top of mind for marketers, it remains to be seen exactly how their general lack of understanding surrounding the technology will be rectified, but perhaps continued investment and a ‘trial and error’ approach will best help them learn while preventing their organisations from falling behind the more digitally-equipped competition.