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Lack of AI Usage Hindering Digital Marketing Efforts, Shows Study

Digital marketing

A lack of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) usage in digital marketing is causing a significant issue for marketers looking to deliver personalized experiences to customers, according to Gartner. In its new report, the analyst firm revealed that almost two-thirds (63%) of digital marketers are struggling with this issue.

One of the main problems is that digital marketing leaders are scaling their use of AI and ML to align with customer retention and acquisition goals rather than across the marketing function, as the survey revealed that only 17% are using AI/ML broadly across the marketing function. In reality however, the use of AI/ML technology is closely tied to personalization objectives for marketers. .In marketing organizations not currently leveraging AI/ML, trust remains a key inhibitor to more widespread adoption. Even among those piloting the technology, a whopping 75% of respondents worry about trusting the technology.Despite the challenges, Gartner says many digital marketers believe bringing automation, scale, and efficiency to marketing activities across channels is the greatest value of AI/ML tools. In fact, 84% of digital marketing leaders believe using AI/ML enhances the marketing function’s ability to deliver real-time, personalized experiences to customers.

Source: Gartner (2021)

“A comprehensive personalization strategy and roadmap can be deciding factors in the results marketers achieve from their personalization efforts, yet most marketing organizations lack an effective personalization strategy – let alone one that is explicitly linked to desired business and customer goals,” said Noah Elkin, vice president analyst in the Gartner for Marketers practice.
“They should focus on addressing longstanding personalization challenges by channeling their existing collection and use of customer data toward customer needs that align with business goals,” Elkin commented.
To address personalization challenges, Gartner says, digital marketing leaders focused on strategy and execution should consider the following:

  • Create a Personalization Road map: Develop an organizational framework that ties the deployment of emerging technologies to strategic digital marketing objectives. Factor in near-term costs and longer-term ROI projections as well as quantifiable impacts on the digital experience.
  • Leverage Existing Technologies First: Maximize what can be achieved with personalization by leveraging existing tools in conjunction with available data and content before committing to new technologies. Marketing organizations should use AI and ML tools to mature their efforts by driving greater relevance in marketing engagement and increasing influence over customer behavior.
  • Focus on Change Management: Approach the implementation of AI/ML technologies within a change management context, accounting for the impact they will bring to the organizational culture. Factor in staffing and training needs to build trust and bring the new technologies to life.

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