While it has only been publicly available for less than six months, the generative artificial intelligence (GAI) platform ChatGPT has quickly gained momentum among U.S. business users, with more than 80% of marketers reporting they have experimented with the technology. That's according to the "AI & Composable Marketing Software Survey" conducted by Sitecore®, a global leader in end-to-end digital experience software, which also found that many marketers are reallocating budgets away from planned metaverse investments toward GAI.
ChatGPT is a state-of-the-art language model that uses machine learning to generate text that sounds like a human wrote it. Sitecore found that three in four marketers are considering or currently investing in AI to support marketing and CX, with 78% stating their belief that GAI will get them closer to their desired CX through greater personalization (75%) and the ability to get a deeper understanding of customer needs (74%).
"The recent rate of innovation in marketing technology has been truly remarkable," said Dave O'Flanagan, chief product officer of Sitecore. "Rather than becoming overwhelmed and exhausted by these advancements, however, we've found marketers to be bold and experimental in embracing technologies like ChatGPT. Unlike other platforms that have been challenging to implement, generative AI shows promise in not only being relatively easy to integrate into composable software offerings and wider martech stacks, but also quick to have a measurable impact on marketing campaigns."
GAI platforms like ChatGPT have quickly eclipsed other recent technologies heralded as the next big thing for marketers. Last year, the metaverse had marketers scrambling to stake a claim in the virtual world. Today, however, it appears to be losing momentum. Sitecore's 2022 Perceptions of the Metaverse report found that more than half (56%) of marketers had invested in "metaverse-like technologies." This recent survey found metaverse projects have fallen behind AI (79%) and digital experience software (56%) as a top priority, with just more than a third (36%) of respondents ranking it as the most important. Additionally, two in five (38%) reported reallocating budget from metaverse projects to support the deployment of AI.
Other findings from the survey include the following:
- Benefits to Customers: Customer service is considered the top function that will benefit most from AI assistance (24%), with improved customer loyalty among the primary objectives of AI deployments. To fund these deployments, two in five (39%) respondents said they planned to invest up to 21-40% of the following year's budget into AI programs.
- Marketers Quick to Pivot: While martech trends have flooded marketing teams in recent years, nine in ten remain excited about learning about – and implementing – new technologies (88%). However, quickly pivoting among new technologies has resulted in budgetary headaches for three-quarters of all marketers (76%), who admit to continually shifting budgets to accommodate investments in new martech functionality.
- Brands March Forward – Cautiously: While 77% of marketers said they were confident their martech stack was equipped to leverage GAI, concerns remain. Chief among them were the cost of implementation (45%), data privacy vulnerabilities (41%) and required system modernization (26%).
The survey was designed to determine marketers' interest in GAI, the opportunities for GAI to disrupt current CX strategies and what backend technology would be needed for a successful GAI deployment. More than 400 brand marketers took the survey online between March 17-30, 2023. For the full survey results, click here.
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