Annual Survey Finds Seven in Ten Marketing Leaders Plan to Leverage Artificial Intelligence to Take the Guesswork out of Every Creative Touchpoint

Persado’s 2021 State of AI and Creativity Survey highlights the growing importance of technology to generate and deliver more predictive, personalized creative that can be directly attributed to business outcomes

Persado, the leading AI content generation and decisioning platform that unlocks the value of the right words at every customer interaction, today announced the results of a first-of-its kind survey: 2021 State of AI and Creativity. More than 400 chief marketing officers and senior marketing leaders were asked to provide input on their company’s readiness, and on best practices for applying AI to an area of business that receives significant time, energy, and investment: the creative process.

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“This is an enormous opportunity for marketing leaders, and will be essential for the future of creative success.”

The survey found a growing trend among senior marketing leaders to leverage AI and machine learning in new ways to deliver more effective messages to prospects and customers. Key findings of the survey from U.S. respondents include:

  • Nearly half of respondents are using AI to boost their marketing performance.
  • 67% of marketers report direct revenue impact of between 10% and 70% from their use of AI — the only function to consistently see high results.
  • 73% of leaders are planning to apply AI to parts of the creative process and 87% want to see the content and creative process be more accountable and data-driven.

“Marketers have been leveraging technology to gain insights and improve performance across their portfolios for many years – applying AI to targeting and segmentation, marketing mix optimization, promotions and discounts, and dynamic pricing,” says Amy Heidersbach, Chief Marketing Officer of Persado. “But how to optimize creative at scale has largely remained a blind spot for data-driven, digital-first companies. Now, it’s clear that marketing leaders are turning their attention toward creative to unlock new sources of value – replacing human-only guesswork with human-plus-machine certainty.”

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The survey also revealed marked differences in the scale and focus of AI adoption by industry. Key findings of the survey from global respondents include:

  • Nearly three in four financial services respondents have adopted AI for marketing, yet most have focused their investments on analytics.
  • Retail marketers are among the least likely to have invested in AI, but the most likely to want advanced techniques to improve their creative outputs.

“The area of AI and data-driven creative are so critical to marketing success and it’s time to ask ourselves as marketing leaders how we can make our creative output, all of our messaging, and the way we convey our brand purpose way, way better,” says Jim Stengel, founder and CEO of the Stengel Group. “This is an enormous opportunity for marketing leaders, and will be essential for the future of creative success.”

As organizations continue to embrace the data-centric, digital-first environment that was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, marketers are looking to advanced technologies like AI to drive greater impact.

Forrester recently pointed to this shift in its March report, Intelligent Creativity Energizes Marketing Productivity, “The intuition-driven approach to creativity has remained unchanged for nearly a century, yet the universe of marketing is continuously unfolding.”

The report goes on to say, “Every brand should be asking itself how it can reinvent the creative process. Combining technology accuracy with human intuition breathes new life into the creative process, its practitioners, and its outcomes.”

The survey includes responses from 412 marketing leaders, 63% of which were C-level executives or VPs. It was fielded in France, Italy, the U.K., and the U.S., across eight industries.

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