Study Shows That Marketers See Huge Potential in Artificial Intelligence, but Hindered by Customer Data Challenges
Successful Activation of Customer Data for Use in Artificial Intelligence Correlates with Increased Revenue Performance
Blueshift, the leader in AI-powered cross-channel marketing, announced the results of a study, “Activating Customer Data for AI Powered Marketing,” conducted by independent research company TechValidate. The study shows that AI is top of mind for marketers with over 80 percent of them using some AI techniques today and almost two out of three (64 percent) looking to expand use of AI in the next twelve months. However, the effectiveness of AI depends on the customer data used to drive the AI algorithms and almost all respondents (92 percent) are struggling to either access, unify or analyze their customer data, hindering the effectiveness of their AI-driven marketing campaigns.
– Survey of 200 marketing executives and practitioners from 198 companies reveals that artificial intelligence (AI) is top of mind for most marketers with 64% planning to increase their use of AI in the next 12 months.
– Eighty percent of marketers are using some AI techniques, but fewer than one in six is using advanced AI capabilities such as predictive affinities for segmentation or collaborative filtering for personalization.
– Marketers who control advanced access to data, bypassing IT, are two to three times more likely to deploy leading-edge AI techniques.
– Successful data activation and use of advanced AI techniques for marketing correlates with revenue success.
– However, 92% of marketers still struggle with access, unification or analysis of their customer data, hindering their AI efforts.
The use of AI in marketing remains rudimentary
Though more than 80 percent of marketers are using some form of AI, few have deployed advanced capabilities. Today’s AI use is largely focused on audience expansion and targeting using techniques like “lookalike expansion” — finding new audiences by targeting those with traits similar to existing audiences — on the large advertising networks. Only six percent of all respondents were using collaborative filtering (automated predictions about user interests) and predictive modeling techniques (forecasting outcomes) and only 16 percent used advanced segmentation technologies like predictive affinities on their own data to market more effectively and precisely to customers.
Marketer control and advanced access to data unlocks AI potential
Marketers who control their own data access, without having to go through IT, also activate and use more of their own data. Those who had such access and control were 60 percent more likely to be using a majority of their customer data in their AI-driven campaigns. These marketers were also two to three times more likely to use advanced AI techniques like collaborative filtering and predictive modeling. And companies in which marketers activate and use more than 75 percent of their customer data are 40 percent more likely to exceed revenue targets than those that had not.
Most marketers are still struggling with their customer data
Effectively using a company’s own customer data (first-party data) for AI-driven marketing campaigns is perhaps the biggest hurdle facing marketers. Almost all respondents (92 percent) in the study identified one or more of three factors — access, unification, or analysis — as a major challenge, resulting in a majority of marketers using less than 50 percent of their own customer data.
“This study was illuminating in many respects. While it showed that marketers are extremely interested in expanding their use of AI to increase their marketing performance, it also illustrated the degree to which marketers are missing the potential of using their own customer data to fulfill those aspirations.” He added, “Our advice to all marketers is to focus on the permission-based customer data they already have and put that data to work using AI,” said Vijay Chittoor, co-founder & CEO of Blueshift.