Half of Marketing Pros Consider Artificial Intelligence an Overhyped Buzzword: Resulticks Research

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Resulticks Research Also Shows Marketers Feel ‘Exhausted’ By Big Data, But ‘Energized’ By Personalization And Real-Time Marketing

Almost half of marketers think artificial intelligence is an overhyped industry buzzword, and 40 percent feel skeptical when they see or hear the term, according to research released today by Resulticks, a real-time marketing cloud platform.

The findings, outlined in the ‘Marketing Flab to Fab‘ study, show that 47 percent of marketers believe AI is more fantasy than reality — making it one of the most overhyped industry buzzwords. Resulticks surveyed more than 300 marketers on their perceptions of technology like AI, big data, personalization, real-time marketing and omnichannel.

While marketers have grown weary of the hype around many industry buzzwords, AI stands out because the technology still feels more visionary than practical. Almost half of marketers have no plans to implement artificial intelligence (42 percent) or have already given up on the concept (6 percent), a sign of fatigue around the concept.

Redicka Subrammaniam
Redicka Subrammaniam

“All eyes are on AI these days. With so much industry attention and so little to show for it, marketers have already grown weary of the term. Software vendors have to up their game and give marketers the equipment they need to get into shape on AI,” Redickaa Subramanian, CEO and Co-founder, Resulticks said.

When it comes to other industry buzzwords, a third of marketers (34 percent) feel ‘exhausted’ by big data, and one in five never want to hear the term again. In contrast, 42 percent of marketers feel “optimistic” about personalization and 34 percent feel ‘energized’ by real-time marketing. Marketers feel fairly ambivalent about omnichannel, and only 9 percent use the term to describe their current channel strategy.

Even though marketers consider many industry buzzwords to be overhyped, more than a quarter use the terms frequently themselves. But marketing software vendors are even greater offenders; almost half of marketers (46 percent) say software companies frequently use industry buzzwords — and 20 percent of marketers believe that these companies don’t know what they’re talking about when they do so.

“Marketers are ready to throw in the towel on many of these buzzwords. They don’t need the miracle diet cures promised by many vendors today. They need a full-blown marketing fitness regimen that will help them achieve the next level of marketing performance,” Subramanian said.

Additional findings from the report include: 

  • Sixty-one percent of marketers say personalization is a priority for their company, followed by real-time marketing (47 percent). Big data (27 percent), omnichannel (20 percent) and AI (12 percent) land much lower on the priority list.
  • Similarly, 60 percent of marketers have fully or partially implemented personalization, while about half have done so for real-time marketing (50 percent) and big data (49 percent). Only 35 percent of marketers have fully or partially implemented omnichannel.
  • Vendors rank best at delivering on all their promises for personalization (28 percent), while they overpromise and under-deliver most often on AI (43 percent) and omnichannel (32 percent).

The Resulticks Marketing Flab to Fab study is based on a survey of 318 U.S. marketers with the titles of manager and above. The survey was conducted online September 1 through 10, 2017, and respondents were limited to professionals who currently work in the marketing department of a company or organization.

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