2019 will be a breakthrough year for AI and machine learning in digital marketing in the UK, despite consumer scepticism, research by Acquia suggests.
82% of marketers in the UK say artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will play a part in their marketing strategy in the next 12 months as they look to improve the experiences they give customers.
This compares to 77% of marketers globally, suggesting that UK marketers are looking to adopt AI and ML more aggressively than their counterparts in other countries. Indeed, 42% of UK marketers said AI and ML will form a “big” part of their 2019 strategies.
But while marketers are looking forward to AI and ML improving experiences, the same can’t be said of consumers — only 48% of whom are looking forward to AI making interaction with brands better.
AI and ML have both been widely hyped as transformative technologies for all aspects of business — especially marketing. Yet the scepticism of using these technologies per the research responses highlights how consumers have been left underwhelmed with previous efforts of marketers integrating new tech to improve the customer experience.
Sylvia Jensen, VP of EMEA marketing at Acquia explains: “AI and ML will provide incredible opportunities for marketers as they continue to try and improve customer experiences with their brands. However, it is important that marketers understand the best use of these technologies.
“Consumers only become aware of technology and processes when they see it doesn’t work and the brand they are interacting with fails to offer a personalised experience. Therefore it is vital that marketers get to grips with how their martech stack works together throughout the buyer’s journey.
“Given the wide variety of AI and ML techniques available, marketers should focus on how it can solve specific challenges within the customer journey and make the overall experience better — and only deploying AI and ML where it will actually help them deliver the seamless experiences customers want. Adding technology for the sake of it and not doing it well is only likely to increase the gap between marketers and consumers with regards to that experience.”
The report findings used above are part of Acquia’s inaugural annual global report entitled Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report 2019, which assesses the state of customer experience. More than 5,000 consumers and 500 marketers across Australia, the UK, France, Germany and North America provided input for the report.