Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Marketers are prioritising AI, but lack necessary resources

UK marketers are prioritising AI spending over the next 12 months, but have concerns over their current tech stacks and the lack of relevant technical skills within their teams to leverage generative AI, according to research from Sitecore.

The survey of 411 brand marketers found that 72% are prioritising spending on AI, with 67% putting up to 30% of their marketing budgets toward the technology. However, 45% of marketers don’t believe their marketing technology is currently equipped to leverage AI, and 42% see their teams as lacking technical skills.

To help to alleviate these concerns, 70% of brand marketers are planning to move toward more composable software solutions. And, interestingly, 92% think that AI will plug the skills gaps in their businesses, while 70% see the technology leading to new jobs being created.

Furthermore, despite these concerns, 63% of marketers are already experimenting with AI and exploring ways of utilising it in their long-term strategy, with just 32% of marketers feeling it’s too soon to invest in generative AI.

“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, we’ve found marketers to be bold and experimental in embracing technologies like ChatGPT. Unlike other tools that have been tough to implement, generative AI shows promise in not only being relatively easy to incorporate into composable martech stacks but also quick to have a measurable impact on marketing campaigns.”

Notably, 75% believe AI will give them the opportunity to get closer to customers, with 69% saying it will enable them to create more personalised content; 68% seeing it as enabling them to better understand customer needs; and 60% seeing AI as giving them the opportunity to prove a steady stream of relevant content. Overall, marketers view AI as being able to make them a better marketer (93%) and more competitive (91%).

In a twist that everybody could see coming, the survey also found that metaverse projects had fallen well behind AI (72%) and digital experience software (68%) as top priorities for marketers. In fact, the metaverse is only seen as one of the top three most important martech investments for 24% of marketers, and 33% of marketers report reallocating budgets from metaverse projects to AI.