Quick take: New research reveals that marketers estimate generative AI will save them over five hours of work per week – the equivalent of over a month per year*. Yet, while they see the technology as transformative to their role, marketers also note the need for human oversight, trusted customer data, and training as critical to successfully use it.
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Salesforce surveyed over 1,000 marketers as part of its Generative AI Snapshot Series and found that 51% are currently using** generative AI. An additional 22% plan to use it very soon, totaling nearly three-quarters of marketers.
However, over a third (39%) also say they don’t know how to safely use generative AI. They raise concerns about its accuracy and report a need for human oversight, as well as proper training and trusted customer data, to leverage the technology effectively at work.
From personalization to productivity — marketers say generative AI is transforming their role
Marketers using generative AI are already targeting the basics, like content creation (76%) and writing copy (76%). But many see a wholesale overhaul of their work on the horizon, with 53% saying generative AI is a ‘game changer.’ Respondents cite reasons for this that include its ability to transform the way they analyze data, personalize messaging content, build marketing campaigns, and build/optimize SEO strategy.
With generative AI, marketers also say they expect to save time and be able to focus on more strategic work:
- 71% say generative AI will eliminate busy work.
- 71% say generative AI will allow them to focus on more strategic work.
- In fact, they estimate generative AI will save them over five hours per week – the equivalent of over a month per year* at work.
Marketers report accuracy and quality as top concerns — say trusted customer data and human oversight are required to use generative AI successfully at work
Accuracy and quality depend on data. However, 67% of marketers say their company’s data is not properly set up for generative AI — despite a similar number (63%) saying trusted customer data is important for the successful use of generative AI at work.
This is a sentiment echoed by experts. According to Clara Shih, Salesforce’s CEO of AI, “Data is fuel for AI — without high-quality, trusted data, it becomes ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ AI pulling from data sources that are irrelevant, unrepresentative, or incomplete, can create bias, hallucinations, and toxic outputs.”
Data is fuel for AI — without high-quality, trusted data, it becomes ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ AI pulling from data sources that are irrelevant, unrepresentative, or incomplete can create bias, hallucinations, and toxic outputs.Clara shih, Salesforce’s CEO of AI
Many (71%) marketers also believe generative AI’s lack of human creativity and contextual knowledge is a potential barrier to successfully using generative AI in the workplace. As a result, 66% percent of marketers say human oversight is needed to successfully use generative AI in their role.
Marketers need training to realize the potential of generative AI
While marketers are excited about the opportunities of generative AI to transform their work, many feel unprepared to take full advantage of it, with 43% saying they don’t know how to get the most value out of the technology.
And while 54% of marketers believe generative AI training programs are important for them to successfully use generative AI in their role, 70% say their employer does not yet provide generative AI training.
“Generative AI has the potential to transform how marketers connect with their customers by powering more personalized, automated, and effective campaigns — quickly and at scale,” said Stephen Hammond, EVP and GM, Marketing Cloud at Salesforce. “But as companies look to adopt the technology, they need to unify their first-party data and leverage trusted AI innovations to ensure safety and accuracy.”
- Tune into Connections on Salesforce+ to learn more about the future of generative AI for marketing and commerce
- Learn about Salesforce’s new Marketing GPT product here
- Learn AI skills on Trailhead
- Read senior IT leaders’ perspectives on generative AI for their business
Salesforce conducted a generative AI survey in partnership with YouGov May 18 – 25, 2023. It included over 4,135 full-time employees across sales, service, marketing, and commerce. The data above reflects responses from 1,029 full-time marketers representing companies of a variety of sizes and sectors in the United States, UK, and Australia. The survey took place online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US, UK, and Australian full-time employees (aged 18+).
*(5 hours per week on average saved using ‘generative AI’ x 52 weeks in one year) / 8-hour working day = 32.5 days or over a month per year saved on average
**have leveraged generative AI into their workflows or are experimenting with it at work.