A recent survey of over 1,350 business professionals in the United States, including marketers, found that 63% of marketers who are not already using generative AI have no plans to start. This hesitation is rooted in several concerns and fears surrounding the adoption of AI in marketing. In this article, we will explore marketers’ top five concerns about AI and provide expert tips on how leadership can address these apprehensions.
Top concerns for using AI in marketing
Threat to Jobs: One of the primary concerns among marketers is the perceived threat of AI to their jobs. However, the survey results suggest that this fear may be overstated. Marketers who use generative AI believe it can enhance marketing content’s efficiency (77%) and quality (79%). Conversely, leadership sees AI as a tool that makes employees more productive (30%) and effective (32%). 66% of business leaders have hired new employees specifically to assist with leveraging AI and automation tools. To address this concern, leadership must reframe the narrative and emphasise that AI is meant to empower, not replace, marketing professionals.
Quality and Relevancy: The second major concern revolves around the quality and relevancy of AI-generated content. About 30% of marketers believe that content created using generative AI is inferior to content produced by humans, and 28% find AI-generated content occasionally irrelevant to their goals. However, evidence suggests that AI can produce high-quality and relevant content, especially with strong prompts and experimentation. For instance, some experts recommend in-depth testing and experimentation to maximise AI’s potential.
Accuracy: Accuracy is paramount in marketing, and AI’s potential to generate inaccurate information is a significant worry. Only 23% of marketers are confident in the accuracy of information produced by generative AI, while 30% believe AI sometimes produces inaccurate information. Acknowledging that AI’s accuracy depends on its input and prompts is essential. Therefore, businesses can improve accuracy by learning to prompt AI more effectively.
Usefulness: Another concern is the perceived usefulness of AI tools in marketing. Thirty percent of marketers view generative AI as neither important nor unimportant, and only 27% consider it very important to their content marketing strategy. The subjective nature of AI’s usefulness is due to its relative youth, with experts recognising that AI is still in its early stages. To overcome this concern, businesses should identify where AI can be most beneficial and focus on areas where it can enhance productivity and effectiveness.
Over-Reliance: Many marketers are wary of becoming overly reliant on AI tools, fearing a loss of the human touch in marketing efforts. However, avoiding over-reliance should not deter businesses from using AI. Those most concerned about over-reliance are precisely the ones who should embrace AI. Balancing effectiveness and maintaining human interaction is possible with the right approach.
Tips for addressing AI fears
Now that we have identified the top concerns of marketers regarding AI in marketing let’s explore some tips from industry experts on how leadership can address these fears effectively:
Create Empowering Processes: Empowering processes that blend AI with the human touch can alleviate concerns about content quality. By carefully checking AI-generated content and ensuring it aligns with brand values, companies can maintain quality while benefiting from AI’s efficiency.
Stay in Control: Given AI’s early stage of development and concerns about data privacy, it is crucial to use data encryption and thorough vetting of AI platforms to protect sensitive client data. This approach helps maintain control over AI implementation.
Involve Teams in Decision-Making: Including teams in decisions about AI implementation fosters buy-in and ensures that concerns are heard and addressed. Brainstorming sessions and team contributions can lead to a more informed and collaborative approach to AI adoption.
Maintain Open Lines of Communication: Open communication channels allow team members to share use cases and tips related to AI’s effectiveness. This creates a learning environment where employees can support each other and seek solutions.
Test Tools: Testing AI tools in real-world scenarios allows employees to experience their benefits firsthand. Starting with basic automation and gradually moving to more complex tasks enables teams to build confidence in AI’s capabilities.
Reassure Employees: Building trust and addressing concerns should start with communication and reassurance from leadership. Establishing internal standards and guidelines for AI transparency, trust, security, and safety can create a sense of security among marketing teams.