- Eighteen percent of B2B marketers and sales professionals are currently using artificial intelligence, with 66% planning, evaluating or implementing an AI system, and 84% expect to see value from their implementations within a year or less, according to a new survey by account-based marketing firm Demandbase.
- Among those using AI, 40% say the technology is a major investment to achieve better sales and marketing performance, and nearly one-third say it is "revolutionizing" marketing and sales. Sixty-nine percent report having a data scientist on their marketing team.
- The top priorities for AI investments, noted in the study, include identifying the right individuals or accounts to target (64%), improving reach and efficiency for digital advertising (54%) and capturing "intent signals" (46%). Marketers expect higher lead quality from AI, according to 67%, and 56% see benefit from the technology as better engagement with customers and prospects and 52% better understanding of buyer intent.
The Demandbase report underscores marketers' strong interest in AI and reveals that many have high expectations from the technology when it comes to marketing and sales. Marketers are also making significant investments in the technology, with nearly half of the survey respondents saying AI is the most or one of the most important investments for boosting B2B sales and marketing performance, and nearly 70% have at least one data scientist on their team.
The survey's findings align with previous research on AI in the B2B space, where 53% said the technology would help boost their marketing effectiveness, according to EverString and Heinz Marketing. Marketers also see AI as offering better analysis of marketing campaigns, helping deliver more personalization and customization, and identifying prospective customers, market trends and opportunities.
Consumer brands are also embracing AI for its ability to provide customer service and offer interactive, personalized experiences to consumers. For example, Emirates Vacations added AI-powered chatbots to display ads that answered users' questions about travel. A 30-day test of the campaign delivered an 87% engagement lift compared to average click-through ads. As AI technology becomes more user-friendly and delivers on the high demands placed on it, more marketers will likely add it to their marketing strategies.
AI is still new, however, and the Demandbase survey revealed that the biggest barriers for implementing AI strategies are cost and budget constraints, lack of skills or experienced teams and being unsure of how to start. The report found that 40% are not aware of or taking full advantage of current AI capabilities in their advertising, marketing and sales functions.