UK marketers unanimously agree that AI can give them a competitive advantage, but almost half (47%) still aren’t planning on setting aside a dedicated marketing budget for the technology, according to a new poll from Oliver, the in-housing and marketing ecosystem specialist.
UK marketers and AI
The results also reveal the same proportion of respondents (47%) are currently not actively testing generative AI; and that almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents feel that they lack the expertise within their organisation to utilise AI strategically and effectively.
This is compounded by copyright and security concerns, which 84% of respondents identified as holding them back from a faster rollout of generative AI capabilities.
Three-quarters said they were being held back by the unclear regulatory aspects.
The findings, taken from a poll of UK clients across Oliver’s extensive portfolio, investigated how UK marketing leaders are using AI, plan to use AI, and what’s holding them back from making the most of the most disruptive and beneficial technologies to impact every aspect of business in recent times.
Simon Martin, founder and chief executive of Oliver, said: “We’re seeing extraordinary results and positive reaction from brands to all the pilots and engagements that Oliver is deploying with group Gen AI partner Pencil – but it’s understandable that there are parallel still-drag factors as organisations lean in fully to this game-changing technology.
“AI is disrupting the way all brands and their partners are working, and while it is challenging, disruption can also be hugely beneficial with expert support.”
Oliver is putting AI at heart of its own business with a suite that encompasses Pencil Pro, an enterprise-level generative AI product, specifically created to meet the needs of global brands including Pencil Pro launch partners Unilever and Bayer.
Despite these concerns, UK marketers do see generative AI as key to finding efficiency gains across their organisations.
Nine in ten (89%) marketers associate it with enhancing operational procedures and efficiency, while 74% consider improvements in process efficiency as its main success criteria.
When asked which areas of their marketing operations they saw as most likely to face disruption from AI, 89% of respondents identified content production, and 47% identified social management.
Conversely, just 36% of respondents identified reporting and insights as the most likely areas to face disruption.
“Our clients’ concerns are an accurate mirror of what UK marketers across the board are facing”, said Martin.
“While they unanimously understand the potential benefits of AI, the bigger picture is that the speed of change with the technology is raising very real issues on whether they have the expertise to fully capitalise on it.
“Staying ahead of the AI curve will be invaluable in helping to embed it effectively into businesses’ marketing ecosystems.”
The UK poll will be followed by a wider-ranging global survey to gain further insight into client pain points around the use of emerging technologies including AI.