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Why Only 3.8% of businesses use AI


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a buzzword for quite some time now, and it's no secret that many industries have embraced this technology to improve their processes and products.

Only 3.8% of businesses reported using AI to produce goods and services, according to the most recent Business Trends and Outlook Survey (BTOS) but it is more widely used in certain industries such as information and tech sectors.


If marketers aren't taking advantage of AI today in 2023 to 2024, here are some of my hypotheses as to why AI is not adopted by marketers.

Cost of investing in AI

Many businesses hesitate to invest in new technology, considering it a high-risk investment. The cost of implementing AI technology varies depending on several factors such as the size of the business, specific applications, and difficulties associated with integrating AI.

Also, there are so many tools proliferating across the internet, and the cost of adding a few tools could blow up. Some businesses may not have the budget to invest in AI, especially smaller companies or startups.

However, it's essential to understand that AI technology has the potential to save businesses money in the long run. By automating processes and improving efficiency, businesses can cut costs and increase profits. It's a matter of finding the right tools and understanding how they can benefit your business.

Marketer's mindset issue to adopt AI

For marketers to adopt new technology in their day-to-day workflow, it requires a lot of commitment for marketers to commit and invest their time and money.

Adopting AI requires marketers to challenge the existing way they work by applying AI in that process and provide equivalent or better results in less time. Otherwise, it is hard to justify the ROI of investing in AI.

Moreover, some marketers may also have a fear of being replaced by AI, leading to resistance to adopting it. However, instead of viewing AI as a threat, marketers should see it as an opportunity to enhance their skills and capabilities. To me, this is the lamest reason for not using AI.

Marketers should also keep in mind that by incorporating AI technology, depending on the task they use AI for, they can focus on more strategic and creative tasks, rather than spending time on repetitive and mundane tasks. This shift can lead to job satisfaction and growth opportunities for marketers.

Quality of the output from AI

It is not surprising to find the quality of the output from ChatGPT, Bard, or equivalent tools to be suboptimal. Once you have such experience, I could see how a busy marketer would hesitate to further unlike something fully functional is available.

There are times when you'll have to get good inputs into the prompts right to achieve good outputs. Some marketers would find that just doing things would generate a similar result in a shorter amount of time without AI.

However, it is essential to remember that AI tools are constantly evolving and improving. As more data is fed into these systems, the quality of the output will continue to improve. With proper training and inputs, AI can provide accurate and valuable insights for marketers.

In addition, using AI for tasks like market research and audience segmentation can also lead to more targeted and effective marketing campaigns. AI can analyze vast amounts of data and identify patterns and trends that humans may not be able to see, leading to more precise targeting and messaging.

In other words, you can use AI to aid a segment of your workflow, research, hypothesis building, etc. You don't have to adopt AI with the assumption that it has to complete the entire work for you. That said, if you can adopt AI in a few segments of your work that drastically improves efficiency and quality of your work output.

Ethics and security concerns on AI

Honestly, I don't think marketers care about ethics or security since 10 to 13% of businesses in the technology or professional service sector are already using AI. If anything, it would be the company that will put a break on using AI due to security or ethics concerns, and employees who want to use AI just are put on hold.

However, this mindset is changing as AI continues to permeate various industries and become more widespread. As with any technology, there are ethical considerations that must be taken into account when using AI in marketing.

For those who take this issue seriously, it is understandable given that the trained data set could be biased, leading to discrimination or unfair targeting. For example, if the data set used to train an AI for a marketing campaign is predominantly from a certain demographic group, it could lead to the exclusion of other groups in the targeting process.

Lack of awareness about AI's potential and value

Many business owners and senior executives are unaware of AI's potential value. They may hear a buzz about AI's characteristics, but may not understand the technology's capabilities. This lack of understanding can lead to an unwillingness to begin AI initiatives despite the technology's potential benefits.

This is not surprising for general marketers out there. The majority of the businesses and marketers I talk to aren't fully aware of AI's capability and potential that it could already help them be effective in their jobs.

In summary

Businesses and marketers must understand why only 3.8% of businesses use AI to produce goods and services. Although there are obstacles for businesses to move forward, data quality and cost, that doesn't mean they shouldn't embrace AI.

As industries continue to adapt to the technological era, this percentage will surely increase. Therefore, if you want to stay ahead of the game, you must be aware of the latest AI trends and see how to integrate them into your business processes effectively.

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Marketing Strategy

Kris Twitter

As a data journalist, I enjoy curating and analyzing marketing trends, and data. The things that fascinate me the most are the transforming business landscape due to evolving marketing technologies.