The state of AI in marketing – A research by GetResponse

11 min
Updated:

Lately, there’s a phrase going around

AI won’t take your job, but someone using AI might.”

This idea has been turning heads, sparking both excitement and a bit of worry. 

It makes us think about a future where being good with technology could mean the difference between keeping up and falling behind. So, is it true that knowing how to use AI can give someone an upper hand, especially in areas like marketing?

To get a clearer picture, we’ve decided to dig deeper into this topic. We conducted an external research, reaching out to a diverse group of marketing professionals. This group included freelancers, solopreneurs, and marketers from the US and the UK, each with their own unique insights and experiences.

Our goal was simple: to find out how these professionals are bringing AI into their marketing game. What we discovered gives us a real glimpse into how AI is being used in the marketing world today.

Methodology

Pollfish operates through a network of mobile apps. This approach allows them to connect with people while they are using their favorite apps. Because participants don’t receive money for their answers, they’re more inclined to share their honest thoughts. 

Additionally, Pollfish employs sophisticated technology to ensure the responses we receive are authentic. This step is important for maintaining the integrity of our data, making it both clean and reliable.

The research is based on the responses of 2000 people based in the U.S. and U.K. working particularly in marketing, holding positions of in-house marketing managers, freelancers and affiliate marketing managers

This diversified response rate across different professional categories and company sizes provided us with a rich dataset.

AI adoption among marketers in 2024

Out of the total respondents, 43% confirmed that they are currently utilizing AI tools in their marketing strategies.

This significant percentage underscores a growing trend: the adoption of AI is not just a futuristic concept but a present reality for nearly half of the businesses surveyed.

These organizations are leveraging AI to analyze consumer behavior, automate repetitive tasks, personalize marketing efforts, and optimize their campaigns for better performance and ROI.

Conversely, almost 26% of the respondents indicated they are not using AI tools in their marketing processes. This group represents a segment of the market that remains untapped by AI technology, potentially due to barriers such as lack of knowledge, perceived complexity, or budget constraints. Addressing these barriers could unlock new opportunities for growth and efficiency for these businesses.

A small yet notable portion of the respondents (6%) were not familiar with AI.

This highlights an educational gap in the market, suggesting that a segment of professionals is still unaware of AI and its potential benefits. Bridging this knowledge gap could not only expand the adoption of AI but also stimulate innovation and competitiveness within industries.

Looking forward, 22% of respondents are planning to incorporate AI tools into their marketing processes in 2024. This forward-thinking group reflects a proactive stance towards embracing new technologies. 

Marketing challenges

In order to understand how AI can be leveraged for marketing activities, we first have to take a look at the challenges marketers face in their day-to-day work. When asked about the challenges they face in marketing, our respondents gave a number of examples. Here are the most common ones.

Time constraints

A significant portion of respondents – 41.5% to be exact – find themselves wrestling with time constraints, a bottleneck that often leads to rushed decisions and less-than-optimal campaign strategies. 

The planning and sign-off processes, including budgeting, strategy formation, and tactical decisions, are cited by 41% of respondents as the most time-intensive part of their workflow. 

The brainstorming process also stands out as a major time sink for 39.5% of marketers. Generating new, innovative ideas is not only crucial but also time-consuming, as it demands creativity and often, multiple iterations to refine those ideas into actionable campaign strategies.

Reporting and analysis, as identified by 29.5%, is essential for measuring campaign success and informing future strategies. However, collecting data, analyzing results, and generating reports is a detailed and time-consuming process.

Budget limitations

Budget limits are a big problem for nearly half of the people we asked. When every dollar matters, it’s really important to find smart ways to spend less on ads but still get good results.

This means looking closely at how much money is being spent on ads, finding places where they can cut costs without losing out, and trying new ways to make the most out of the money they have. 

Creativity

Creativity, or rather, the lack of it, is a big issue for about 32% of marketers. This tells us there’s a real need for tools that can help spark some new ideas and show things from a different angle.

Finding ways to get those creative juices flowing is important. It can be the difference between an ad that people talk about and one that nobody notices. So, there’s a big push to find new technologies that can make coming up with those big, bold ideas a little easier for everyone in marketing.

Lack of technical skills

For about 24% of marketers, not having enough tech know-how is a real speed bump. The marketing world is packed with tools and technologies that can do amazing things – from analyzing heaps of data to automating your email campaigns. But if you’re not sure how to use these tools, they won’t be much of a help.

Cross-team communication

Then there’s the challenge of getting everyone on the same page, which about 23% of marketers are struggling with. Cross-team communication is crucial for making sure everyone’s rowing in the same direction. Without it, you’re likely to see projects get delayed, budgets blown, and opportunities missed. 

Use of AI in marketing

In exploring how marketers use AI, it’s clear they value practicality and efficiency. 

The top use of AI, according to 60% of our survey participants, is in data analysis.

This makes sense because AI excels at sifting through large amounts of information quickly, helping marketers understand their audience better and make informed decisions.

Content creation is another big area where AI is making a splash, with 51% of marketers using it for crafting copy, designing visuals, and even producing videos. This use of AI is about getting more done in less time, allowing for consistent content production without the constant need for human input.

Personalization and segmentation are also key, cited by 42% and 31% of respondents, respectively. In a world where customers expect messages tailored specifically to them, AI helps by breaking down data to create personalized experiences and identify distinct audience segments.

Brainstorming ideas is another area where AI lends a hand, with 37.5% of marketers finding it useful. AI can offer new perspectives and inspire creativity, suggesting concepts that might not have been considered otherwise. This is especially handy when the team is stuck or looking for something out of the box.

Desired features in AI marketing tools

When it comes to what marketers want from AI tools, the answers are quite specific. 

Content creation

Creating copy at scale is a top feature for 30.5% of respondents. This highlights the need for tools that can generate a high volume of content quickly, keeping up with the demands of various platforms and audiences.

Facilitated design and content creation is crucial for 34.5%, pointing towards a desire for AI that simplifies the production of engaging visuals and multimedia content.

Marketing automation

Advanced marketing automation is sought after by 38.5%, indicating a preference for AI that can take over repetitive tasks, from sending emails to posting on social media, allowing marketers to focus on strategy and creative work.

Analytics

Data analytics and behavioral analysis are valued by 35% and 26.5% respectively, showing the importance of AI tools that can not only gather data but also interpret it, providing actionable insights that can guide marketing decisions.

Personalization

For nearly 24% of marketers, personalization is key. In a world where everyone is bombarded with ads and content, personalization can make all the difference.

It’s not just about slapping a first name on an email anymore; it’s about tailoring the experience to individual interests, behaviors, and needs. Marketers are looking for AI tools that can help them analyze customer data and create these personalized experiences at scale.

Chatbots

Chatbots and virtual assistants are on the wishlist for about 25.6% of marketers. These AI-powered helpers are like having a friendly, knowledgeable team member available 24/7 to chat with customers.

Whether it’s answering frequently asked questions, guiding customers through a purchase, or providing personalized recommendations, chatbots can enhance the customer experience without a heavy lift from human staff. 

Popularity of different AI tools

When it comes to the most popular AI tools, our survey uncovered some interesting favorites among professionals. 

ChatGPT leads the pack with a staggering 71% of marketers utilizing its capabilities. This isn’t too surprising given its versatility in generating text-based content, creating images, performing research and analyzing vast datasets. 

Grammarly comes in next, with 34% of respondents relying on it to polish their written content. Its popularity underscores the importance of clear, error-free communication in marketing, where every word counts. Google Gemini is used for content creation, research, and brainstorming by 33% of the marketers we surveyed.

Now, here’s the curveball: GetResponse. Seeing it mentioned by 23% of participants caught us off guard.

And before you wonder, no, we didn’t nudge anyone to say that. GetResponse has genuinely carved out a niche for itself, likely thanks to its AI-driven features like our AI campaign generator, GPT-powered email and subject line creator, AI assistant or landing page generator.

Midjourney and QuillBot are also in the mix, favored by 16.5% and 19.5% of marketers, respectively. Midjourney is an excellent tool for creating beautiful images, while QuillBot offers a rephrasing tool that helps create unique content effortlessly.

In addition to the above, we saw mentions of a variety of tools. Canva for design, Bing for search-related AI functions, DALL-E for image generation and Jasper, another AI writing assistant. 

These tools highlight the broad spectrum of AI applications in marketing, from enhancing visual content to generating written material and improving search marketing strategies.

Concerns about AI

Despite its revolutionary capabilities, not everything is sunshine and rainbows in AI land. If we want to get the full picture, it’s important to address the concerns and hesitations marketers have about using these tools. It turns out, even with all the excitement around AI, there are still some significant reservations.

The biggest worry, expressed by 45.5% of respondents, is the fear that AI might stifle human creativity.

It’s a valid concern; after all, marketing thrives on innovation and originality. However, it’s worth considering AI as a collaborator rather than a replacement for human creativity.

By handling routine tasks, AI can free up time for marketers to focus on creative strategy and ideation. Plus, AI tools can provide new insights and data-driven inspiration that can spark human creativity in unexpected ways.

Price is another major hurdle, with 35% finding AI tools too costly. While it’s true that some AI solutions come with a hefty price tag, there are also many cost-effective or even free tools available. The key is to start small, experiment with different tools to see what works for your team, and gradually invest more as you see the value AI brings to your marketing efforts.

Tool complexity concerns 27% of marketers. This is understandable; diving into AI can feel daunting. To ease into it, look for tools with robust support and training resources, or consider partnering with a digital marketing agency that can guide you through the process.

Many AI tools are designed with user-friendliness in mind, so once you get past the initial learning curve, you might find them less intimidating than expected.

Some marketers, 16%, don’t want to change their existing campaign creation process. Change can be challenging, but it’s also an opportunity for growth. Implementing AI doesn’t mean overhauling your entire process overnight. You can introduce AI tools gradually, integrating them into your workflow in ways that complement your current methods.

Regarding the 30% concerned about vague AI regulation and security, staying informed is key.

As AI technology evolves, so too will the legal and ethical guidelines governing its use. It’s important to choose reputable AI tool providers who are committed to compliance and data security and to keep abreast of regulatory changes that might affect your marketing practices.

Final words

Here’s the bottom line: AI in marketing is like having a super tool in your belt. It doesn’t replace the creative spark or the human touch. Instead, it’s here to take care of the heavy lifting, so marketers can focus on what they do best—being creative and connecting with people.

As we move forward, it’s about finding that sweet spot where AI tools help us do our jobs better, without losing the personal touch that makes marketing shine. The future’s looking pretty exciting, and with AI, we’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible.


Zilahy Máté
Zilahy Máté
Máté is a Content Partnerships Manager at GetResponse, where he manages relationships with content partners and develops new content initiatives that drive engagement and lead generation. In his role, he works closely with the marketing team to identify opportunities for collaboration and ensure that the company's content offerings align with its marketing strategy.