Marketing leads other sectors in generative AI acceptance

While many consumers are skeptical about generative AI’s effect on society, they expect marketers to lead the way in pioneering the technology. Consumers are more comfortable seeing genAI magic take off in marketing than in any other sector, a new Gartner study finds.

A full 38% of consumers interviewed in June and July said they were very or somewhat comfortable with generative AI technology used in marketing. Another 27% said they were neither comfortable nor troubled. Thirty-five percent of consumers were somewhat or very troubled.

In all other sectors, from manufacturing to health care to legal services, uncomfortable consumers equaled or far outweighed those consumers who were comfortable with genAI.

Why we care. GenAI has brought new capabilities to marketers, but will customers accept them? Building consumer trust is an ongoing project for marketers in areas that range from customer experience and privacy to the environment and social justice.

Overall, 53% percent of consumers say they believe genAI will have a negative impact on society. The mood is noticeably warmer toward AI in marketing specifically.

Marketing-related sectors. Some other sectors in the study intersect with marketing, including retail and customer service.

For retail, positive and negative sentiment are balanced (34% in each case), while a larger percentage are on the fence about retail (33%) than about marketing.

In customer service, the scales are tipped against genAI. Twenty-eight percent of consumers are for it, 44% against.

It seems that when customers are seeking services, more of them want assurance that a real person is on the other end of the communication.

Gen AI in marketing. With or without the green light from consumers, marketers are already diving into genAI technology, according to another Gartner study taken earlier this spring.

Forty-eight percent of 98 marketers interviewed said they were currently using genAI, and a further 43% said they were planning to in the future.

The top uses for genAI in marketing were:

  • Content marketing (76% of those who use genAI)
  • Product marketing (43%)
  • Customer experience (37%)
  • Lead generation (36%)
  • Advertising (31%)

Of the organizations using genAI in marketing, only 30% were using it for marketing ops and 18% for branding. Sixteen percent were using it for public relations.

Dig deeper: Why ChatGPT may be a blessing and a curse for agencies

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