Report: Marketers expect AI to have greater impact than social media

New global report of marketers and consumers looks at current levels of knowledge around artificial intelligence and its impact on the workforce

A new global report has found more than half of CMOs expect artificial intelligence to have a greater impact on marketing and communications than social media ever had.

The latest AI Ready or Not: Artificial Intelligence Here We Come report, which was produced by Weber Shandwick in partnership with KRC Research and surveyed both marketing leaders as well as consumers, found four in 10 CMOs claimed to know a lot about AI, versus 18 per cent of consumers.

Seven in 10 marketing leaders said their organisations are doing or planning for business in the artificial intellience (AI) era, and 85 per cent said AI will change their workforce by requiring both new skillsets (40 per cent) or reducing the number of jobs (45 per cent).

CMOs surveyed also expected the skills requirement around AI would ultimately precede a reduction in jobs. In addition, 57 per cent anticipated these new skillsets would be required in the next two years.

Just over half (55 per cent) of marketers also expect AI to have a greater impact on the way they do their jobs than social media ever had.

On the consumer side, AI was most commonly associated with robots and few were able to name an AI brand leader. Across the consumers surveyed, 34 per cent didn’t know anything about AI and 18 per cent claimed to know a lot. Forty per cent believed AI was reality now, and 52 per cent believed it would be eventually.

About 80 per cent of consumers gained their overall impression from a mix of media, and views are skewed towards the positive, with consumers six times more likely to see AI’s impact on society as positive rather than negative. They were also seven times more likely to expect a positive impact than negative one from AI on their personal lives.

In fact, the more consumers know about AI, the greater their positivity about its impact on society and themselves personally. Despite this, the report found nearly two-thirds of global consumers have concerns about AI, mostly at a moderate level (49 per cent), and mainly because of security and job loss.

For survey purposes, the report identified AI as intelligence that is exhibited by machines, stretching from robots to speech recognition, search engines, object recognition and gaming/learning systems.

The report is based on surveys of 150 CMOs across the US, UK and China and 2100 adults consumers across the UK, US, Canada, China and Brazil.

Read more of CMO's coverage on the impact of artificial intelligence on marketing

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