Spoiler alert: it's not all doom and gloom. AI has been around for a long time – roughly since the 1950s. However, with the launch of tools like Midjourney, DALL E, and then ChatGPT (which seemed to break the internet), it suddenly became very tangible and, honestly, a bit scary for a lot of people. The little nagging question seemed to creep up for many of us, digital marketers included…”Will AI replace me?”
In Funnel’s annual Marketing Data State of Play, we sought to understand how digital marketers are feeling about the AI revolution. We also wanted to know how they plan to develop their skills to complement the AI tools that are and will be available to them. We found that data, and data skills, will be more important than ever. So, we've got some stats and insights to share that will put your mind at ease (or give you a nudge to level up your data game).
These are just a few of our findings. You can read the full report here!
64% of marketers feel AI will replace them in 5 years
Digital marketers are feeling uncertain about what the future holds. One survey taker told us, “The first time I used a generative AI tool, I had an ‘oh, #$%@&’ moment. Can it outperform me today? Not quite. But I can see a time in the not-so-distant future when it will.”
Yes, there are already tasks that AI can do for us, and this will only increase with time. However, for the most part, they are just tasks, and AI can help improve your workflow. AI can be seen as something that makes marketers more efficient at what they do.
We need to remember to look at the bright side. As one survey taker said, “I’m paid for my critical thinking, judgment, and industry experience — all things generative AI isn’t remotely close to reproducing.”
So, how can digital marketers use AI to be more efficient?
42% of marketers use AI for content creation
From image generation, to SEO, to writing copy for websites and emails, many digital marketers use AI to help with content creation. Many use it as a jumping-off point to start brainstorming, or to help eliminate some writer's block. Others use it to spot and clean up redundant data sets. Some marketing agencies, use it to help them complete RFPs more quickly and produce spec work more cost-effectively for their clients.
It’s important to remember that AI only enhances and not replace digital marketers. AI can help in marketing, but we still need a human touch!
85% of marketers are updating their skills due to AI
Even if you don’t think AI will take your job, it will influence your career. Make sure it’s a positive influence, and focus on what you can learn and change. One thing that all digital marketers can do is invest in new skills to remain competent and relevant. Set aside some time and ask your company to set aside some budget for upskilling. Work with a mentor to think about how you envision yourself and your job in five years and, specifically, how you will build an AI-resilient career.
Which skills will be the most important to learn? Data skills.
58% of marketers are upskilling in data analysis
AI is taking a lot of tasks that can be automated, and we should take advantage of that. One skill, however, that AI will have a challenging time replacing is data skills. AI depends on the data it is given to provide insights and perform the tasks we ask it to do. If we provide it with poor-quality data, then we will get erroneous results because of it.
Therefore, marketers must get better at understanding and questioning the data available to them. Digital marketers should invest in learning solid data and analysis skills to be able to continue to be in control of the decisions they are making.
Strong data skills are now a must-have for every marketing team member.
If you want to learn about more skills that will be useful for marketers during the AI transformation, read the full report.
87% of marketing teams rely on data people outside of marketing
Since AI is only as good as the data you provide it, it’s important to have control and an understanding of that data. However, if 87% of marketers are relying on other teams and systems outside of their control…that means they don’t have control.
Having control over your data is relevant with or without AI. You won’t always need AI, but you will need an understanding of the data and how to work with it. Nick Yang, head of media technology from fifty-five warns:
“Clients should be conscious of using GenAI to solve challenges that can already be achieved without introducing more tech into their ecosystem. Many data cleansing and management applications can be enabled already via automated rules-based logic rather than relying on GenAI, which can be more susceptible to unreliable outputs and requires additional efforts to effectively train and monitor the model.”
Ultimately, digital marketers must embrace AI. However, this does not mean the end of the road for us. You can work more confidently with data for sure and make your data AI ready. Just try out Funnel’s free plan to get a taste of it.