A majority of enterprise marketers are looking to implement artificial intelligence (AI) technologies including machine learning as part of their content marketing strategies. According to a survey of 500 digital marketers by BrightEdge, the SEO and content performance marketing firm, brands are beginning to use AI to personalise their customer experiences with smart content.
BrightEdge defines smart content as a blend of search marketing, AI and content marketing.
Marketers said that AI and voice search were major future goals. However, the majority of marketers and agencies had not added any of these components as part of their digital marketing strategy.
Around 60% of marketers are planning to use AI to develop their content marketing strategy in 2018. That’s a significant rise from 2017, when just 43% of marketers were planning to use AI or deep learning.
Another 75% of them said that AI, personalisation and voice search were dominating their future plans.
The respondents consider personalisation the most important next big technology in 2018 (29%), followed by AI (26%) and voice search (22%).
“Despite some of the hype surrounding artificial intelligence, this survey shows that AI is very real and marketers are adopting AI-first technology in search and content marketing sectors faster than most,” said Jim Yu, CEO of BrightEdge. “The insights that AI brings allows marketers to make smarter and faster decisions to deliver compelling customer experiences that perform.”
At the same time, AI is perceived to offer significant beneifts including a better understanding of the customer (31%), more productivity and time-saving (27%), better performing content (15%) and increased ROI (8%).
However, the core hurdles to implementing AI include a general confusion as to what AI really is (30%) and budget challenges (28%). Another key challenge is that 58% of respondents said their company was lacking a data scientist.
For 54% of marketers, AI is however already a must-have, whilst a quarter of them continue to be sceptical as to whether it could deliver on benefits.