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DMEXCO survey: More than 50% of marketers believe their prompting skills still need some work

AI as a trending topic: the gap that still has to be bridged between theoretical discussions and practical usage exists in the marketing and communications indus-try as well. This discrepancy was highlighted by a recent study conducted by mar-ket research company Civey on behalf of DMEXCO, which shows that around 37% of marketing and communications professionals currently use AI tools such as ChatGPT in their everyday professional life. The majority of respondents aged 18 to 29 (60.3%) use these tools, while the figure for professionals aged 30 to 39 drops to just under 41%.
June 19, 2024

37% of marketing and communications professionals use AI tools

● Just under 25% rate their own knowledge of prompting as good

● Database quality is one of the biggest challenges

● AI is most frequently used to create and optimize text

● Further training on AI in marketing is in the spotlight at DMEXCO 2024


Only 25% rate their own knowledge of prompting as good

The industry is tiptoeing into the AI future, with more than half of respondents (54%) rating their knowledge of prompting as poor or even very poor (around 22%). Around the same number are undecided, although 25% rate themselves as good at writing prompts. 3% of all respondents go so far as to say their prompting knowledge is “Very good”.

“The survey results emphasize that we need to act fast. The only way to do that is through inspiration, trial and error, and further training – and this is where DMEXCO comes in. We will be discussing possibilities and opportunities, presenting best practices, and sharing practical knowledge on AI in marketing”, explains Verena Gründel, Brand & Communications Director and host at DMEXCO. “After all, if there’s one thing that’s become clear, it’s that we aren’t going to be replaced by AI, but by people who have better AI skills than we do.”

Quality of database and results are primary challenges

Most people in the industry are still skeptical about AI, with the relative majority of respondents (46.1%) seeing database quality as the biggest obstacle. In terms of age distribution, that is primarily a concern for people aged 50 to 64, at just under 71%. In contrast, the youngest age group (aged 18 to 29) sees the quality of results and their knowledge of prompting (the figure for both is just under 70%) as the biggest problem. Respondents as a whole put data protection and security concerns in third place on the list of challenges, with those aged 30 to 39 (just under 84%) representing the decisive share.

Data protection appears to be a bigger issue for women than for men. Around 60% of female respondents believe this subdomain is the biggest challenge,while the figure for men is just 20%. Both women and men are less worried about both costs and how AI is changing job profiles, with those topics at the bottom of the list.

AI is primarily used to create and optimize text

According to the Civey survey, marketing professionals are most likely to use AI to write and optimize news, messages, and text, with translation next on the list at 42%. Gender distribution is particularly noticeable here: while 58.3% of men ask AI for language support, the figure for women is just 27.1%. There are also large differences when it comes to generating images, with 25% of men using AI for this purpose, compared to only around 1% of women in the industry.

Incidentally, AI in everyday professional life is most popular with people aged from 30 to 39 – 54.4% say they use AI tools multiple times a week.

According to the survey, there are currently a multitude of potential use cases – such as creating presentations and videos – that are at the bottom of the list. DMEXCO offers a program of talks and masterclasses where experts provide valuable insights into AI as well as practical examples of the use of it in marketing, so that marketers can add specific uses to their personal toolbox.

“The motto of this year’s DMEXCO – ‘Prompting the Future’ – underlines both the relevance of AI and our understanding of how to shape the future of our industry as it evolves. The survey shows where we as a platform can provide impetus and offer guidance in September,” emphasizes Dirk Freytag, President of the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW) e.V., the ideational and professional partner of DMEXCO.


About the survey

Commissioned by DMEXCO, the market research company Civey surveyed a total of 500 marketing and advertising professionals in an online format between March 27 and April 26, 2024. For detailed questions, a random sample was taken from 104 industry professionals.

You can take a deeper dive into the results in our whitepaper.

The charts for this survey are available here.
You can find more image material here.