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DMEXCO trend survey: Where communicators are already using artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) will mainly be used by communicators in the future to handle routine tasks and help reduce costs. Around one in ten of those surveyed in the areas of marketing, communication, and media may already be testing AI in terms of content production and search engine optimization, but most communicators are still cautious or even skeptical about actually using AI in their companies. Those are the initial results of a representative online survey conducted by Civey on behalf of DMEXCO from January 26 to February 20, 2023.
March 2, 2023

Back in 2015, leading AI researchers were already predicting a swift victory for artificial intelligence. The 352 experts surveyed believed AI would be able to compose a pop song that would reach the charts by 2028, and even replace retail sales staff by 2031. The latest versions of tools like ChatGPT show that increasing use of AI is also redefining the role of humans in the marketing and communication industry. Acting on behalf of DMEXCO, Civey surveyed 500 employees online in the marketing, communication, and media sectors in Germany on the risks and benefits involved in using AI, and how marketers were intending to implement AI in concrete terms.

AI should take on the burden of routine tasks

The communication experts surveyed see AI’s greatest potential (45%) as the opportunity to automate routine tasks. 27% believe AI has the potential to reduce costs, while almost a quarter of the respondents (23%) believe that AI will stimulate the development of innovative tools. 15% assume that AI can improve dialogue with customers, while just 13% believe that it can help offset the shortage of skilled professionals.

Although AI is no longer in its infancy, the survey results also show that those who have specific plans to implement it in their companies this year are still in the minority. Around one respondent in ten (11%) intends to utilize AI for content production and 12% for search engine optimization (SEO). Only around 10% of respondents plan to implement AI for service and customer dialogue. Most of the communicators surveyed tend to be cautious or skeptical, with 16% of marketers stating they are awaiting further developments for now, and around a third (32%) not seeing any need to utilize AI. 25% of respondents are still undecided.

Only a minority believe AI is a threat to jobs

Despite the potential applications and benefits of AI, many communication experts also believe that implementing it involves risks. In terms of what most worries respondents, 48% believe the opportunities presented by AI have been overestimated, 45% see the quality of results delivered by crude and unsophisticated AI technologies as a risk, 44% consider it a threat to their USP and creativity, and just 30% feel it will result in the loss of jobs. Only a minority (13%) are completely optimistic about the situation and do not believe that incorporating AI in everyday professional life entails any risks.

“Taking an initially critical view of new technologies seems to be a typical knee-jerk German response. Although some people in the marketing and communication industry are still somewhat skeptical about AI, the many different implementation plans within companies demonstrate the existing scope and potential for a wide range of business areas”, says Professor Dominik Matyka, Chief Advisor of DMEXCO.

“The significant growth in the importance of AI for digital marketing and e-commerce will be a key element in our 2023 conference program. Numerous international experts will share existing successes and in particular, what will become possible in the months following DMEXCO”, adds Thomas Mosch, DMEXCO Conference Director.

About the survey

Commissioned by DMEXCO, market research company Civey conducted an online survey of 500 employees in the communication, PR, media, and marketing sectors between January 26 and February 20, 2023.

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