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12/20/2022

More AI in Marketing Means More Staff Shifts and Ethical Concerns: Gartner

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief
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DALL-E image
An example of today's most popular method of AI-generated content: This image was created by CGT using the DALL-E 2 AI system, with the description: “An oil pastel drawing of two bears having a picnic in space with McDonald's shakes.”

As the use of artificial intelligence within marketing grows, executives will not only increasingly shift employee priorities to new duties, but they’ll also double down on their organization’s verification capabilities.  

That’s according to new insights from Gartner, which predicted AI’s use in marketing will reduce friction and kill off redundancy, as well as necessitate the formulation of new processing surrounding authenticity and accountability. 

This likely comes as little surprise for any consumer goods executive with a LinkedIn feed stuffed with DALL-E-generated images and ChatGPT-crafted poems, particularly given that the examples of AI use cases expected to grow include image and video capturing, processing, analyzing, and improvement, as well as developing digital twins

As part of the evolution of AI, organizations employing the technology across marketing functions will shift three-quarters of their staff’s operations to more strategic activities by 2025, according to Gartner. These shifts will in turn enable executives to allocate budgets and resources to activities supporting more dynamic marketing organizations.

The current maturity levels of AI in consumer goods marketing vary, as per a survey of executives in CGT’s recent Sales & Marketing Report, with 21% reporting that they leverage the technology in product information management. Forty percent said they were using it within e-commerce, and 33% said the same for social media marketing and analytics. 

“AI will continue to refine marketing operations processes to drive more agile, data-based responses to the challenges ahead that have no signs of slowing down,” noted Nicole Greene, Gartner senior director analyst, in a statement. 

As the use of AI becomes more prevalent, 70% of enterprise CMOs by 2025 are also expected to identify accountability for ethical AI in marketing as a top concern. And given its potential for manipulation and bias, the onus is on marketers to address ethical issues within their practices, said Andrew Frank, distinguished VP analyst at the firm.  

“The impetus to do so must come from the top,” he added. 

It’s perhaps not surprising then that 80% of enterprise marketers are also predicted to establish a dedicated content authenticity function to combat misinformation and fake material by 2027. As the use of AI-generated content multiplies — the most recent buzz surrounding ChatGPT and DALL-E perhaps the best example — the ability to swiftly verify legitimacy will become difficult. 

But while the advancement in the scope and sophistication of misinformation has prompted a growing concern for CMOs, said Chris Ross, VP analyst, the reverse is also true: “Just as AI and other technologies contribute to the content problem, they will also be part of the solution, especially when complemented with dedicated teams that listen, engage, and escalate brand interests across the digital content ecosystem.”

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