Marketers with analytical skills are in high demand, but who work at agencies and companies using cognitive technology now find the skill set is not as critical as they first believed.
Cognitive technology can do the heavy number crunching for them. Not all marketers participating in a recent survey from IBM and Oxford Economics say they are ready to take the leap.
Carolyn Heller Baird, global research lead, customer experience and design at IBM Institute For Business Value, said only 24% of marketing execs and salespeople within the organizations participating in the survey said they have a strategy to integrate cognitive technology into their business practices, but they do not feel fully prepared to make the transition.
Still, 61% of marketing and sales executives surveyed say cognitive computing will be a disruptive force in their industries, and 91% agree cognitive computing is important for the future of their organizations.
Cognitive technology can also help with personalization of content served in advertisements or on social sites.
The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study -- From data deluge to intelligent insights: Adopting cognitive computing to unlock value for marketing and sales -- was based on a global survey with 525 CMOs and 389 heads of sales to determine the extent of marketers' and sellers' intent to embrace cognitive technology.
The findings also suggest that customer satisfaction is the number one reason for adopting cognitive solutions, but show that only 64% will be ready to adopt cognitive technologies in the next three years.
Many marketing and sales executives expect to spend more on cognitive technology within the next three years. Today, 63% estimate that cognitive technology accounts for 5% or less of their organizations’ IT budgets, including 18% who say they spend zero dollars.
Only 5% say their cognitive budget will remain at zero in three years. By then, 21% expect it to grow to between 5% and 10%. Nearly a quarter of those who already use cognitive technology say it could account for more than 20% of IT spend.
Respondents to the study have high expectations this technology will pay off. Nearly a third say their organizations would need a 10% to 15% return to justify their investment, and 26% say the return could be as much as 15% to 20%. More than half expect their organizations to recover their cognitive investment within two to four years.
To understand the full potential of cognitive computing for marketing and sales functions, the study recommends that companies should fully understand the structured and unstructured data attached to digital technology. Marketers note that "customer insights" are the primary way to use cognitive technology to improve the experience for customers.