The Marketing MO On AI: Firms Use It More For Accounting

Artificial intelligence is being most widely used for accounting, but not as much for marketing.

That is one of the findings of AI 360: insights from the next frontier of business, a study by Genpact.

Of the executives polled, 72% of the visionaries are using AI for finance/accounting, and so are 46% of the others. Second is technology services, utilized by 56% of the visionaries and 28% of everyone else.

In contrast, only 30% of the visionaries use AI for marketing, along with 19% of the others. And 46% use AI for customer service, as do 31% of the remainder.

Clearly, only small portions of AI budgets are trickling down to email marketing departments. And less than 20% overall are utilizing AI for sales.

However, the use of AI for finance results in faster credit decisions.

Genpact and Wakefield Research surveyed 500 senior executives in the U.S., UK, Australia and Japan. In addition, they surveyed 4,000 consumers in the same countries, 2,103 of whom work eight hours a week or more. 



Overall, 58% of senior executives say that nobody in their firms is resisting adoption of AI, up from 21% in 2017.

In addition, 37% say AI has improved their ability to leverage data and analytics, and 33% expect it to do so within three years.

But only 27% say AI has produced higher revenues, and 30% see it happening in three years. And 29% feel that AI has improved their ability to target new markets. The same percentage foresee it happening in three years.

Less than a third have reduced costs with AI.

On the consumer side, 51% overall say AI is making their lives better, up from 33% in 2017. However, younger people are more likely to embrace it.

For example, 47% of millennials are fairly comfortable with firms using AI to access data and improve and 21% very much so.

But only 35% of baby boomers are fairly comfortable and a mere 7% are very comfortable.

Generation X is also less comfortable than millennials.

Employees have a mixed view of AI — 36% believe it brings career opportunities, and 28% say that it threatens their jobs.

As for usage, 53% of the visionaries deploy AI for operations/production, versus 23% of the others. And 50% of the visionaries and 25% of everyone else utilize it for strategy and general management.

In addition, 36% of the visionaries and 20% of the others apply it to the problem of compliance/risk.

"The data reflects what we're seeing with clients. There's no question that businesses are at an inflection point with their use of AI. The visionaries are beginning to embed AI as the neural wiring for their enterprises," states NV "Tiger" Tyagarajan, president and chief executive officer, Genpact. 

Tyagarajan states, "To achieve greater impact, we must change the narrative about lingering concerns. It is critical to educate both employees and customers about AI's potential, and enable them with tools to take advantage of its benefits." 

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