AI Skips School: Most Marketers Lack Training In How To Use It

There’s one thing keeping marketers from making the fullest use of artificial intelligence: lack of training, according to the 2021 State of Marketing AI Report, a study by Drift and the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute. 

Of the professionals polled, 71% say an absence of education is holding them back from AI adoption. And only 14% indicate their firms have AI-focused education. 

What’s more, 50% say they’re still at the beginner’s level in understanding AI terminology, and 17% are at the intermediate stage. 

Yet 51% say AI will very important to their marketing success over the next 15 months, 37% critically so. And 41% are now accelerating their revenue with AI.

In addition, 80% believe they will intelligently automate more than a quarter of their marketing activities in the next five years, the study says. 

Asked to assess the potential time and money saved, and the increased probability of achieving business goals with AI, the respondents rated these email use cases on a scale of 1 to 5: 

  • Send email newsletters and personalized content: 3.69
  • Customize email nurturing workflows and content: 3.59
  • Improve email deliverability: 3.52 
  • Write email subject lines: 3.45 
  • Optimize email send time at an individual recipient level: 3.45



However, the top five use cases were:

  • Recommend highly targeted content to users in real time: 3.96
  • Adapt audience targeting based on behavior and lookalike analysis: 3.92
  • Measure return on investment by channel, campaign, and overall: 3.91
  • Discover insights into top-performing content and campaigns: 3.86
  • Create data-driven content: 3.82

The least effective use cases were:

  • Tag website images with keywords and categories: 3.42
  • Write creative briefs and blog post drafts: 3.32
  • Transcribe audio (calls, meetings, podcasts, webinars) into text: 3.14

The scores are defined as follows:

  1. No value 
  2. Minimal value 
  3. Moderate value 
  4. High value 
  5. Transformative

In one more finding, 56% believe AI will create more marketing jobs than it eliminates over the next decade.

Overall, the study shows that while marketers see the potential of AI, “we are just getting started in terms of understanding and adoption," states Paul Roetzer, founder and CEO, Marketing AI Institute.

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