Business leaders expect to spend more on
artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology -- and most feel it will help them make decisions, according to The 2023 State Of Social Media, a study from Sprout Social, conducted
by the Harris Poll.
Of the companies surveyed, 30% predict they will significantly increase their investments in AI and ML, and 56% say they will increase them somewhat.
The most useful marketing applications are:
- Behavioral segmentation to identify and trigger specific customer segments based on behavior patterns —
- Predict analytics to forecast future customer behavior — 45%
- Dynamic pricing to optimize pricing based on real-time data and demand —
- Sentiment analysis to understand customer feedback and respond to issues in real-time — 44%
recommendation engines to personalize content and improvement engagement — 44%
- Image recognition to identify and analyze visual content —
- Natural language processing to improve customer interactions with chatbots — 41%
- Voice search optimization
to improve search rankings and customer experiences for voice search — 40%
In addition, 97% agree that AI and ML will enable companies to more efficiently analyze social
media data, 49% strongly so. But there are challenges, including:
- Insufficient training and development for business leaders to acquire the necessary skills to
effectively implement AI and ML — 39%
- Limited organizational experience with AI and ML — 37%
- Lack of
understanding among business leaders about how AI and ML work — 36%
- Resistance to change among business leaders who are not yet ready to embrace the use
of AI and ML — 35%
- Lack of the right talent to facilitate the adoption/implementation of AI and ML — 32%
- Lack of quality
data to feed into AI and ML algorithms — 32%
- Limited financial resources available to support the implementation of AI and ML —
- Not having the appropriate infrastructure to implement AI and ML — 25%
Despite those issues, 94% are
confident that their company could successfully adopt AI and ML technology for marketing, and 94% are comfortable in integrating it into day-to-day work. Moreover, 93% claim familiarity with
applications in non-marketing functions.
And. 86% agree that these technologies are critical for long-term business success.
Meanwhile, 80% of businesses expect to increase their
social media budgets over the next three years, while 79% will boost their marketing budgets in that period of time.
Social media helps companies with these tasks:
- Building brand reputation and loyalty — 94%
- Improving competitive positioning — 92%
- Gaining a better understanding of our customers — 91%
- Practicing future trends — 89%
- Moving business forward with
reduced budgets — 76%
The Harris Poll surveyed 778 social media marketing, customer care and communications professionals in U.S. and UK
businesses from March 13 to March 27, 2023.