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CMOs believe AI will have more impact on marketing than social media, finds study

AI is most commonly associated with robots

AI is most commonly associated with robots, the survey found

More than half (55%) of CMOs in five markets including China think that artificial intelligence will have a greater effect on marketing than social media has had, according to a study by Weber Shandwick.

More than a half of CMOs surveyed in China, the UK, Brazil, the US and Canada said they believe that within the next five years, businesses will need to compete in the AI space to succeed.

Almost seven in 10 CMOs said their company is currently selling, using or planning for business in the AI era.

The survey also found that more than a third (35%) of people admit to knowing nothing about AI, with Chinese consumers claiming to know the most and Brits the least about the technology.

The most common word associated with AI is “robots,” as mentioned by 22% of respondents unprompted.

People tend to think that the impact of AI on society will be positive rather than negative (45% vs 7%, respectively), and they think the impact on their own personal lives will be positive too (52% vs 7%, respectively).

Only 8% think AI is science fiction and will never materialise, and 23% want AI’s rise to slow down or stop completely.

As for sources of trusted information about AI, ads about AI-related products listed bottom of a ranking topped by the ability of people to personally try out products for themselves.

Sources of trusted information about AI

Darren Burns, president, China and chair, creativity and innovation, Weber Shandwick, said that for companies to compete in the new age of AI, “CMOs will be central to bringing consumers up the AI learning curve while at the same time communicating the value of their products and services.”

“While people may seem ready and excited about AI –   a third of Chinese consumers tell us they know a lot about AI, and 67% are feeling positive about its potential impact for example – there remain concerns, and some knowledge gaps. Therefore, an artful balancing act of education and responsible marketing will be the CMO’s greatest challenge. Marketers will need to creatively engage consumer segments on understanding AI benefits,” he said.

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