According to a December 2017 Freedman International and ClickZ survey of 500 marketers from the US and UK, only 7% of respondents said they currently use AI-powered chatbots. 27% reported that they’re looking into using chatbots, but most said their company was either not ready or didn’t have the budget to develop them.
Conductor, stated 34% of the worldwide marketing executives polled said AI was the marketing trend they felt most unprepared for in 2018. This was the most popular response in the survey, slightly edging out virtual and augmented reality (29%).
Although chatbot adoption is low among marketers, there still are examples of big brands using bots, like the Starbucks barista bot that can order customers drinks and the Staples bot that confirms orders.
The low adoption rate of chatbots doesn’t necessarily indicate that marketers aren’t paying more attention to AI. Marketing cloud companies like IBM, Salesforce, Oracle and Nielsen all have AI products. These AI tools are used by marketers to automate audience targeting and create custom audience segments, and buy ads.
AI is also being deployed by marketers to expand their content marketing efforts. An April 2017 Salesforce survey of marketing leaders worldwide, said AI’s biggest impact on marketing will come from its ability to help marketers deliver the right message at the right time and hyperpersonalize content.