Widespread AI usage outstripping professional skills warns the Chartered Institute of Marketing

Deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across European marketing companies has dramatically increased in the last 12 months, according to the latest European Marketing Agenda report supported by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Carried out annually, the report surveys 1,250 CMOs, identifying their top priorities for the year ahead. Last year AI was not recorded as a key topic, yet it now tops the 2024 table of priorities with 44% selecting it as a top three agenda item, ahead of 40% for Digital Marketing and 38% for Customer Experience Management.

The study highlights that nearly half (47%) of European marketing teams and agencies are already using AI on a regular basis, with a further 40% in early planning or pilot stages of implementation. Just 12% of respondents had not deployed, or were not planning to deploy, AI or machine learning within their business. The top applications of AI within marketing agencies and businesses are in content production (69%), conversational AI (35%) and automated analysis (14%).

Despite widespread adoption across the sector, just 4% of those surveyed indicated they felt confident in the professional implementation of AI and were actively scaling up to take advantage of the technology.

Limited understanding of appropriate AI software (57%), a lack of in-house expertise (39%) and insufficient data on which to train AI models (24%) were identified as the top implementation challenges across the sector.

Chris Daly, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and vice chair of the EMC Board commented: “AI has made phenomenal progress in the last 12 months, as have professional marketers across Europe who understand the profound impact this technology will have on their future success. Our research reveals an impressive adoption rate, with nearly half actively piloting or using AI and an additional 40% delving into its potential applications. What is clear, however, is that the pace of progress is outstripping professional skills, exposing businesses to a greater degree of risk.”

To respond to the rapid adoption of this emerging technology, CIM has developed a suite of AI courses at all levels of experience to empower marketing professionals, content producers, copywriters and business owners, with the skills needed to leverage this technology. Courses range from ethical and effective use of AI for copywriting through to AI customer journey optimisation to attract, engage, convert and retain customers. A full list of courses can be found here.

  • For more information on CIM’s new suite of AI courses click here.
  • You can read the full report from the European Marketing Confederation here.

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