AI will have bigger impact than social media: CMOs

A new study from Weber Shandwick finds that most CMOs in five global markets believe artificial intelligence will surpass social media's influence in the industry.

Artifical intelligence is set to transform the marketing and communications world even more than social media has, according to 55% of CMOs surveyed by Weber Shandwick across five markets.

The agency's latest study examines current consumer knowledge and attitudes toward AI in the US, UK, Brazil, China and Canada. Of the 150 senior executives surveyed, 68% said their brand is currently selling, using or planning for business in the AI era.

Moreover, nearly six in 10 believe that within the next five years, companies will need to compete in the AI space to succeed.

Weber Shandwick also polled 2,100 consumers across the five markets, and found that Chinese consumers (31%) report having the strongest knowledge of AI, while UK consumers report the weakest (10%).

"For companies to successfully compete in the new age of artificial intelligence, 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," said Darren Burns, Weber Shandwick China president and chair, creativity and innovation. "While people may seem ready and excited about AI—a third of Chinese consumers tell us they know a lot about AI, and 67 percent 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 greatest challenge for CMOs. "Marketers will need to creatively engage consumer segments on understanding AI benefits," he said.

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