Getting metaverse strategies up and running was a huge business priority just a few months ago—and then along came ChatGPT. That generative artificial intelligence (GAI) platform and others like it changed everything in the comms playbook–and quickly. It’s only been publicly available for less than six months, but more than 80 percent of U.S. marketers in a new survey say they have experimented with the technology.
The new AI & Composable Marketing Software survey from digital experience software firm Sitecore reveals that the allure of ChatGPT has resulted in many marketers reallocating budgets away from planned metaverse investments toward GAI, reporting that three in four marketers are considering or currently investing in AI to support marketing and CX: 78 percent say they believe GAI will get them closer to their desired CX through greater personalization (75 percent) and the ability to get a deeper understanding of customer needs (74 percent).
“The recent rate of innovation in marketing technology has been truly remarkable,” said Dave O’Flanagan, chief product officer of Sitecore, in a news release. “Rather than becoming overwhelmed and exhausted by these advancements, however, we’ve found marketers to be bold and experimental in embracing technologies like ChatGPT. Unlike other platforms that have been challenging to implement, generative AI shows promise in not only being relatively easy to integrate into composable software offerings and wider martech stacks, but also quick to have a measurable impact on marketing campaigns.”
GAI platforms have quickly eclipsed other recent technologies heralded as the next big thing for marketers
Last year, the metaverse had marketers scrambling to stake a claim in the virtual world. Today, however, it appears to be losing momentum. The firm’s 2022 Perceptions of the Metaverse report found that more than half (56 percent) of marketers had invested in “metaverse-like technologies.” This new survey found metaverse projects have fallen behind AI (79 percent) and digital experience software (56 percent) as a top priority, with just more than a third (36 percent) of respondents ranking the metaverse as the most important. Additionally, two in five (38 percent) reported reallocating budget from metaverse projects to support the deployment of AI.
Other findings from the survey include the following:
Benefits to customers
Customer service is considered the top function that will benefit most from AI assistance (24 percent), with improved customer loyalty among the primary objectives of AI deployments. To fund these deployments, two in five (39 percent) respondents said they planned to invest up to 21-40 percent of the following year’s budget into AI programs.
Marketers quick to pivot
While martech trends have flooded marketing teams in recent years, nine in ten remain excited about learning about—and implementing—new technologies (88 percent). However, quickly pivoting among new technologies has resulted in budgetary headaches for three-quarters of all marketers (76 percent), who admit to continually shifting budgets to accommodate investments in new martech functionality.
Brands march forward—cautiously
While 77 percent of marketers said they were confident their martech stack was equipped to leverage GAI, concerns remain. Chief among them were the cost of implementation (45 percent), data privacy vulnerabilities (41 percent) and required system modernization (26 percent).
See the full survey results here.
The survey was designed to determine marketers’ interest in GAI, the opportunities for GAI to disrupt current CX strategies and what backend technology would be needed for a successful GAI deployment. More than 400 brand marketers took the survey online between March 17-30, 2023.