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Even in the age of AI, marketing interns will be in higher demand in 2024

by | Dec 19, 2023 | Marketing, Public Relations

Internships have always been the best way to get hands-on experience in a new field, but students and emerging professionals have been wondering if the rise of AI will make these positions obsolete. New research from data-driven software recommendation firm GetApp reveals the contrary—more than one-third (36 percent) of small and midsize businesses say that AI will actually increase the demand for marketing interns in 2024.

The SMB-focused firm’s new 2023 AI Impact Survey of 400 SMBs finds that the demand for interns is fueled by the growing use of AI technology. Over half (52 percent) of SMBs leverage AI for marketing-related tasks or functions, so it’s no surprise then that 42 percent of businesses are looking for AI experience or skills when hiring a new intern. Furthermore, 71 percent would pay more for marketing interns with AI skills or experience.

Even in the age of AI, marketing interns will be in higher demand in 2024

SMBs rate data analysis as a highly useful application of AI as it can easily help accelerate aspects of data processing and interpretation. To that end, these businesses say they would most like their interns to leverage AI for these marketing-related tasks: analyzing data (48 percent), reducing mistakes (42 percent), and increasing the speed or efficiency of workflows or processes (36 percent).

The educational aspect of internships gives way to an often mutually beneficial relationship: Interns get real-world experience and mentorship, while companies get to leverage diverse skills and tap into potential new talent. Developing talent is a top driver (41 percent) for SMBs to leverage internships, along with encouraging mentorship (42 percent) and increasing productivity (40 percent).

Amid the allure of AI’s potential, SMBs must strive to balance technology integration and human capability. More than half (56 percent) of SMBs believe that less than 25 percent of marketing-related responsibilities performed by interns can realistically be performed by AI, indicating that human involvement remains essential. Additionally, 76 percent respondents prefer offloading work to a human versus software.

Even in the age of AI, marketing interns will be in higher demand in 2024

Furthermore, 51 percent of SMBs believe that AI may hinder the experiences of marketing interns in their roles. These businesses are mostly concerned about AI’s role in reducing problem-solving skills, hands-on learning, and creative expression. One way to avoid these potential pitfalls is to leverage project-based learning that provides opportunities for knowledge building.

“Despite AI’s disruptive impact on the job market, it won’t replace marketing interns at SMBs,” said Meghan Bazaman, senior marketing analyst at GetApp, in a news release. ”Rather, AI can serve as a valuable resource for interns to elevate their capabilities without eliminating hands-on learning experience. This ultimately helps SMBs cultivate a strong pipeline of marketing talent and promote a growth-oriented environment.”

Read the full report here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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