Firms face major roadblocks in adopting AI for marketing

DataIQ News

UK companies want to speed up investment in artificial intelligence to gain a competitive advantage in delivering personalised customer experiences at scale but are being hampered by a "triple whammy" of a lack of skills, an abundance of data and GDPR.

According to a report by Adobe, nine in ten UK businesses (91%) think AI is important for business success, but fewer than a third (30%) are happy with the level of AI currently at play in their customer experience strategies – significantly behind Germany (42%), Switzerland (35%) and France (35%).

While 92% of British brands plan to implement AI by the end of 2020, Adobe reveals UK brands have major roadblocks to achieving these ambitious goals.

These include the fact that three fifths of UK brands (59%) are unable to process customer data fast enough, and over half 52% said they collect too much data from too many sources.

Meanwhile three quarters of UK brands (74%) are training their staff to meet their AI goals, but 71% are having to bring in new talent to the business too.

The report also cites GDPR as creating another layer of complexity on companies’ personalisation strategies; nearly half (49%) of respondents said the EU’s new data protection regulation had further slowed them down.

However, the research shows UK companies have an aggressive timeline for the implementation of AI for business and customer data analytics. Just under three quarters (70%) of UK respondents plan to have implemented AI for business and customer analytics by 2019, going up to 92% by the end of 2020.

Adobe EMEA vice president of marketing Bridget Perry said: “UK companies are acutely aware that they need to get closer to their customers, and provide more personalised services if they are to stay relevant. The level of analytics required for effective personalisation at scale may have seemed impossible just a few years ago, but AI has made it a reality, allowing companies to quickly gain vital customer insights from huge volumes of data.

“UK brands don’t just see AI as a technology issue. They are focusing on a wider set of skills, including skills to help them manage the improved customer experience and skills to ensure they take an approach that is ethically and culturally right for them and their customers.”