Though generative AI is everywhere, the fear around the state of AI is real.
From our survey of 1350+ business professionals in the US, including marketers, we found that 63% of marketers not already using generative AI are not looking to start.
Yet, there are vast amounts of data and use cases to support AI as a productive and efficient tool to support marketing efforts.
In this article, we’re looking at the top fears surrounding AI in marketing and sharing tips from experts to help leadership address them.
The Top Concerns for Using AI
Our survey results identified the top five fears around using AI and the potential rationale. Find out what they are so you can better support your team.
1. Threat to Jobs
AI’s supposed threat to marketers' jobs is a justified fear. But, our survey suggests that employees are overly concerned about this.
We found that marketers using generative AI believe that it can help create marketing content more efficiently (77%) and improve the quality of their marketing content (79%).
From an employee's perspective, these stats might sound scary!
However, leadership surveyed said AI/automation tools make employees more productive (30%), and AI/automation tools make employees more effective at their jobs (32%).
Even better, 66% of business leaders have hired new employees specifically to help with leveraging/implementing AI/automation tools.
The threat to jobs can leave marketers worried about their jobs’ future. Understandably, a fear like this could prevent someone from embracing AI to its fullest.
With leaders believing that AI is making teams more productive and effective at their jobs, restructuring the narrative is all it could take to reassure your team that their jobs are not under threat and instead that AI is a tool to empower them.
2. Quality and Relevancy
The second biggest concern revolves around the quality and relevancy of AI outputs. Of those surveyed, 30% of marketers believe that content created using generative AI isn’t as good as content made exclusively by humans.
Also, 28% said the content generative AI produces isn’t always relevant to desired goals.
Evidence suggests that AI is suitable and can return high-quality and relevant content. Our survey found that 44% of marketers agree that AI can write better content than humans.
Perhaps the key is using AI to its fullest potential with strong prompts.
Adam Smith, founder of The Content Machine, explores AI content with in-depth experimentation, strong prompts, and a lot of testing. On LinkedIn, he shares how AI content is working for his websites.
AI and accuracy is a well-known fear among marketers. For marketing, accuracy is critical. False information published on a brand’s website can potentially damage brand-consumer relations at best and be catastrophic at worst.
Our survey found that only 23% of marketers are very confident that the information generative AI produces is accurate, and 30% think that generative AI sometimes produces inaccurate information.
Everyone else? Well, they’re under-confident in the accuracy AI provides.
Most AI users have likely come across a questionable statement, and no doubt, fact-checking AI is vital to the AI process.
But does this mean that AI shouldn’t be adopted? We’re not so sure!
Moritz Kremb helps businesses leverage AI for growth. He shares tips and insights on AI. Kremb shares eight strategies to elevate AI and writing in the post below:
Ultimately, AI can only ever be as accurate as its input. If you learn to prompt more effectively, you might find accuracy improves.
AI tools are less valuable than some marketers would like them to be. When asked, “How important or unimportant is generative AI to your overall content marketing strategy?” 30% of marketers answered, “neither important nor unimportant” or “unimportant.”
Only 27% of respondents answered “very important.”
The usefulness of AI is relatively subjective because a lot of marketers are finding it very useful and claim that:
- Marketers should use generative AI but avoid becoming overly reliant (67%).
- Generative AI has had a significant, moderate, or slight change in how they create content in 2023 (83%).
- AI/automation tools make them more effective at their job (67%).
The truth is that AI is still young, and it can do a lot. Experts such as Greg Brockman, president and co-founder at Open AI, recognize that AI is still in its early days.
Perhaps the key to using AI in a way that serves you is understanding where it’s helpful so you can join the 67% of marketers who find it makes them more effective at their jobs.
Conscientious marketers don't want to become overly reliant on AI tools (43%), a perfectly reasonable response to AI adoption. After all, people want to love what they do, and customers will always need that human interaction.
But should over-reliance stop us from using AI? Probably not! Those most concerned about over-reliance on AI are precisely who should be using it. After all, you will figure out how to balance effectiveness and human touch.
Tips for Addressing AI Fears
Now that you understand the top five fears for marketers, you can find the antidote from marketing leaders who share their top tips below.
1. Create empowering processes.
Tourgis says his team acknowledges concerns that AI may affect content quality. In response, they balance AI utilization with the human touch in sales and marketing campaigns.
“While we use an AI-powered CRM system and other relevant tools, our editorial team carefully checks the final draft to ensure we publish unique, credible content for our website, marketing materials, and sales scripts,” Tourgis says.
What we like: Tourgis’ team has found a way to bring together the human touch and AI. AI-powered CRMs like HubSpot have integrations like Content Assistant and ChatSpot; both are designed to make your day-to-day tasks easier and faster!
2. Stay in control.
“AI is in its early stages, which means it is still largely unregulated. This is why I use data encryption for the sensitive client data I possess. Because we’re dealing with datasets that contain private information, my employees are thoroughly trained to be mindful of these data privacy policies,” she says.
James’ team carefully evaluates all AI platforms before use, ensuring they are secure before integrating client data.
“This is one of many measures we take to protect our clients’ data so it doesn’t get misused or compromised,” James says.
What we like: James is looking out for her clients using encryption methods to protect client data. Additionally, James recommends that marketers use tools that are carefully scrutinized. A great place to start is with an AI tool you can trust.
3. Involve teams in decision-making.
Melissa Popp, content strategy director at RicketyRoo, recognizes that teams not involved in decision-making are less likely to embrace AI.
Popp recommends you “include the team in decisions about AI implementation by organizing brainstorming sessions. Encouraging our team to contribute ideas and shape how AI is integrated across our strategies is also integral to getting buy-in from our team and our clients.”
What we like: With teams involved in decision-making, there are opportunities for everyone involved in the AI implementation to have their say. It’s an opportunity to air concerns and for leadership to reassure and provide solutions.
4. Maintain open lines of communication.
Similarly, Greg Kozera, performance consultant at ELM Learning, recommends establishing and maintaining open lines of communication regarding AI’s many uses. Consider setting up a channel where team members can share the helpful use cases they’ve discovered and their effects on their productivity.
“This ‘learning from others’ scenario can provide proven tips that come directly from those that they trust — their own team members. The additional plus is that there is no limit to this informal education,” Kozera says.
What we like: Group chats or channels can encourage team learning. It’s also a safe place where teams can find support for their apprehensions and receive encouragement from great ideas! From team channels, leadership can see the main issues and plan to resolve them, resulting in a happier workforce.
5. Test tools.
Paskins recommends slowly implementing AI into simple situations involving basic automation. From there, employees can see firsthand the time they can save with AI.
“[Time saved] can then be spent on more challenging projects that require a human touch,” Paskins says. “Proceed with a ‘learn by doing’ philosophy, and answer questions after your team has the time to experiment with straightforward tasks.”
What we like: Testing tools is a great way to determine what has a purpose within your organization and what doesn’t. If one tool doesn’t work for you, you can look for something that does instead of avoiding AI entirely.
6. Reassure employees.
Roxborough says, “It's essential that marketing leaders work with senior leadership to reassure employees and address their concerns by establishing internal standards and guidelines for AI transparency, trust, security, and safety.”
Roxborough notes that leaders should work to inform and educate marketing teams about the benefits of AI. That includes how it can help make them more productive and contribute to their well-being.
What we like: AI fears can only improve if leadership and employees work together to develop trust and security. We like that Roxborough is looking to help educate teams and show how AI is a productivity support.
Should AI fears stop you?
The data from our State of AI survey gives reason for the legitimate fears of marketers. Still, the same survey also discovered cases where marketers are thrilled with their AI adoption.
AI fears needn’t stop you from exploring how AI can support you and your business goals. As the experts show us, with good processes, experimentation, communication, and education, AI can be a helpful marketing tool.