Organizations’ Generative AI Use Most Prevalent in Marketing and Sales

September 15, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Business of Marketing | Customer-Centric | Innovation | Staffing

One-third of organizations are using generative artificial intelligence (AI) regularly in at least one business function, reports McKinsey in a recent study into the growth and use of generative AI tools. Among those organizations using AI tools, 60% are using generative AI, and 40% expect that they will hike their investment in AI as a result of generative AI.

As it turns out, the marketing and sales function is the one most likely to be regularly using generative AI, per the survey, which was fielded in April. Some 14% of respondents reported that their organization is regularly using generative AI in marketing and sales, slightly ahead of product and/or service development (13%). The only other function in which at least 1 in 10 respondents reported regular use of generative AI was service operations (10%).

Within the marketing and sales function, the most common use cases of generative AI are: crafting first drafts of text documents; personalized marketing; and summarizing text documents.

Separate research has found 6 in 10 marketers feeling that generative AI will transform their roles, and this latest survey also reveals high expectations for the transformative potential of the tools. Indeed, three-quarters of respondents – who came from all levels of organizations across industries and regions – expect generative AI to cause significant or disruptive change to the nature of their industry’s competition in the next 3 years.

One area of disruption might be in staffing. Among organizations that have adopted AI in some form, 43% expect that the size of their workforce will decrease by at least 3%, almost three times the share (15%) who believe that it will result in an increase in their workforce of at least 3%.

In looking at workforce impact over the next 3 years by function, 39% believe that it will lead to a decrease in the number of marketing and sales employees, compared to 17% who feel that it will lead to an increase in marketing and sales headcount. One-third (33%) envision little to no change as a result of generative AI adoption, while about 1 in 8 (12% share) don’t know.

Marketing and communications professionals responding to a previous survey have been much more wary about the impact of generative AI on the number of jobs in their field, believing that it will deteriorate rather than improve by a 10:1 margin.

Organizations will likely be eyeing the productivity benefits of generative AI, though. Among organizations that have adopted AI tools in the marketing and sales function, 41% reported cost decreases last year as a result, including 15% saying those decreases were in the double-digits (at least 10%). Moreover, almost two-thirds (65%) reported revenue increases last year as a result of AI adoption, with 8% saying that those increases were greater than 10%.

For more, check out the full survey results here.

About the Data: The results are based on an April survey of 1,684 respondents “representing the full range of regions, industries, company sizes, functional specialties, and tenures. Of those respondents, 913 said their organizations had adopted AI in at least one function…”


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