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85% of marketers using AI forecast a double-digit revenue lift by 2021

Only 18% of marketers are using AI solutions, but those implementing the technology are expecting revenue to surge, according to research.

According to a survey published by Salesforce Pardot and Demandbase, 85% of those currently using AI expect revenue to grow by a double digit percentage by 2021.

Some 84% of US marketing and sales professionals are currently planning, evaluating, implementing or using AI. Of these, 84% also expect to see value from their implementations in a year or less.

However, marketers only gave themselves an average grade of C+ for their understanding of AI. The study, carried out by researcher Demand Metric, found the biggest barriers to AI implementation and usage were cost/budget constraints (55%), skills/team (52%), and unsure how to start (31%).

Despite this, more than 40% of those who are using the technology say it’s the, or one of the, most important investments to achieve better sales and marketing performance, with almost one-third concluding it's revolutionising marketing and sales performance.

This is reflected in B2B marketing teams’ investment in data analysis, with 69% of survey respondents noting they have data scientists on the marketing team.

For those who are planning investment in AI, they anticipate benefits for higher lead quality (67%), better engagement with customers and prospects (56%) and better understanding of buyer intent (52%).

"We're still in the early days of AI for B2B marketing and sales, and there is a great deal of education that is needed to close the gap between implementation and expectations," said Peter Isaacson, CMO at Demandbase. "It's exciting to see the optimism that exists in the B2B marketing community. As early adopters continue to have success, AI adoption will continue to accelerate, and AI solutions will become table stakes for all marketing and sales teams." 

AI in B2B: Going beyond the hype

This report, in association with LinkedIn, includes five case studies, demonstrating how AI is making a real and valuable impact on B2B marketers' lives, in everyday marketing situations we can all relate to.

Tell me what I need to know about AI

AI in B2B: Going beyond the hype