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The 2018 Connectivity Report is Here

by Nina Brakel-Schutt, May 15, 2018

2018 Widen Connectivity Report Banner

The connectivity between people, processes, and technologies allows marketers and creatives to perform their best and create incredibly meaningful experiences. But how? That’s what we decided to find out by talking with a range of professionals around the world about what’s behind true connectivity. Our team conducted and analyzed 32 phone interviews and 506 online surveys to generate the data.

The report explores how modern marketing organizations balance the power of technology with the familiarity of the human touch, and the role of connectivity in marketing operations, strategy, and business results. Among many findings, we discovered a significant gap between interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and understanding of that technology in marketing departments.

The 2018 Connectivity Report found that 86 percent of respondents are not using AI in marketing and creative work, yet, according to a Gallup survey, almost 85 percent of consumers already use AI tools in their personal lives. Thus, the hype for AI hasn’t translated into practical usage in marketing departments. Interestingly, participants gave inconsistent responses about the definitions of AI and machine learning and the differences between them.

Says the report, “When asked what artificial intelligence means, over 50 percent of our interview participants said it either reminded them of futuristic movies and robots or that they didn’t know. People had a much better grasp on machine learning. The struggle to distinguish AI means marketers are making far-reaching decisions about concepts they don't necessarily understand.”

The Report also covers questions about customer experience, personalization, data analytics, and digital transformation. Key findings include:

  • 76 percent of survey respondents are integrating at least two of their digital work tools.
  • The #1 trend among survey respondents is “personalizing the customer experience.”
  • 93 percent of professionals surveyed feel personalization at scale is attainable, but 58 percent are unsure of how to achieve it at scale in their marketing and creative work.

The findings on AI, personalization, and scalability are all related. Companies that want to use personalization on a large scale can’t do it without AI tools that study and segment customers in real time. Since marketers largely aren’t using AI and are unfamiliar with the technology, it makes sense that they would be uncertain about how to scale personalization.

To explore these topics and other findings, download the 2018 Connectivity Report.

2018 Widen Connectivity Report Banner 

Topics: Marketing

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