Right from the beginning of the year 2019, you could almost say that there is no doubt on the impact AI will have in the upcoming years. Reports from IDC states that the adoption of cognitive systems and AI will result in a drastic revenue increase worldwide from nearly $8 billion in 2016 to upwards of $47 billion in 2020.
Amidst the hype, let’s really look at the current adoption level of AI, especially given the integration of AI by early adopters into the martech and sales-tech stack.
Marketing and sales have become more scientific than ever. AI is already disrupting the day-to-day life of marketers and sellers, by presenting them opportunities to be in sync with their customers and build meaningful conversations.
Marketers cannot rely on the mass marketing messages anyone and customers expect a personalized experience more than ever. Therefore, there is an increasing adoption for AI-powered ABM solutions, predictive lead generation tools, sales intelligence tools, conversational engines and more.
Tech giants and early adopters of martech have already heavily invested in AI. In fact, according to McKinsey, $26 - $39 billion was spent on AI in 2016. Gone are the times of marketing qualified leads (MQLs), marketers are beginning to look at accounts more than leads. Therefore, the emergence of marketing qualified accounts (MQAs), equipping marketers with effective information on whether a particular account qualifies to get into the ABM cycle or not.
Similarly, sales professionals adopting AI have gained a competitive edge over others, thus ensuring they don’t spend time on accounts that are not sales-ready. AI solutions for marketing and sales have made it easier for B2B marketers and sellers to prioritize target accounts based on their buying intent and product fit, thus giving them a 360 ° view of their assigned accounts and their movement in the sales funnel.
AI early adopters are the ones who are gaining the most competitive advantage from AI. These early adopters are already leveraging AI, machine learning and automation to provide customers with highly personalized web experiences (at scale) to steal a lead in the martech space.
With personalized conversations and relevance being the need of the hour, it is marketing and business decision makers from larger and digitally mature organizations driving the AI adoption. More and more tech companies, communication companies and financial services organizations are expected to hitch the AI wagon.
However, it might take a few years for organizations to go through the digital transformation and take full advantage of AI. The image below gives you a snapshot of AI’s impact and adoption across industries.
AI is all set to shift from being an emergent technology to mainstream and becoming omnipresent. To sum up, AI is here and the adoption rate is increasing.
Yaagneshwaran Ganesh (often called as "Yaag") is among the top 100 global martech influencers, and is responsible for the growth and product adoption for Freshchat, a customer engagement platform powering live chats and conversational marketing across industries. He is also a TEDx speaker, a member of Forbes Council and author of 5 books, with the latest one titled “Syncfluence”. He has been a speaker across business forums such as CII Young Indians, Chamber of Commerce Netherlands, Kerala Startup Mission (Initiative by Govt of Kerala), and academic institutions such as IITs, Saxion University of Applied Sciences and more. He is an active member of the startup ecosystem and is part of the Google for Entrepreneurs initiative "Startup Weekend", thus being a sounding board for startups in APAC and Europe. Yaag also writes columns for HuffingtonPost, Forbes, Martech Series, Martech Advisor, dtNEXT, Techstory, ManagementNext and has been a regular blogger on RonSela.com, the thought leader on marketing practices.