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Bynder study reveals how many marketers are actually using AI to create content
September 19, 2023
As a marketer in 2023, you don’t need to scroll for too long on LinkedIn before seeing yet another marketing expert wax poetic about just how transformative artificial intelligence (AI) will be on the industry – for good or bad.
When you look at the numbers, the market value for AI in marketing is estimated at $27.37bn in 2023, and it’s projected to more than triple in size to $107.5 billion by 2028.
Yet with generative AI technology still in its relevant infancy, how much impact has it actually had on the daily responsibilities of marketers now, in 2023?
To answer the question, a new Bynder study surveyed marketers from its customer base (including major brands such as Spotify, PUMA, and Five Guys) to discover how they’re using AI technology in their day-to-day duties.
According to the results, 55% of marketers surveyed are currently using AI tools to support content marketing efforts. Leveraged for a range of tasks, the most commonly reported applications for AI are:
- Creating first drafts (54%)
- Content optimization (43%)
- Spelling and grammar (42%)
- Paraphrasing and summarization (38%)
The findings suggest that organizations aren’t ditching their creative agencies and copywriters just yet. Rather, the technology is helping marketers to do their jobs better, faster, and more efficiently, rather than replacing human ingenuity altogether.
One respondent argued that today’s marketers “shouldn’t complacently adopt and rely on AI. It's the combination of people's experience and expertise in tandem with AI – that's the optimal blend.”
The results of the study show that marketers are beginning to extend the usage of AI beyond simple rough-draft creations and proofreading, too. Among those surveyed, it’s also being used to tackle much of the mundane, time-consuming tasks involved in content operations such as generating meta descriptions for SEO and localizing content, including:
- Content re-use (30%)
- Creating tone-of-voice documents (27%)
- Content governance (25%)
- Translation tasks (25%)
Marketing manpower & AI: Getting the balance right
As marketers become more familiar with generative AI and start to use it in increasingly inventive ways, businesses should think less about which marketing tasks will be replaced by AI – a scenario frequently presaged among the AI naysayers – and more about what can be enhanced with AI.
“Brands still need to have full control over their content," says Muray Akyol (VP of Product, Bynder). "With developments in AI moving so fast, they need to adapt quickly, and have a clear view of where they should and shouldn’t use AI. Businesses need to adapt by embracing AI as an accelerator, rather than fearing its potential disruption.”
Respondents of Bynder’s study were also asked to share their thoughts on how exactly AI can be applied to enhance content marketing efforts. Aside from the obvious applications like creating first drafts and improving writing syntax, responses also included creating chatbots to help users better navigate through a website; providing more targeted content recommendations based on user behavior, and personalizing website content according to an individual’s browsing history and preferences.
How is AI impacting more ‘creative’ work?
The creative process is one area where AI’s potential is a little more hazy. Traditionally described as polar opposites, human creativity is seen as unpredictable and unformulaic, requiring ‘outside of the box’ thinking. Whereas AI is ‘robotic’, programmed for objective precision based on specific prompts, and lacking the ability to extrapolate without human intervention.
Yet with AI’s sophistication evolving at breakneck speed, these long-held beliefs are on shaky ground, with some claiming that your creativity won’t save your job from AI.
So is the creative process in marketing just another task for AI to tackle, or will artificial creativity be forever subpar to its human counterpart?
The Bynder brief-off: Putting human creativity vs AI to the test
While we can’t know how AI will evolve in 10, 50, or 100 years' time, we can at least put today’s current iterations to the test and see what value generative AI may have for marketing tasks of a more creative variety.
To test this, Bynder ran a 'brief-off’ experiment whereby the exact same creative brief was given to three different ‘teams’:
1. AI only: No human intervention was involved. The brief was input into AI tools ChatGPT and Midjourney, with the results taken as-is.
2. Human: A copywriter and graphic designer collaborated together with no AI support, using their own creativity and expertise to generate the content.
3. Human & AI: The copywriter and graphic designer collaborated with AI as part of the process. They used the AI tools to come up with ideas and concepts, which were later refined and edited to align with the original brief.
The brief: “Launch a gym wear brand, including sports leggings, sports bras, and t-shirts, targeting females under 35 who frequently go to the gym in the US.” The brief required “a visual brand and a simple content strategy detailing how to use content marketing to build brand awareness with the audience across multiple channels and a series of blogs about the product.”
A panel of marketing experts was asked to judge the results of the brief, without being told who was responsible for the work. In order of strongest to weakest, the results were as follows:
1. Human: The creative deliverables done by the human-only team were rated the best by most of the experts. They praised the strong and memorable brand identity that aligned well with the target audience. Visually, they also thought the branding was both contemporary and feminine without being cliché.
2. Human & AI: This was the second preferred choice. While the content strategy was rated strongly for its broad appeal and potential to stand out in the market, they also thought the results were slightly off-brand/brief. The visual colors were seen as refreshing and non-stereotypically female which helped make the brand distinctive, but the brand name and concept seemed to miss the mark with the intended audience.
3. AI: This was the least preferred choice. Although the content strategy was admired for its succinctness and clarity, the experts felt the brand identity did not effectively match the product and intended audience.
You can see the full results of the ‘brief-off’ experiment here.
Warren Daniels (CMO, Bynder) shares his thoughts on the experiment: “AI can be a valuable tool for brands that are looking to create content faster and more efficiently. However, it is important to remember that AI is not a replacement. AI should be used in a managed or controlled way to enable human creativity, not hamper it.”
See more of our insights on how AI and automation are shaping the marketing industry.