AI in Marketing: Overcoming the Barriers

Since the launch of ChatGPT the hype around AI (artificial intelligence) has been unending, and marketing is an area where AI could potentially offer unprecedented opportunities for efficiency and personalisation. However, AI has not been welcomed by all with open arms. Here I take a look at overcoming the barriers. 

What Prevents the Use of AI in Marketing? 

  1. Fear: for some organisations use of AI is banned due to the fear of employees using privileged information in prompts, and inadvertently make that information public. There is also the fear that staff do not appreciate the need to double check information provided by AI which is not free of bias or misinformation. 

    The solution here is training. Marketers who have a deep understanding of how AI works and are aware of the limitations of its results will not make the mistake of uploading privileged information or failing to check data produced by AI. 

  1. Skill-Gap: associated with point one, there is more to using AI properly than learning how to prompt AI and check its output. Marketers may not have the technical expertise to implement AI tools properly or understand the intricacies of data analysis that are required to fully leverage AI capabilities. 
    The solution again is training. Marketers are well accustomed to learning new skills and training on new tools & technologies to assist their work. Formal training on the application and implementation of AI, data analysis and predictive modelling, will enable them to realise its benefits in full. 

  1. Change Management: the adoption of AI requires a change in organisational culture. While some may embrace AI and see how it can assist them, others may be resistant to change or wary of job displacement. Leadership may struggle to gain buy-in, which will slow adoption. 
    Change comes from the top. If an organisation wishes to implement AI in marketing, there must be a strategic plan and leadership to champion how AI can transform how marketing is done. Training for those involved will overcome resistance and reassure those who fear replacement. 

  1. Budget Constraints: particularly for smaller organisations, implementing AI can be expensive. In addition to the cost of AI solutions, there are costs of hiring new people with the required skills. 
    The answer to this, is to start small. Implement AI in limited functions such as automated emails and train up existing staff. A gradual approach will build confidence and understanding, while reducing any resistance to the use of AI. 

  1. Vendor Selection: with many new vendors entering the AI market, and AI capabilities seemingly increasing at an exponential rate, finding the right solution for a specific business can be overwhelming. 
    Fortunately, many vendors offer free trial periods, giving businesses the opportunity to test and assess tools and their pricing models. This allows for better purchasing decisions to be made. 

  1. Data Quality: particularly where AI is intended for analysis or predictive modelling, its success depends largely on having high-quality data. Incomplete or outdated data will lead to flawed insights and poor decision making.  
    Marketers have long faced challenges in cleaning and managing data and AI makes this even more important. Organisations need a comprehensive data strategy that includes cleaning and standardising data, as well as ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations. 

  1. Ethics and Regulation: there are a number of ethical and regulatory issues to be addressed before AI use can be adopted. These include bias, environmental impact, data privacy, and accountability. While there are a number of ethical frameworks for AI use, marketers must be aware that new laws may come into play as AI use grows. 
    In adopting AI for marketing, organisations must incorporate ethical practices in AI use i.e. transparent processes, regular audits, and alignment with data protection laws. 


Although the implementation of AI in marketing requires overcoming some significant barriers, a strategic approach by organisations will unlock the many benefits of this new technology. With the right blend of trained people, ethical processes, and technology, marketers can utilise AI to deliver more targeted, efficient, and innovative campaigns. 

Learn More 

Professional Academy offers the CIM Level 6 Specialist Award in AI Marketing 

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Read more of our blogs on the topic of AI: 

AI and Up-Skilling in Marketing 

5 AI-Powered Strategies Redefining Marketing in 2024 

Will AI Steal My Job?