Member Exclusive   //   December 21, 2023

Research Briefing: How marketers are actually using generative AI

By Li Lu

In this edition of the weekly briefing, we share newly released data from Modern Retail+ Research that focuses on how marketers are currently using generative AI, a year after ChatGPT’s release. 

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The State of AI: Chatbots remain marketers’ top use of AI

Breaking News: This week Modern Retail+ Research published an update to our Emerging Technologies series, in which we analyzed the changes in AI since last year’s report on the topic. The updated report provides a guide to large language models (LLMs) and the new realities of how marketers are using generative AI since ChatGPT launched late last year.

To map out marketers’ current digital playbooks, Modern Retail+ Research sent out a survey to 118 respondents about current and upcoming investments in and usages of AI to map out marketers’ current applications of the technology. Digiday+ Research also conducted individual interviews with executives in the AI industry.

Questions: How are marketers currently deploying AI? Which AI applications are they using the most? Who are the main tech players in AI? 

Answers From Research:

Year over year, chatbots and AI assistants remain the most common application of AI technology, with the majority of marketer respondents — 51% in 2023 and 78% in 2022 — selecting chatbots and AI assistants as the top NLP or AI technology their company uses.

One reason chatbots have remained at the top of marketers’ AI usage preferences is that many chatbots and AI assistants have been upgraded with higher functioning tools and capabilities as generative AI improves. For example, recent generations of chatbots are outfitted with enhanced language models that can produce more adaptive humanlike responses. In particular, OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which debuted in November 2022, is one of the more popular versions of a regularly updated chatbot.

Other companies have their own chatbot-enabling technology, which they’re likewise updating. Google recently announced the release of Gemini, an update to its PaLM 2 LLM. The new large language model will power its chatbot, Bard. Similar to ChatGPT, companies can integrate Bard into their own chatbots. While Bard does have a focus on chatbots, the API associated with it also allows companies to connect it to Google Suite products, such as email, to generate summaries or other text results. 

By connecting their existing AI technology or interface through ChatGPT and other LLMs’ APIs, marketers can increase their own chatbots’ capabilities to better serve and engage with customers.

Want to learn more: Modern Retail+ Research’s updated guide on generative AI examines the current state of AI and its main players.


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