It's no secret that AI content has been exploding over the past year. The accessibility of AI tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard have made what was once considered the work of science fiction a reality. In its early adoption, many marketing professionals have used AI tools to help with content production, but the jury is still out on whether AI is up to the task. We did a humans vs AI study to take a deep dive to see if marketers believe that AI can outperform the work done by a human.
We were specifically interested in who uses AI in the workplace and, more granularly, in their marketing efforts. We surveyed 184 U.S.-based marketers to explore their AI adoption, assess their perception of AI effectiveness, and examine how they utilize AI in their work.
Can AI-generated content really outperform professional marketers when it comes to content production? We ask the source and get a general pulse on the current state of AI in marketing.
- Nearly two-thirds of U.S. marketers use AI in their marketing activities.
- 76.2% of marketers with less than 1 year of experience have not used AI in their marketing activities.
- 84% of marketers utilize AI for content production.
- 82.5% of U.S. marketers use AI for brainstorming ideas.
- 41% of U.S. marketers think AI is not as creative as they are.
- Nearly 90% of marketers believe that AI is on par or less creative than human-created content.
- 3 out of 4 marketers can differentiate between AI-generated and human-created content.
The Evolution of AI in the Workplace
Humans are no strangers to the constant evolution of technology and its effect that it has in the workplace. Since November 2023, Large Language AI Models (LLMs) have been more prevalent in our everyday lives. These LLMs were met with skepticism and resistance but are becoming more and more accepted at an organizational level. Leaders in the marketing world are stuck at a crossroads—do they embrace these tools for what they are or ignore them at the risk of being left behind?
In our humans vs AI study, results from our survey revealed that 62.5% of U.S.-based marketers use AI in some way for their marketing efforts. Interestingly enough, 76.2% of new marketers avoid using AI in their first year of work. This could be for a myriad of reasons, but there could still be a perception among new marketers that AI use is frowned upon in the workplace.
We are still in the infancy of the AI boom, and many employees may still feel that the technology can put them out of work rather than enhance their own. As marketers get more comfortable with their careers, it is safe to assume that AI will be used more as a supplementary tool meant to complement their work, not overtake it.
How AI Drives Content Production
If the majority of marketers are using AI, what are they using it for? We found that 84% of marketers have used AI for content production.
We asked at what stage in the content production process they specifically use AI for, and brainstorming ideas was overwhelmingly the most popular answer at 82.5%. Rephrasing existing content (64.9%) and generating headlines and titles (53.6%) were also popular answers.
AI scours the internet for data that expands upon a prompt or idea. Teams can improve their efficiency by utilizing an AI program to brainstorm ideas and improve or create content. The boundlessness of the internet lets AI research top solutions and present them with cohesion to give direction to employees.
Everyone’s Favorite AI Tool: ChatGPT
Even though ChatGPT gets all of the press, there are more AI options out there for marketers to use. Unsurprisingly, we asked our survey participants about their preferred AI tool, and over 95% responded with ChatGPT. Google Bard (18.6%), Copy.ai (11.3%), Jasper AI (5.2%), and Frase.io (1.0%) all seem to be much less utilized.
ChatGPT’s low barrier to entry and intuitiveness likely have contributed to its explosion in popularity. ChatGPT has been so successful that OpenAI has been rumored to be on the verge of an $86 billion valuation.
Can AI Be More Creative Than a Human?
One of the major talking points surrounding AI is the concern of its output. Can AI match what is capable within the human mind?
Will this new technology eventually become preferred for companies to market their products? The jury is still out, but marketers believe that it is not up to the task just yet.
41.2% of U.S. marketers believe that AI is not as creative as they are. For all of the amazing things that AI can do, marketers still believe it is not up to the task when it comes to being more creative than themselves.
Respondents who believe AI is equally or less creative than a human pointed to AI’s lack of human touch and formulaic approach as its main downfalls. These AI tools are not foolproof, and it seems that marketers recognize some of their shortcomings when it comes to creativity.
Some think the ability of AI to create emotion and inspire others is lacking, and 64.4% of those interviewed in a survey cite AI as being disconnected from humans.
This barrier highlights the stark difference between human- and AI-generated content, bringing to light how AI may outperform in numerous areas save one—being human.
Perceptions of AI - Quality Concerns Among Marketers
Creativity isn’t the only thing that marketers care about. The quality of output is more important than anything, and marketers believe that AI-generated content is of lower or equal quality to similar human-produced content.
A staggering 90% of marketers believe that AI-generated content is equal to or worse than similarly human-created content (with 54.6% believing that AI always generates lower-quality content).
Even though AI tools scored a bit higher when it comes to creativity, it is clear that marketers believe that they can still do the job just as well as AI.
This sentiment is shared among most age groups, as 52.4% of Gen Zers, 53.7% of Millennials, and 66.7% of Gen Xers believe that AI-generated content is worse. 50% of marketers aged over 58 believe that AI-generated content is better, split right down the middle!
The Struggles of AI
Why is AI-generated content considered equal to or worse than its human counterparts? 65.5% of respondents believe that AI tools lack creativity and originality, 57.5% feel that AI still struggles with complex social and cultural contexts, 56.3% believe that these tools struggle to form a personal connection with readers, and 48.3% say that AI lacks unique perspectives.
Is AI Content Undetectable?
We can all agree that AI-generated content is surprisingly well done, but most marketers still know the difference when they see it. There are also many companies emerging right now that claim they can “humanize” AI content, but the services have not caught up with the technology.
76.3% of our respondents stated they can tell the difference between AI-generated and human-created content. Gen Z struggled the most in differentiating AI and human content, with 66.6% of Gen Z mentioning they can tell the difference, 10% lower than the survey average.
Content Types Enhanced by AI
We have determined that most U.S. marketers use AI in some capacity, but what types of content are they using it for? Respondents have stated that they are using AI for social media posts (60.8%), blog posts (55.7%), email newsletters (49.5%), infographics (44.3%), and videos (7.2%).
With so many uses for AI tools, marketers are using it mostly for writing in some capacity. Tasks that once took hours to complete can now be written with simple directions and commands from a well-versed marketer.
The Impact of AI
For all of the fear-mongering and uncertainty surrounding artificial intelligence, we can determine that it has at least found a home for the majority of marketers.
While people still have the “human touch,” AI is the perfect supplementary tool for a marketing team. AI keeps surprising us with unending possibilities, and its widespread adoption is likely to continue in the workplace.
To obtain the data presented above, we conducted a survey among 184 American marketers in October 2023. To maintain accuracy, any unqualified responses were excluded from the results.
However, it is important to acknowledge that the survey's reliance on self-reporting may introduce telescoping and exaggeration, potentially influencing the responses. Furthermore, it is essential to emphasize that the results of this survey are impartial and do not reflect our opinions or biases.
I’m currently wearing many hats but my primary one is being the Business Manager at BrandBuilders.
My professional journey spans from being a tech enthusiast to evolving into a seasoned serial entrepreneur, with a primary expertise in SEO and Digital Marketing.
I am currently delving into the frontier of Ai, exploring its applications and implications in the ever-evolving digital landscape.