Consumers and marketers see a role for (responsible) generative AI in customer experiences

Making data and insights more accessible with generative AI.

In less than a year, advances in generative AI have made it a transformational force in creativity and work, redefining the way consumers, schools and businesses think of everything from image to text generation. While organizations must address valid public concerns, including ensuring transparency into when generative AI is used to create content, there's also a lot of excitement around this emerging technology.

With a simple text prompt, generative AI empowers experts to do more, faster, while helping less experienced users accelerate their learning curves to ideate, create, learn and understand, often in ways we never imagined. Generative AI has tremendous potential to help creatives and marketers accelerate content creation, but the value doesn’t stop there. Marketers and customer experience professionals will also be able to type in phrases like “create an audience segment for professionals aged 25-34 who are fans of soccer,” and get a target marketing campaign segment in seconds.

Generate Journey.

To understand how generative AI is changing both what customers expect and how brands deliver experiences, Adobe conducted a series of studies between February and May 2023, in each case surveying over 13,000 consumers and 4,000 customer experience and marketing professionals across 14 countries — the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. Here are primary takeaways from our research:

Many people are bullish on generative AI in their lives as creators and consumers. A majority (57 percent) of all surveyed consumers believe generative AI will enhance their personal creativity, and the number rises as consumers get younger: 75 percent of Gen Z consumers say generative AI will make them more creative. And when it comes to their experiences with brands, 72 percent of global consumers say generative AI will improve their customer experiences, with eight out of ten millennial (80 percent) and Gen Z (83 percent) consumers expressing similar optimism.

Consumers want companies to use generative AI to improve experiences — responsibly. When it comes to the most important things companies should do when using new generative AI technologies, consumers ranked responsibility #1, with 34 percent prioritizing actions like having guardrails in place to encourage responsible use. 30 percent of consumers said it is most important to use generative AI to improve customers’ experiences, and 15 percent prioritized actions that would enhance employees’ experiences, like making work easier and more efficient. 9 percent of respondents said the most important consideration for companies adopting generative AI is that they use it to make the business more financially successful. Only 10 percent said companies should not use generative AI at all.

The Adobe-founded Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) is one example of an industry-led guardrail. With more than 1,500 members, CAI advocates for open global standards and technologies including Content Credentials, which provides a digital “nutrition label” for content, empowering consumers to see exactly how generative AI content was made.

The majority of marketing and CX pros say they’ll use generative AI in their future work. Nearly nine out of ten (89 percent) say they’ve used some type of generative AI tool, with 67 percent trying conversation bots and 45 percent tinkering with image generators. Nearly all (94 percent) of these professionals believe their companies will use generative AI in their future work.

Generative AI will help boost efficiency and make customer experiences more personal. Marketing and customer experience leaders believe generative AI will help in a broad range of ways: Nine out of 10 (90 percent) say it will help them do better work — and nearly as many (88-89 percent) say it will help them do more work, create more and better content, and enhance their ability to use creative tools. On the experience side, the same percentages expect it to help them reach the right customers, better personalize customer experiences, identify new customer journeys, and identify new audiences.

Generative AI can expand access to sophisticated digital experience tools. Asked about the most important ways their companies should use generative AI, marketing and CX leaders ranked three equally at #1: making their work easier and more efficient — improving the quality of their products and services; and making their customers’ experiences awesome.

Generative AI will have a major role in content creation. While marketing and CX professionals see emerging generative AI tools as offering considerable potential, their top three expectations all involve content, with generating content faster ranking number one, while optimizing content and generating more content tied for #2. In each case, generative AI will be critical to reimagining and streamlining content supply chains, enabling brands worldwide to meet customer content demands that have continued multiplying by 2X, 5X, and 10X factors.

Marketing and CX pros have valid concerns. While most marketers are optimistic about the benefits of generative AI, some worry persists. They rank quality of the information, copy or images (#1), copyright infringement potential (#2), and lack of transparency over how models were trained (#3) as their top concerns.

Taken as a whole, these research findings suggest that generative AI has a bright future with both consumers and brands. Most customers and brand professionals are ready and excited to see generative AI improve products, services, and experiences — now it’s up to brands to harness this technology to deliver on both the possibilities and expectations.