HubSpot, the customer relationship management (CRM) platform, has announced the findings of a survey conducted by YouGov, on the usage and attitudes around generative Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Gen AI driving effectiveness and productivity in the workplace
Despite Singapore's robust technology infrastructure, skilled workforce, and progressive culture of innovation, the survey results have shown that more awareness and training are necessary when it comes to the application of disruptive technologies such as gen AI in sales and marketing.
From content creation to customer engagement through chatbots, generative AI tools help businesses deepen customer connections while dramatically reducing the time for marketing research, data analysis, and reporting.
Three in five (61%) sales professionals and marketers in Singapore say their organisation has invested in generative AI tools and they plan to continue investing (46%). The survey results showed that 66% of total respondents and 71% in small and medium businesses (SMBs) are already using generative AI tools in their role.
Although productivity benefits of generative AI are being realised in sales and marketing roles, respondents also expressed a clear sentiment of responsible use. Over seven in ten (72%) said people should use generative AI tools in their jobs, including one in seven (14%) saying people should leverage gen AI as much as possible and nearly three in five (58%) saying people should use gen AI, but avoid becoming overly reliant on them.
With spending on AI in Asia Pacific expected to grow rapidly, Singapore is striding ahead in its advancement of transparency and governance in AI, as well as the application of disruptive technologies across industries, the survey highlights.
Amongst the respondents who adopt generative AI tools for their role, over nine in ten (92%) say that these are important for their day-to-day work but gaps in knowledge (60%) are creating challenges to unleashing their full potential.
The shortfall in awareness was revealed by 35% of respondents who face the challenge of not knowing where to begin with generative AI tools and require education and training to realise the value of the technology.
For over two-fifths (42%) of respondents, inaccurate information from generative AI poses a concern, while 31% say the content produced by generative AI is too surface-level or vague. 28% of respondents also believe that generative AI cannot create truly unique or original content; this was followed by 36% saying the content generative AI produces isn't always relevant to their desired goal, while nearly the same number (35%) find it difficult to know how to prompt generative AI tools to achieve desired results.
Dan Bognar, Vice President & Managing Director JAPAC, at HubSpot, comments, "Today's customers are increasingly desensitised with templated marketing and sales outreach and are looking for the next level of relevance and personalisation. Businesses must rise to meet these expectations by changing tactics to engage customers more effectively. That's where generative AI comes in; enabling businesses to focus on quality connections over quantity."
Bognar continues, "At a time when budgets are under greater scrutiny, generative AI is transforming work for Singaporean organisations across both sales and marketing functions from conducting customer research to prospecting more effectively, generative AI is redefining productivity.
"We are moving away from getting the same outcome for less to getting even better results, with less. However, for businesses to fully benefit from this technology, improving literacy and empowering employees to use generative AI effectively and responsibly is essential to unlock its potential."
Levelling the playing field for SMBs
AI is proving to be the slingshot for growth and success for SMBs to compete against large enterprises without the need for bigger budgets or teams. AI is levelling the playing field for SMBs to compete like never before. Its helping to drive marketing efforts through smarter ways of working, so sales and marketing teams can focus efforts on more strategic and creative outcomes. In fact, three in five (61%) survey respondents believe that generative AI tools will boost the creativity of those who use them.
Survey results showed that smaller businesses are indeed more receptive to AI-enabled innovation and transformation of work processes through generative AI: 71% of sales professionals and marketers in SMBs say they are using generative AI tools in their role, compared to 57% in large enterprises.
Further, respondents from businesses with a lower turnover (<$5M) are more likely to say they are using generative AI tools in their role (80%) compared to those in businesses with a turnover of $50M+ (57%).
Bognar says, "The old formula for achieving business growth was to increase headcount or add more tools to drive productivity. In the age of AI disruption, activities that once required substantial time and resources no longer will, opening up new pathways for growth and improving customer experiences for SMBs."