New research published by Adobe reveals that the adoption of generative AI in brand business strategies across Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) lags behind employee usage.
The study found only 3 in 10 brands have embraced this advanced technology, contrasted with almost 7 in 10 employees claiming to have utilised generative AI within their marketing campaigns.
Interestingly, the study shows that brands appear to be facing significant challenges due to reduced budgets. Already, 26% of organisations have cut their budget, with a further 30% planning to do so within the upcoming 12 months.
This economic strain seems to be causing brands to seek ways to drive efficiency through advanced technology solutions that can enhance workflows and generative AI, with usage rates standing at 65% and 45%, respectively.
Regarding employees, 68% have already deployed generative AI in their marketing and customer experience strategies. A diversity of AI toolsets was reported, with 30% utilising large language models or conversational AI, 24% using text-to-image generators, and 17% using both. This is contrasted starkly by only 31% of those respondents claiming that their employers currently utilise generative AI tools.
Katrina Troughton, Vice President and Managing Director at Adobe Australia and New Zealand, commented, "Consumers are alert to the importance of responsible generative AI usage, and organisations must be more vigilant than ever to maintain trust."
"Employees are bringing AI tools into the workplace faster than official roll-outs, raising the real possibility of unchecked usage and shadow AI solutions." She emphasised the necessity for robust ethical and legal frameworks to ensure brands meet both their obligations and customer expectations.
The research also cited brand trust and consumer spending as intrinsically linked. With over one in three ANZ consumers claiming they are more likely to remain loyal to brands they trust and 29% more likely to spend more with such brands, it is clear that trust directly impacts revenue. Data safety is the primary factor in building this trust, followed by fair remuneration to employees and suppliers, low prices, and accessible customer experiences.
Adobe's research reveals that almost half (49%) of ANZ brands do not regard data safety as crucial to customer attraction and retention. When considering accessible and sustainable products and services, this number increases to 51% and 58%, respectively.
Troughton adds, "As brand trust plays an even greater role in consumer spending decisions and loyalty, meeting emerging preferences is crucial. While data security issues continue to be consumers' top dealbreaker regarding a sale, equitable access and sustainability obligations are not far behind."
This research was conducted via an online survey, amassing the views of more than 16,113 consumers and 4,250 marketing and customer experience professionals globally. The sample comprised 505 consumer respondents and 142 marketing and customer experience professionals for the Australia and New Zealand segment.