Ai’s role in marketing for smes: knowledge, barriers and application potentials

Weber, M., Bulut, E., Bies, L., Greff, T. & Werth, D.(2024)
In: 2024 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Computer, Data Sciences and Applications (ACDSA), S. 1-6, DOI: 10.1109/ACDSA59508.2024.10467979

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We investigate how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) perceive and apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) in marketing. Studies in the field of AI currently focus on AI in business areas outside of marketing. Due to the increasing economic importance of AI in marketing, we address relevant influencing factors for AI use, potential AI applications in marketing, and the obstacles and opportunities associated with the use of this technology. Investigating this topic is particularly relevant for SMEs which lack resources and rely on cost reductions and prospective revenues through AI. This study consists of an online survey targeting marketing professionals in SMEs. The results show a strong interest among SMEs in adopting AI for marketing, but a significant gap exists between interest and actual implementation. Key challenges to its application include a lack of AI knowledge, a shortage of specialists, and inadequate data infrastructure. Our results show that, despite these challenges, marketing professionals see AI as a valuable tool for gaining consumer insights and enhancing performance management. Through this study we emphasize the importance of internal training, collaborative projects, and the formation of specialized AI teams to bridge the theoretical and practical application gap.

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